Bach, Rachmaninoff, Piazzolla & More For Accordion

by Jon Persson

Released 2004
Europa Artists
Released 2004
Europa Artists
This album contains a variety of different styles, from baroque pipe-organ music, to symphonic orchestral transcriptions, to argentine tango-nuevo, to russian virtuoso balalaika arrangements, performed on 2 kinds of classical accordions - a unique album.
There were three different accordions used for these performances: 1. An italian-made Tonaveri chromatic-freebass
converter instrument, made in 1976, and possessing a great range of dynamic subtleties, from very mellow single-reed
tones, to full, open multi-reed orchestral-types of sounds; sort of a Steinway Concert Grand of accordions. 2. A russian
3-row bayan, the russian version of the european chromatic-keyboard accordion, but with an unsually powerful and solid sound for such a modest instrument. 3. A russian 5-row Jupiter bayan, a monster of an instrument, with an extremely powerful and deep bass section, and a 60-note range in the treble keyboard (not counting the extra 2 octaves available from changing to other registers, giving a total 80-note range, nearly as much as a full piano, and going almost as deep as the bass section - the treble to a low G, the bass to a low E).

Jon Persson began playing the accordion at age 10, piano at age 16, and the Russian accordion, or bayan, at age 21.

A native of Seattle, and graduate of the University of Washington, his parents came from Sweden and Norway, where the accordion has always been a part of traditional popular culture, as it is throughout Europe.

The accordion, though often used in folkmusic, is also widely accepted in Europe as a classical instrument, particularly in Russia, Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, France, and other countries.

Although Jon Persson has specialized in playing classical music on both piano and accordion, he also performs a wide variety of styles on both instruments, including pop standards, Broadway showtunes, ragtime, and Latin tangos.

In addition to doing numerous concert tours in the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia, and Asia, he also plays regularly on cruise ships and at resort hotels. He has also frequently toured with a Russian Balalaika - gypsy music ensemble, most recently on a Japanese luxury cruise ship during its World Cruise. And since 1990, he has been spending several months each year in New Orleans, playing often at parties and restaurants, especially at the popular "Genghis Khan", accompanying opera singers.

The Piano

Jon Persson plays a wide variety of styles on the piano, ranging from classical (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Debussy, just to name a few) to pop favorites from the 20’s through the 90’s;  Broadway show tunes, French, Italian, German and Viennese songs, and Latin tangos, as well as avant-garde tangos by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla.

The Russian Bayan/БАЯН

The Russian cousin of the piano-accordion and chromatic-accordion is the bayan.  This is an amazingly complex and powerful creation, capable of producing an astonishing variety of sounds. A very versatile instrument, capable of interpreting jazz, Broadway, Russian gypsy, traditional Argentine tangos, as well as avant-garde tangos by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, Baroque and Romantic classics by the Great Masters, and much more.

Performance Highlights

  • M/S Sagafjord, Cunard Line
  • S/S Norway, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • m/s Statendam, Holland America Line
  • m/s Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Cruise Line
  • m/s Royal Princess (1 & 2), Princess Cruises
  • m/s Grand Princess, Princess Cruises
  • m/s Emerald Princess, Princess Cruises
  • m/s Sea Princess, Princess Cruises
  • m/s Dreamward, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • m/s Venus Pacific, Japan Cruise Line
  • m/s Vision of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
  • m/v Eugenio Costa, Costa Cruise Line
  • m/v Americana, Ivaran Cruise Line
  • m/v Queen of the West, American Riverboat Cruises
  • EPCOT Norway Pavilion, Walt Disney World
  • Numerous Venues in Vieux Carre (the French Quarter), New Orleans, Louisiana
  • South Florida Condo Theatres
  • Tziganka Russian Ensemble
  • Hotel NovaPark, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sun Valley Lodge, Ketchum, Idaho
  • EXPO '86, Vancouver, Canada

Musical Entertainment

  • Community Concerts
  • Cruise Ships
  • Arts Festivals
  • Wine Tastings
  • Weddings
  • Conventions
  • Classical Concerts


  • American Standards
  • Broadway Show Tunes
  • Classical
  • International Song Favorites
  • Ragtime
  • Russian & Hungarian Gypsy
  • Argentine Tango
  • Jazz