September 19-29, 2005: Henry Doktorski performed Astor Piazzolla's Adios Nonino in two concerts with the New Philharmonic Orchestra at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and one concert with the Northwest Indiana Symphony as a featured guest soloist, under the baton of maestro Kirk Muspratt.
New Philharmonic, Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Photographs by Rich Malec.
To listen to excerpts from this concert, go to Sound Files.
He also performed solo recitals for the Chicago Accordion Club, the Alliance of Polish-American Clubs (Chicago), and the Chateau de Ville in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, Doktorski presented lecture/recitals for music appreciation classes at the College of DuPage, the Merrillville Indiana Rotary Club, and one special program for students at the Solon Robinson Elementary School in Crown Point, Indiana.
Michelle L. Quinn, a correspondent for the Hobart/Merrillville Indiana Post-Tribune newspaper, wrote an article about Doktorski's appearance at the Solon Robinson Elementary School in the September 28 issue, in which she compared him to Bruce Springsteen.
Northwest Indiana Symphony Guest StarCrown Point -- Seeing the two boys hugging each other with excitement and hearing the audience squealing and stomping, one could have thought Bruce Springsteen had made a surprise appearance at Solon Robinson elementary school on Tuesday.
Bridging a Musical Gap
Accordion virtuoso shows instrument can still wow a crowd.
Though it wasn't the E-street rocker, it was someone just as fascinating by symphony standards, Henry Doktorski of Pittsburgh, who'll join the Northwest Indiana Symphony on Thursday night with his accordion to play all manner of classical music.
Doktorski stopped by the school to visit with first-, second- and third-graders and teach them about the legendary squeezebox as well as play a little bit for them. "When we have special musicians, we like to bring them around," said Cheryl Ferguson, the symphony's education director. "Sometimes, the children may not know what [a particular instrument] is or have never seen one."
Many of the children were familiar with the accordion, though none of them knew the instrument is a wind instrument in that it needs air to make sound. None of the youngsters plays a real accordion either, and that doesn't surprise Doktorski, who said the instrument dropped in popularity shortly before he started playing in 1963 at age 7.
"Rock 'n roll created this stigma around the accordion and made it something that your parents or grandparents listened to." Doktorski said. "Not many people play it anymore, and those that do tend to play polkas, not classical music."
The students didn't care what Doktorski played as long as he kept playing it. From Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5 to Edelweiss from The Sound of Music and even a polka, they listened intently.
They also got to perform along with the musician, as he invited them to sing Old MacDonald with four students acting out the parts of a chicken, duck, cow and pig. Corey Brown, 8, got to act out the pig part. "I thought it was pretty cool," Corey said.
Photographs by Kim Radu Ellman and John J. Watkins.
For more photographs from Solon Robinson Elementary Click Here.