Learn more about musician, concert accordionist Iosif Purits, including his successful career
“The Classical accordion is a young and wonderful instrument with a wide range of possibilities, many of which are still waiting to be developed or discovered,” says the first ever BBC Introducing Classical artist, accordionist Iosif Purits. Despite his youth he has become one of the best known accordionists of his generation, travelling widely and performing at the world’s most prestigious concert venues. His extensive repertoire ranges from Russian to Japanese works and from classical to contemporary music. “Transcription of the great music of classical composers alongside original repertoire written by the most exciting contemporary composers offers a unique mixture,” he says. “When you plunge into that combination with the accordion you open up the great world of musical culture through the lens of the 21st century.” As well as solo performance he is an enthusiastic collaborator with various multi-instrumental ensembles, chamber groups and symphony orchestras.
Iosif Purits was born into a family of well-known accordionists in Moscow. At the age of 8 he entered the International competition «Classica Nova» in Germany where he became a prize-winner. This experience started him on an intensive musical life with annual successes at international competitions, concerts and festivals. Iosif was the first Russian child to win the under 12 category at the Klingenthal International Competition in Germany. He has appeared at Cheltenham Music Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, American Fine Arts Festival, Copenhagen Summer Festival, Festival Mitte Europa, Latitude Festival, Spitalfields Music Festival, Erevan National Museum Festival, Beijing International Accordion Festival, International Bayan Festival in Moscow.
Iosif is a prize-winner of more than 30 International competitions, including the Competition of Accordionists in Сastelfidardo (Italy 2009, 1st prize), Arrasate Hiria (Spain 2011, 1st prize), Trophee Mondial (USA 2012, 1st prize), Accoholiday (Kiev 2012, Gran-Prix), Competition of Accordionists in Klingenthal (Germany, 2013, 1st prize). He has also been awarded a prestigious ABRSM International Postgraduate Award for his masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music. He won the Hattori Foundation Senior Award and the Royal Academy of Muisc Patrons' Award. Duo Bayanello, formed with the cellist Cecilia Bignall has been selected for the Park Lane Group Young Artists Concert Series which resulted in performances at St. John Smith Square and St. James Piccadilly. Iosif is generously supported by the Future of Russia Foundation and he is the lead scholar 2016-2017 of the Drake Calleja Trust.
Iosif has performed at Carnegie Hall (New-York), Wigmore Hall (London), Cadogan Hall (London), The Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Moscow), George Weston Recital Hall (Toronto), Nybrokajen Concert Hall (Stockholm), National House of Vinohrady (Prague), Concert Hall of Central Conservatory of Music (Beijng), Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Copenhagen) and UNESCO (Paris) among others.
After four years studying with professor Andrey Ledenev at the Schnittke College of Music, Iosif became a student of professor Friedrich Lips at the Russian Gnesins Academy of Music where he graduated with distinction in 2013. In 2014 he transferred to London to study under professor Owen Murray at the Royal Academy of Music. “The huge contribution to the development of the accordion repertoire and performing arts made by our teachers gives us a new step in the development of the accordion as well as a large responsibility for the future of our instrument,” says Iosif. “I firmly believe that the golden era of accordion is still to come.”