Accordion Musicians: 10 Accordion Players You Need To Know

From the earliest accordion artists to the ones we have the opportunity to watch live today, accordion players have used their talents, ability, and personality to communicate the beauty of this instrument. Every one of the musical instruments we’ve created stands apart in some manner, and each one offers something new to the table.

Accordions are no exception, as many skilled accordion players have demonstrated since the first accordion model was constructed since they generate pleasant and delightfully unique sounds.

The accordion has had its ups and downs, and even though there have been decades when other instruments have taken center stage, the accordion appears to be regaining popularity since it is a flexible instrument that can be heard in a variety of music genres, from jazz to classical.

In recent years, there have also been events dedicated just to accordions. Here is a list of the most prominent accordion musicians of all time to express our appreciation for how they influenced the world of music:

accordion players

1. Lawrence Welk

He played in numerous other bands and even had his orchestra, so his professional activity was not confined to one concert. He has a long list of singles under his belt, including Cleanin’ My Rifle (And Dreamin’ Of You),’ ‘Calcutta,’ and ‘Cinco Robles,’ to mention a few. Because of the way he approached music and this lovely instrument, he was dubbed the “Creator of Champagne Music.” which Welk defined as “light and rhythmic.”

For anybody who grew up in the 1930s and 1940s, Lawrence Welk was a hero. From 1955 through 1982, his legendary show, the Lawrence Welk Show, was a regular presence on television, airing every Saturday night. Lawrence Welk, widely regarded as one of the most deserving candidates for the title of the finest accordion player, had a long and illustrious career, particularly from the 1950s through the early 1980s.

For three decades, The Lawrence Welk Show broadcast every Saturday, allowing his admirers to see him and his band play numerous times.


2. Pietro Frosini

He began learning and playing this instrument at the age of six, and by the age of twenty, he had honed his skills to the point that he was a member of the Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit.

Frosini used a unique approach to the accordion, and his concerts blended popular music with classical elements. Today, Pietro Deiro is regarded as one of the most important accordionists of all time. He had a brother Guido Deiro, who was a fantastic accordionist in his own right.

Throughout his life, Pietro was completely dedicated to the expansion of the accordion repertoire through his publishing firm. Pietro Deiro Publications, which boasted a huge library of over 10.000 pieces. Every accordionist tackles the instrument in their unique manner, but some of them do it in such a way that their performances become legendary, and Pietro Frosini was one of these accordionists.


3. Deiro, Guido

Guido Deiro was a professional accordionist, composer, and instructor who made a substantial impact on how this instrument was handled and performed. From the 1880s until the 1930s, vaudeville performances were the most popular form of American entertainment, and Deiro was the first accordionist to appear on one.

Guido Deiro and his younger brother Pietro were among the first proponents of the piano-accordion, and they worked hard to popularize it in a variety of venues, including television, radio, recordings, and vaudeville, long before music schools existed.

Before arriving in the United States in 1909, he played in Germany and France. He was a huge hit on the vaudeville circuit in both the United States and Canada. He composed his works in addition to his work in the classical and operatic worlds. He dabbled in business in the 1930s, founding multiple accordion studios as well as teaching and selling accordions.

Deiro, who was born on September 1, 1886, became well-known for his many musical activities as well as his appearances in vaudeville acts. His on-screen and radio appearances, as well as numerous concerts, have contributed considerably to the accordion’s appeal.

Over 110 songs, many concerts, and a successful career as a teacher are among his accomplishments. Deiro performed the chromatic accordion in Vaudeville shows around the country, introducing the instrument to a wider audience and helping him become even more renowned.


4. Ariondo, Nick

Without Nick Ariondo’s contribution, the world of accordions would be a different one. His accordion playing style, as well as his many collaborations and compositions, have elevated him to a new level of expertise for which he has earned several accolades.

Nick Ariondo, an accordionist, pianist, and composer from the United States, has had a successful career as an accordionist. He earned two Grammy Awards as a member of the Los Angeles Opera. He collaborated with Paul McCartney as well. He’s a multi-award-winning accordionist and composer. He is a jazz, classical, and world music performer.

