Peter Soave Music Academy
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Peter Soave Music Academy:

My journey to Sauris

In the summer of 1982, I attended one of Fernand Lacroix's annual accordion seminars in Châtel (Switzerland), where leading masters of our instrument gathered to share their wisdom with aspiring artists and enthusiasts. Mr. Lacroix (Swiss accordionist, educator, entrepreneur) was the first organizer from the west to invite the finest Soviet artists to perform in Europe. He organized competitions (Grand Prix International) throughout Europe and seminars in Châtel. That year featured Ural Bayan Trio, Vladimir Dolgopolov, and Friedrich Lips. In those days, American and Soviet artists had few opportunities to spend time together, given the fragile relations of East / West politics. I seized upon the opportunity to have a private lesson with Friedrich Lips, who was at the forefront of a new generation of classical accordion arts. The experience was an eye opener and inspiration for my further progress. Although that was the only year I could attend, it made a lasting impression on me.

Eventually the Châtel seminars came to an end, but the memories and stories of the many personalities who met there are now legendary. Artists such as Art Van Damme, Viacheslav Semionov, Mogens Ellegaard, Joseph Macerollo etc..."hanging out" in Châtel...making music together in a beautiful and relaxed environment...all playing and mingling together...

Moving forward 17 years to the summer of 1999: I organized my first seminar in Grimentz, Switzerland, with the help of an old friend, JL Noton who was familiar with the Valais region. My hope was to ultimately "rekindle the flames" lit in Châtel...My dream was: "Wouldn't it be awesome if the greatest players/educators can join me here...some day?!?"

The annual seminars in Grimentz grew in attendance and popularity, which obliged us to search for a larger venue.

My dear friend, Dennis Tini, introduced me to Les Avants-Montreux (Switzerland), where we successfully continued to present seminars until 2006.

In 2006 I met Denis Biasin (Italian accordionist, educator, promoter), who impelled me to visit Sauris. I was intrigued with Biasin's enthusiasm and suggested a rendezvous in Sauris with local accordionists. Madeleine and I arrived in August 2006 and immediately fell in love with everything about this alpine jewel: the Place, the People, the Air. Very special and most rare! We were deeply moved to discover a music loving community which welcomed us whole heartedly. The two churches, the quaint Kursaal concert hall, and the Morgenleit Hotel were ideal venues for artists and concerts. Thanks to these powerful ingredients Sauris has become a second home to many PSMA participants.

Every year the goals remain intact and my original dream still flourishes. PSMA in Sauris has become our musical haven. Artists and friends stop by and visit as well. The Rucner String Quartet (Croatia), Eugenia Cherkazova (Ukraine), Alexander Selivanov (Russia), Frank Marocco (USA), Aldo Pagani (Italy), Nando DeLuca (Italy), April Arabian-Tini (USA), Ramona Wess (Switzerland), Kresimir Herceg (Croatia), Michele Ramo (USA), Duilio Dobrin (USA), Massimo Pigini (Italy), Adriano Clementi (Italy), Scott Hamilton (USA), Alexander Skliarov (Russia) have all graced us with their presence.

The Peter Soave Music Academy is an opportunity for us all to meet and share the beautiful gift of music in a life enriching experience.

Peter Soave