Joseph Petric has appeared as featured soloist at London’s Southbank, Seiji Ozawa Hall, Bunka Kaikan, and the Berlin Philharmonic. His recitals include free improvisations with Pauline Oliveros, the complete Trio Sonatas by J.S.Bach and mixed programs of Mozart and Christos Hatzis acclaimed as “...cool, liquid, flowing...” (Maribor Vecer, Slovenia) After Petric’s Wigmore Hall Winterreise with Christoph Prégardien (2019) critic Peter Reed noted Petric’s “…extraordinary grasp of the accordion’s ability to sound like “breath from another planet” (London. Classical Source).
Petric’s concerto debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra was welcomed by critic Elissa Poole as “sensational…a brilliant performance.” (Globe and Mail) and launched a concerto led career that included appearances with the Vancouver CBC Radio Orchestra, BBC Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Sweden’s Camerata Roman, Chicago Concertante, Symphony Nova Scotia, Boston Modern Orchestra, SMCQ Ensemble and Nouvel Ensemble Modern. In 2010 he performed three concertos in one night by Brian Current, Denis Gougeon and Astor Piazzolla with the Victoria Symphony.
Petric’s 59 recordings on 17 labels and media has garnered Québec’s Prix Opus, a JUNO nomination critical notice in Gramophone (UK) and Fanfare (USA). Petric’s recordings for NAXOS, CBC5000 Series, Analekta, ATMA, Centrediscs, Chandos, Redshift, Emprinte digitale labels and France’s TV Monde include numerous thematic albums of electroacoustic works, period recordings of Bernhard Molique and George MacFarren, the complete Trio Sonatas by J.S. Bach, J.P. Rameau’s Pieces de Claveçin 1706-45, Scarlatti, Soler and Haydn sonatas, and Franz Schubert’s Winterreise. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired features on Petric 1986, 1996, 2019, Société Radio Canada 2002 and 2004.
Petric’s pedagogy is informed by the work of many artists including Thomas de Quincey, Miles Davis, Hanna Arendt, Bari Weiss and Nicolaus Harnoncourt. He has lectured/juried at UBC, WLU, Dalhousie, McGill, University of Toronto, led masterclasses for the Paris Conservatoire, Strasburg, Lille, Trossingen, Copenhagen, Jyvaskylla, RAM London, and the Penderecki Academy Krakow among others. Joseph Petric is Visiting Professor and research supervisor at the Faculté de Musique, Université de Montréal.
A published historian, theorist, and composer, Petric’s The Concert Accordion (2017) offered diverse perspectives to the epic accordion narrative with his documentation of 14 patents and forgotten instruments from Catania, Milan, Bolzano, Paris, Manhattan and Chicago 1890-1930 and as well the discovery of the origins of the concert accordion. The publication was described by musicologist Jonathan Goldman as “a towering achievement…” Petric’s The Holistic Accordion, a Manifesto (2022) was noted by Linda Hutcheon as: “…brilliantly written... theoretically astute, a joy to read”; John Rea, (Dean Emeritus McGill Music): “a powerful text of sustained thinking (and) far-reaching insights…”
Joseph Petric’s contribution of 360 commissions, including 20 concertos and 31 electroacoustic works is unmatched in the history of the accordion. His integration of electroacoustic works by composers David Jaeger, Christos Hatzis (among others) with MAC software, WAV file playback systems and digital delay in general programing has been a hallmark of his programming for general audiences.
He has collaborated with John Cage, David Tudor, Witold Lutowslawski, Pauline Oliveros, Norbert Palej, Linda Catlin Smith, and Howard Skempton as well as composers from Canada, Québec, Japan, Romania, the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, the Philippines, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Wales, Argentina, Russia, Serbia, Mexico and the USA. In 2018 he gave eight world premieres in one night for le Société de Musique Contemporaîne de Québec. For his contributions to Canadian music he was awarded the Canadian Music Centre’s Friend of Canadian Music Award 2005. In 2009 the Canadian Music Centre named him Ambassador of Canadian Music.
Photo Credit: Cylla von Tiedemann