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Accordion Concert Tribute to Ilmar Kuljus, August 21st, 2015
August 21, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree
A gathering of accordionists will be presenting a concert in honor of Ilmar Kuljus, whose dedication to and promotion of accordion, especially in the Spokane area, has made a tremendous impact on the worldwide accordion community.
Ilmar was born in Estonia, a tiny country in northern Europe, which became a battle-ground between then Soviet Union and Nazi Germany during WWII, and subsequently remained occupied by the USSR until its collapse in 1992. Before the Soviet takeover, Ilmar managed to escape to war-torn Germany in 1944, where he remained in refugee status until emigrating to the US in 1950. He moved to Spokane in 1952 and established the Accordia-Nova School of Accordion which he managed for 53 years, retiring in 2002. In addition, he taught foreign languages in the Spokane public schools for 23 years.
Ilmar is a graduate of EWU and has a Master’s degree from the University of Washing-ton. He is a pioneer in introducing the accordion as an ensemble instrument by forming groups of students to play parts of voicing similar to choral and orchestral style. These groups were formed by ability levels best suited for each participant, and thus eventually advancing to play in the Accordia-Nova Concert Orchestra. Ilmar had to provide special arrangements not available or published. As a result, there now exists a collection of such transcriptions, some of which you will hear during this concert. Presently, the Spo-kane Accordion Ensemble is carrying out the tradition dating back to the 1960s.
Throughout his career in music, Ilmar was frequently sought to adjudicate competitions and evaluate the entrants level of competency, both in the US and Canada. His own stu-dents have won awards both locally and internationally.
Ilmar now resides summers in Coeur d’ Alene and winters in Arizona. He still teaches a few students via SKYPE, two of whom will be playing in this concert. This concert fea-tures many of his former students as well as other players from the Spokane area. Ilmar celebrated his 85th birthday in June, and this concert is dedicated to his life’s work. Mark your calendars and come pay tribute to Ilmar Kuljus. For more information contact Eileen Webber 509-290-6858.