His discography is enormous, spanning more than two decades. While collaborating with the Los Angeles Orchestra, he earned two Grammy Honors, but he also has over twenty awards from the American Society of Composers. Authors, and Publishers.

He has also collaborated with several well-known musicians, including Placido Domingo, and his works, such as Stella Notte.’ have left an indelible impression.


5. Floren, Myron

Myron Floren, an American musician, known for his appearances as a major accordion player on Lawrence Welk’s program and his diverse playing style, should be included on any list of outstanding accordion players. His audiences could hear him play a variety of styles, and he did it expertly.

Myron Floren is often mentioned when outstanding accordionists of the twentieth century are mentioned. Because of his status as a main accordion musician on the Lawrence Welk Show, Myron was single-handedly responsible for making the accordion cool. Floren was a great musician, capable of performing a wide range of styles, from polka to Bach cantata, with unrivaled flair and skill.

Myron Floren, the famous American accordionist, had a career that spanned more than five decades. He was the main accordionist on the Lawrence Welk Show, which helped him become well-known.

He created his orchestra, which performed frequently on the Lawrence Welk Show and continued to do so long after the show went off the air. He was a skilled accordionist who could play a Bach cantata and polka, among other styles. When he was six years old, he found the accordion and began studying it.

He would devote several hours each day to learning and perfecting this instrument. His dedication, effort, and talent ultimately paid off, as his performances drew a lot of attention and applause.


6. Magnante, Charles

Charles Magnante made a significant contribution to the development and popularity of this instrument in a variety of ways. Among these are his numerous NBC radio appearances and publications on accordion playing techniques.

One of the most well-known accordionists in music history was Charles Magnante. He founded the Magnante Quartet, which was the first professional accordion chamber quartet in the world. The foursome was a huge success, but Charles will be known for being the first accordion musician to perform in Carnegie Hall. Magnante also demonstrated the instrument’s flexibility by performing more mainstream music genres such as jazz and boogie-woogie.

Charles Magnante, an American pianist and composer, has had a musical career spanning six decades. He elevated the accordion’s profile to the point that it could be employed in mainstream music genres. Magnante also wrote several accordion technique books and several arrangements of popular current tunes.

His debut performance at Carnegie Hall and the founding of the Magnante Quartet, the first professional accordion chamber quartet, are only two of his numerous accomplishments. Magnante is considered one of the most recognizable accordion musicians, with a career spanning over sixty years and an astonishing amount of albums.


7. Contino, Dick

Many well-known accordion songs demonstrate the instrument’s vivacious personality, but Dick Contino succeeded in taking it a step further. At the age of six, Contino was already an accordion virtuoso, and his passionate playing style earned him recognition and admiration.

Dick Contino had a total of 38 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, which is a significant record for an accordionist. Dick’s aggressive playing style made him famous in the 1940s, and his performances made him wealthy for a time, earning him up to $4000 for a week of nightly concerts. Because of his talent and popularity, he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show more than thirty times as an accordionist.

Contino was a brilliant and skilled accordionist as well as a clarinet saxophone and piano musician, demonstrating his versatility as an artist.


8. Ellgaard, Mogens

Mogens Ellgaard is widely referred to as the “Father of the Classical Accordion” with good cause, with an astounding list of accomplishments and a significant effect on how the accordion evolved. Ellgaard began learning the accordion when he was eight years old and has spent his whole life exploring the instrument’s musical possibilities.

Mogens Ellegaard has left an indelible impact on the world of accordion playing. He is regarded as one of the first accordionists to realize the need of developing a unique accordion repertoire. Ellegaard had a considerable influence on the instrument’s development, notably in the second half of the twentieth century.

He commissioned and debuted a large number of pieces, as well as performing as a soloist with orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He also became a lecturer in 1977, allowing students to leam about and master this wonderful instrument.


9. Schimmel, William

William Schimmel, an accordion musician whose accomplishments can only leave us speechless, has resurrected the accordion’s appeal owing to his skill. Schimmel is a multifaceted musician who has ventured far beyond the accordion in his musical endeavors.

