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03-Sep-2021

Kevin Friedrich Releases 'Reflections' CD - USA

Reflections CD cover by Kevin Friedrich
Kevin FriedrichNew York based accordionist Kevin Friedrich has recently released a CD of his live performances titled ‘Reflections’, catalog friedrich02. Kevin says “Over the course of my accordion career I have had the joy of performing an array of music spanning transcriptions, showcasing the genius of the great Masters such as Johann Sebastian Bach through to creative original works for the accordion.

Many of these performances were in conjunction with my days of competing in International competitions such as the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) Coupe Mondiale (1979, 1980 and 1981) and Klingenthal (1986) and during my Conservatory studies in both Kansas City (USA) and Paris (France).”

Kevin goes on to say “One of the few regrets I have in life, is that I didn’t professionally record all this magnificent repertoire at the time I was performing it. In those days it was a rapid succession of exams and competitions often enticing new works. In the excitement and challenge of learning, the older repertoire was often unceremoniously discarded, making way for the new.

Fortunately not all was completely lost and there were occasions that my live performances were recorded. Often these were made on cassette tapes, as was common in the 1970s and 1980s. While not ideal in this age of digital recording, in the interest of preserving recordings for prosperity’s sake, I feel blessed to have them.”

At the request of the New Zealand Accordion Association (NZAA) Kevin has now compiled a series of his performances which will serve as a historical record of some of his work. An exponent of both the piano and button keyboards, some of the pieces are performed on his Pigini Super Sirius Bayan, (Instrument No. 85 - C System) and some on his Titano Emperor JW5 Piano Accordion (quint free bass system).

Along with these live memorized performances, come a variety of considerations including external noises, imperfections in performance and the quality of the original tape. All these things could have been addressed and corrected in a recording studio at that time, but now have been captured for eternity due to the nature of live performance. Kevin remains grateful to his teachers Ben and Doreen Emmett, Harley Jones (New Zealand), Joan C. Sommers (USA) and Max Bonnay (France) for inspiring him to continually explore and learn a variety of repertoire, something he continues to this very day.

The tracks include: Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565) by J. S. Bach; A Farewell to St. Petersburg, No. 10, The Lark by Mikhail Glinka, arr. M. Balakirev; Reflections by Karen Fremar (I. The Prairie, II. The Plaza, III. The Festival); Four Pieces in Old Style, (III. Aria) by Georgiy Shenderev; Prelude and Fugue “The Great” in A minor (BWV 543) by J. S. Bach; Sonata by Alexander Timoshenko (II. Rondo, III. Lento Doloroso, IV. Rondo Finale); Prelude and Fugue No. XV in G Major (WTC I - BWV 860) by J. S. Bach; Concert Suite for Accordion by Albin Repnikov (I. Recitative and Toccata) and Sonata No. 2 (III. Vivacissimo Con Spirito) by Vladislav Zolotaryov.

After leaving New Zealand, Kevin studied with Joan C. Sommers at the University of Missouri, Kansas City where he obtained his Bachelor of Music in Accordion Performance. In addition to the piano accordion, Kevin has also mastered the bayan and it is with this instrument that he furthered his studies at the Conservatoire Paul Dukas in Paris, France studying with CIA World Accordion Champion, Max Bonnay.

Kevin has performed in concert, on radio and on television in many countries as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestra and as a member of The International Trio, the Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra, the Musicale Accordion Orchestra and the Auckland Accordion Symphonietta from New Zealand and as a member and concert master of the renowned University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) Accordion Orchestra. More recently Kevin has served as Concert Master for the CIA World Accordion Orchestra at their concerts in the USA, Scotland and New Zealand.

After serving as a Vice-President for eight years, Kevin served two four year terms as President of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA), the umbrella organization for more than 35 countries and their National Accordion Associations. Since the CIA (member of the International Music Council, IMC-UNESCO) formed in 1935, this was the first time ever that a non-European has held this title. At the conclusion of his Presidency, Kevin was elected to the CIA Executive Committee as CIA Ambassador.

Kevin currently makes his home in New York City where he has lived since 1989. Keeping close ties to his homeland of New Zealand, Kevin curates the Accordion Gems, A Master Collection of Accordions in Time historical accordion exhibition at the Dargaville Museum where he hosts regular fundraising concerts. In the USA, in addition to playing in the UMKC Community Chamber Accordion Ensemble, his accordion activities include serving on the Board of Directors for both the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) as well as being First Vice President for the world’s largest accordion museum, A World of Accordions Museum (AWAM) located in Superior, Wisconsin.

For more further information and ordering ‘Reflections’ catalog friedrich02 as well as his CD showcasing the music of New Zealand composers Gary Daverne ‘The Journey”, catalog friedrich01 please visit: http://www.musicforaccordion.com/eTracks/inform/friedrich/index.htm
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