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Lively Folk and Gypsy Music from Eastern Europe will be performed by the Harmonia Band on Sunday, March 24, at 3:30 p.m. during the next Musical Arts Series concert in Port Clinton at Firelands Presbyterian Church, 2626 E. Harbor Rd.Join the audience and be transported another world, a village in rural Ukraine, a café in Croatia, or a black-tie ball in 1930’s Budapest.  The fall of the Berlin Wall produced a new wave of immigrants from Eastern Europe in the 1990’s. Accomplished traditional musicians also joined this migration, ensuring that the music and dance would continue for generations to come.  Harmonia is part of this tradition, connecting their audiences to the overlooked celebrations of European immigrant communities in the U.S.  The experience and musicianship of this group of artists are truly exceptional.  Walt Maholovic, founding member and accordionist, grew up listening to the Croatian and Hungarian music of his family.  He spent much of his youth playing with village musicians and has played extensively at traditional events of Eastern European immigrant communities, as well as many concert tours of Europe.  Besides playing at Smotra Folklora in Zagreb, he has played at Smithsonian Folkways Concert, in an off-Broadway production, in film and at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  Alexander Fidoriouk grew up in Ukraine playing the cymbalom, the largest and most unusual of the instruments, an instrument that few, if any, of the audience will have ever seen.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in music from Kiev State Conservatory.  He has performed at Carnegie Hall, appeared in Ukrainian musical movies and has received a number of awards at Ukrainian national folk music competitions.  He has performed as a soloist with symphonies around the United States and Europe. Soloist Beata Begeniova was born in Eastern Slovakia and grew up surrounded by Slovak and Rusyn folk songs sung by her family.  While still a university student, she was featured on many recordings and broadcasts of folk music and won multiple contests as she pursued her degree in music.  Violinist Steven Greenman is one of the foremost performers, teachers and composers of klezmer music in the world today. Steven is known for his passionate performances of East European Romani (Gypsy) music and is an accomplished performer of East European violin styles. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, he plays with chamber groups, has appeared with many orchestras around the country and is the lead performer, producer and composer of many albums,including as lead performer on the Smithsonian Folkways’ first recording of klezmer music. Violinist Jozef Janis learned to play traditional music in his native Slovakia.  He is at home in a wide variety of traditional styles including Slovak, Hungarian Gypsy, Polish and Transylvanian.  While in Slovakia he lef his own Slovak folk band and also spent six years playing with a traditional Hungarian Gypsy band.  Jozef toured throughout Europe with the Slovak Army Ensemble, Janošik, and came to the U.S. in 2002 as a member of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans.  Andre Pidkivka plays the Panflute and Sopilka (folk flute), is a native of Ukraine, and graduated from Lviv University with a degree in both classical  and folk music.  In 1992 he was featured as a soloist on ethnic flutes with Ukrainian National Military Orchestra at the Second International Music Festival of Military Bands in Krakow.  He makes ethnic flutes, plays extensively in concerts and at festivals, and has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Folk Alliance Conference.  Branislav “Brano” Brinarsky, who sings and plays bass, fujara, and gajdice began his musical studies at age six in Eastern Slovakia.  While at university, he toured with a Slovakian folk group throughout Slovakia, Europe and Asia.  After receiving his degree, he moved to the United States where he formed his own Slovak band, which tours the east coast for numerous Slovak cultural events. Bassist Ken Javor is a Clevelander of Slovak and Hungarian descent who is a mainstay of Slovak folk with a wide repertoire reflecting his over forty years of experience performing across Europe and the United States.

Following the concert, the audience will be invited to a reception to meet the musicians.  Admission is $15 at the door; students are admitted free.  This concert is sponsored by the Frederick Agency, Inc. and Neidecker, LeVeck and Crosser.

Information on the Musical Arts Series is available at or on Facebook.

The Musical Arts Series in Port Clinton  opened its 2018 to 2019 season with the annual Cleveland Institute of Music performance, which  featured talented students and professionals from the institute.  This performance, featured Jimmy Thompson on violin and Jonathan Mak on piano.

James Thompson returned to the Musical Arts Series as a solo violinist, having been a member of an immensely popular chamber group that performed at an earlier Musical Arts Series.  He is enrolled in the Masters program at Cleveland Institute of Music where in 2014 he was selected to solo with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall as part of the orchestra’s education series.  He has also performed solo with many orchestras including the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, and the Cleveland Philharmonic.

Sandusky Register

Intimate music series continues in Port Clinton

Special to the Register

There’s no shortage of world-class musical talent in Northern Ohio. However, most performances are taking place in Toledo and Cleveland.

That is unless it’s a Firelands Musical Arts Series concert, which six to eight times a year features topnotch artists showing off their talents at the intimate Firelands Presbyterian Church.  Previous performances showcased the 16-piece Greater Cleveland Flute Choir, as well as…

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