Learn more about musician, concert accordionist Iosif Purits, including his successful career
Born into a family of acclaimed Russian classical accordionists, Iosif Purits is renowned for his effortless mastery of the instrument and profound musical sensitivity. He is a prizewinner of thirty international competitions, and boasts a truly international career with appearances at concert venues including Carnegie Hall (USA), Wigmore Hall (UK), Vienna Konzerthaus (Austria), George Western Recital Hall (Canada), and The Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory (Russia).
Iosif will commence this season with a 22-date tour across Russia and Siberia in trio with cello and guitar, culminating in a recital at the Vienna Konzerthaus for Jeunesse. In Autumn 2018 Iosif’s solo programme features his own groundbreaking arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which will be showcased in recitals across France, Israel, Slovakia, and the UK. Iosif’s innovative klezmer ensemble Puritz Band will perform recitals across Russia, including the 30th Moscow International Accordion Festival. In duo with cellist Cecilia Bignal, he will premiere new works by Freya Willey-Cohen, William Marsey, and Liz Morrison, for ListenPony in London and Cardiff.
Iosif came to prominence as recipient of the coveted Royal Academy of Music Patrons Award offering a Wigmore Hall debut to the most outstanding student across all instrumental departments, and prize-winner of the Arts Club Karl Jenkins Classical Music Award. He was the BBC’s first ever Introducing Classical Artist which led to showcase performances on BBC Radio 3, the Cheltenham Music Festival, Latitude Festival, and Southbank Centre.
Iosif’s extensive repertoire ranges from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier to Messiaen’s Dieu Parmi nous and Lindberg’s Metal Work. Distinguished not only as a solo performer but also as an enthusiastic chamber music collaborator, he has established duo partnerships with cellist Cecilia Bignall, guitarist Andrey Lebedev, and clarinetist Mikhail Mering.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Purits seeks to bring together the head and the heart as a arranger. He believes that every arrangement should retain the core of the composer’s idea but offer a distinct perspective on the music. In this capacity, his arrangements, including Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata, Bach’s Goldberg Variations for guitar and accordion and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite for clarinet and accordion have been showcased to critical acclaim at the Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, the Two Moors Festival, and Moscow Philharmonic Hall.
Iosif was the first ever Russian child to win the under-12 category at one of the most prestigious accordion competitions in the world in Klingenthal (Germany) where 13 years later his repeat success in becoming the winner of the main category at the 50th anniversary competition was described as “ensuring his place in history”. At the age of 8 Iosif entered the International competition «Classica Nova» in Germany where he became a prize-winner. Since then his numerous awards have included seventeen 1st prizes at international contests such as Competition of Accordionists in Сastelfidardo (Italy), Arrasate Hiria (Spain) and Trophee Mondial (USA).
Iosif was awarded a full scholarship for postgraduate studies at Royal Academy of Music where he studied under Owen Murray and graduated with Regency Award in 2017. He was a student of Friedrich Lips at the Gnesins Academy of Music and Andrey Ledenev at the Moscow Schnittke College of Music. He is grateful for the support he has received from the ABRSM, Hattori Foundation, Drake Calleja Trust, Spivakov Charity Foundation, New Names Charity Foundation, the Future of Russia Foundation.