Despite having worked in the music industry for many years, William Schimmel continues to perform before sold-out crowds. Schimmel is an accordionist composer and philosopher with a virtuosic command of the instrument. He is mostly in charge of bringing the tango and accordion back to life.

National Public Radio, or NPR, awarded him the distinction of World’s Greatest Accordionist. He has performed with nearly every major symphony orchestra, including the Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan, and City Operas. He’s also played in almost every chamber music ensemble with a New York basis.

He’s also a composer with an impressive resume that includes many degrees in composition, honors, nominations, and over 4.000 works. He was named the World’s Greatest Accordionist by National Public Radio, and his abilities and aptitude led to partnerships with renowned orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.


10. Doktorski, Henry III

When it comes to classical accordion music and artists, this list would be incomplete without Henry Doktorski Ill. He began learning the instrument when he was 12 years old, and it wasn’t long before he had mastered it, earning him a reputation as one of the finest concert accordionists in the world. His musical interests range from Henry Mancini to Bach.

He is well-known in the field of classical accordion, and his sophisticated and urbane musical interpretations have wowed large audiences across the world.

From Bach to Piazzolla to Cole Porter and Henry Mancini. he has a diverse repertoire. Doktorski was a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1995 until 2005, performing not just as an accordionist but also as a pianist, organist, celesta, and harpsichordist.

The artist expanded his musical interests beyond concerts, serving as an accordion instructor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and on the faculty of Duquesne University’s City Music Center.


Who is the best accordion player?

The accordion isn’t the most well-known instrument, but there are some musicians who have made a successful career playing it. The best accordion player is Lawrence Welk.

International Scout with Lawrence Welk and friends
International Scout with Lawrence Welk and friends. (Image credit: Alden Jewell on Flickr CC BY 2.0)

Lawrence Welk got his start as an accordion player in a traveling show. He then started his well-known musical variety show called The Lawrence Welk Show on KTLA in Los Angeles, where Lawrence Welk introduced his polka accordion music as “Champagne Music”.

The Lawrence Welk Show entertained the audience with dance numbers, soloists, skits, and Lawrence Welk’s band and his accordion. The show started in 1955 and ran until 1982. The show was the longest-running show in television history.

He was portraited as a loved accordion player, bandleader, show host, TV personality, and an entertaining trademark accent. He used a bubble machine during each show as a background amusement. Lawrence Welk is considered to be the best accordion player to date.

FAMOUS PERSON THAT PLAYS ACCORDION

The accordion is a musical instrument. It contains keys the same as a piano but is small enough for a person to hold. An accordion makes sounds using air pushed and pulled through reeds using a bellows. Though, what famous person plays the accordion?

One of the famous people that plays the accordion is Lawrence Welk (1903-1992). He left school during his fourth-grade year, then decided he wanted a music career. Another one is Myron Floren (1919-2013), who became intrigued by the accordion at the age of six. Loreena McKennitt (1957-Present) is also a famous person who plays the accordion. Aside from being an accomplished accordion player, she is also a singer and songwriter in Canada.

Bruce Hornsby at Out of Space, Evanston, IL

A lot more famous musicians play the accordion, like Bruce Hornsby (1954-Present), Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016), Daniel Handler (1970-Present), Clifton Chenier (1925-1987), Dick Contino (1930-2017), David Hidalgo (1954-Present), Luiz Gonzaga (1912-1989), Boozoo Chavis (1930-2001), and Ksenija Sidorova (1988-Present).

For generations, the accordion has been a cornerstone of folk music. Despite its ubiquity, the strange instrument is frequently overlooked or dismissed due to its adaptability and unique tone.

Conclusion

Many accordionists are deserving of the title of finest accordion player in the world since each of the world’s most famous accordionists has contributed something new to our understanding and appreciation of this instrument and its capabilities.

About Maggie Holding

Hello! My name is Maggie and I am a proud Editor/Author for PlayTheTunes. Coming From South Carolina, USA, my whole life I've sang and played the guitar and flute! I love music with a passion, and am ecstatic to help others in their own music journey!