Solo Recitals

His vision of the solo accordion met with critical acclaim in debut recitals in Washington and London. Invitations to international series followed, with conversations of Mozart, “, liquid, flowing...”(Maribor Vecer, Slovenia), solo concertos “sensational...brilliant” (Toronto Globe), and John Zorn’s iconic Roadrunner a “… sensation in the hall..” (Le Soleil, Québec).  


His first concerto commission The Eyes of Bidesuk was written by Canadian Third Stream composer Norman Symonds and premiered with Montreal’s McGill Big Band. His performance of the Koprowski Accordion Concerto with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Jukka Pekka Saraste launched a concerto led career that surged to some 30 performances in Europe and North America soon after.


Joseph’s passion for new creation and ancient works was welcomed by avante-garde and legacy festivals from Huddersfield, Agora IRCAM, and Tanglewood to Tokyo Spring, the Berlin Philharmonic, and Tel Aviv Opera. His recent Wigmore Hall performance of Schubert’s Winterreise with Christoph Prégardien was noted by critic Paul Reed as “...a breath from another planet.” (SoundsClassical). 


Commissioning as process and product for Joseph is an ever-evolving conversation between the interpreter, composer and audiences. The stylistic diversity of his 360 commissions includes a unique electroacoustic canon by Jaeger, Hatzis, Plamondon, Daoust and Pritchard a.o. exploring live electroacoustic and digital platforms of CX5M computer, MAC laptop, software programs, sequencers, CD or WAV file playback systems, live digital delay and works with amplified accordion integrated with live video and sound processing. 

He has commissioned Pauline Oliveros, Norbert Palej, Norma Beecroft, Linda Catlin Smith, and an emerging cohort of young voices including Julia Mermelstein, Emilie LeBel, Symon Henry and Gabriel Le Doux. His collaborations with Christos Hatzis signaled the importance of palimpsests beyond the historic tethers of commissioning orthodoxy. He is the first instrumentalist laureate of the Canadian Music Centre’s Friend of Canadian Music Award 2005. In 2009 he was designated Ambassador of Canadian Music at the National Arts Center, Ottawa.   


Chamber music has been a lifelong passions, reflected in his numerous ensemble collaborations with bass clarinet (Biarc2) baritone saxophone (Erosonic), world music (Trio Diomira), multidisciplinary theatre (Bellows and Brass), quintets (Penderecki Quartet) and period collaborations with Hass, Walter, Streicher, Haydn period keyboards, gamba and cello da spalla. Joseph’s legacy collaborations include his improvising duo Deep Squeeze with Pauline Oliveros, Open Line with Guy Few, the Petric-Forget Duo and the internationally acclaimed Winterreise Project with Pentaèdre and Christoph Prégardien.      


Joseph’s diverse discography to date includes 42 titles recorded by producers John Rushby Smith, David Jaeger, Clive Allen and Peter Lutek. His albums that have garnered “Best Recording” from the Hunter Foundation, Québec’s Prix Opus and Canada’s JUNOs on the NAXOS, CBC5000 Series, CBCMusicaViva, Analekta, ATMA, Centrediscs, and Redshift labels. His recordings with period instruments in works by Bernhard Molique and George MacFarren were the first to explore the accordion’s complementary art of Giulio Regondi’s English concertina. 


In his approach to interpretation as narrative, Joseph’s work is informed by the writers and artists Alberto Manguel, Linda Hutcheon, Thomas de Quincey, Emily Carr, JP Riopelle, and Nicolaus Harnoncourt among others. He is sought out by an international roster of students, has led masterclasses at most major European academies and leads the Masters and Doctoral accordion performance programs at the Faculté de Musique, Université de Montréal. 


Scholarly and theoretical writings are an organic extension of Joseph’s performances and pedagogy. His book The Concert Accordion–Contemporary Perspectives (2017) is a fresh conversation about precursors ignored and forgotten and new evidence of 14 concert instrument patents (1890-1930) from Catania, Milan, Bolzano, Paris, Lucerne, Turin and Vienna in Europe, and Philadelphia, Manhattan and Chicago in the New World. The first fully contextualized accordion history since the 1950s the work was cited by Boulez scholar Jonathan Goldman as “…a towering achievement… a model of scholarship…” 

Joseph’s second book the Holistic Accordion, a Manifesto (2022) addressed the objective violence of accordion positivism while exploring the value of a transporting art. Literary luminary Linda Hutcheon OC commented “…brilliantly written! …. theoretically astute and a joy to read—and those don't always go together in my field….” His manuscript The Metropolitan Accordion and the Dignity of Difference is presently in preparation for publication.

Photo Credit: Cylla von Tiedemann

Joseph Petric portraits:  © Bo Huang.  

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