This exceptional international duo was formed in 2011 by artists sharing the same passion and desire to promote classical accordion music. Alena Budziňáková (Slovakia) and Grzegorz Palus (Poland) are outstanding representatives of the young generation of accordionists, distinguished with awards at many international music competitions. The artists’ symbiotic understanding of the world and music which transpires in their performances is tainted with specific personality traits of each of the musicians. The duo owes its quality and recognition to the high-level international education of its members and the sum of their individual experience. The combination of two contemporarily used types of the classical accordion, i.e. the piano and button accordion, and the mastery of accordion skills achieved by the ensemble members come as yet another asset of the duo.
The accumulation of talent, unceasing development, and hard work all translated to the unique style of the duo, recognised today as one of the top accordion chamber ensembles worldwide. duoAccosphere has given over a hundred concerts in Poland and abroad (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia, Ukraine), won a number of music competitions, given performances at prestigious festivals and philharmonic halls, and concerts to orchestral accompaniment. The artists played on such stages as: the Chamber Music Hall at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Konzerthaus Detmold, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Odessa Philharmonic Theatre, Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall in Kraków, Oskar Kolberg Swietokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce, Henryk Wieniawski Philharmonic Hall in Lublin, Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, or National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.
Alena Budziňáková and Grzegorz Palus feel at ease in a highly varied, cross-cutting repertoire, never losing their virtuosity. Whether they play early music in chamber church interiors, or transcriptions of Romantic and 20th-century musical forms on stages of large concert halls, or give first performances of experimental pieces at contemporary music festivals, they always remain equally successful and enthusiastic. The specific area pursued by the two musicians are performances of double concertos to the accompaniment of such orchestras as the Orchestra of the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall in Kraków (2014), the ‘PANtonale PhilHARMONIKA’ Festival Orchestra at the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie (2018), or the Przemyśl Chamber Orchestra. The duo came as an inspiration for Anna Sowa to write e.g. the first Polish concerto for accordion duo and chamber orchestra. Other composers who have written chamber compositions for duoAccosphere include: Sven Ingo Koch, Peter Machajdík, Kira Maidenberg-Todorova, Grzegorz Majka, Volodymyr Runchak, Renāte Stivriņa, Jakub Polaczyk, Maciej Zimka, and Wojciech Ziemowit Zych. New chamber music projects which are pursued on duo’s initiative involve cooperation with musicians of other specialties, e.g. Wacław Golonka (organist), Stanisław Duda (opera singer), Airis Quartet (string quartet) and the string quintet of the Capella Cracoviensis period instruments orchestra. Moreover, the ensemble’s output includes albums realesed by Chopin University Press, Sarton Records and numerous radio recordings for e.g. German radio WDR 3, and the Polish Radio.
Alena Budziňáková comes from Slovakia. She is one of the leaders of the accordion domain in her home country. Since 2009 she has permanently lived and worked in Poland, boldly breaking the stereotypes related to the origins of the accordion music and the instrument’s performance potential. She is equally successful as a solo and chamber musician, she also performs to the orchestral accompaniment. Alena did her studies at the Conservatory of Kosice (Slovakia), Academy of Music in Kraków, Wien Privatuniversitat Conservatory (Austria), and Hochschule für Musik Detmold (Germany), from where she graduated with honours from the class of Prof. Grzegorz Stopa and was awarded the Konzertexamen diploma.
She lives an active international concert life, giving performances both in Poland and Slovakia, and in many other countries, such as Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Czech Republic, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, and Luxembourg. In her renditions she combines emotional charm and sensitivity with temperamental and vigorous energy. Owing to her broad horizons of artistic classical music performance, Alena’s repertoire is cross-cut and includes pieces ranging from the Baroque and up to contemporary times. Alena was a laureate at many international music competitions. She won e.g. the first prize in Pula (Croatia, 2012), Poprad (Slovakia, 2010) and Dunajska Streda (Slovakia, 2010).
In 2019, together with Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie and playing the solo part she gave the first performance of the concerto dedicated to her, written by Peter Machajdik, one of the most outstanding Slovakian composers. She also gave concerts with the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra, Przemyśl Chamber Orchestra, and the ‘PANtonale PhilHARMONIKA’ Festival Orchestra at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, and played at the Odessa Philharmonic Theatre, Philharmonic Hall in Kosice, Konzerthaus Detmold, Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, in Tonhalle Düsseldorf, European Parliament in Brussels, Jesus and Mary Church in Rome, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Alena is invited to perform at international accordion festivals in e.g. Kiev (Ukraine), Poprad (Slovakia), Przemyśl (Poland), Ugljevik (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and Vilnius (Lithuania), and to sit on juries at accordion competitions. Alena participates in first performances of contemporary accordion compositions written by e.g. Wojciech Ziemowit Zych, Volodymir Runchak, Anna Sowa, Grzegorz Majka, Renate Stivrina, Peter Machajdik, Kira Maidenberg-Todorova, Tyler Versluis, and David John Roche. Her output includes recordings for the Slovak Radio and Television, Polish Radio Rzeszów, Slovakian Radio Devin, and German radio WDR 3.
Grzegorz Palus is one of the most outstanding Polish accordionists of the young generation and Doctor of Musical Art. His activities focus on performing classical music of broad stylistic spectrum, and on teaching on top of it: he is also a teacher of the accordion class at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. His distinct artistic style was shaped by his international education and rich experience in performing both solo and chamber music. He is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Kraków, the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Kopenhagen (Denmark), and Hochschule für Musik Detmold (Germany), being tutored by such outstanding accordionists as Prof. Geir Draugsvoll or Prof. Grzegorz Stopa.
He regularly gives concerts in Poland and abroad (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia, Ukraine, USA). He has played on such stages as: the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall in Kraków, Philharmonic Hall in Zielona Góra, Odessa Philharmonic Theatre, Chamber Music Hall at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Konzerthaus Detmold, Wiener Konzerthaus, General Consulate of the Republic of Poland in New York, Jesuit Millennium Center in Chicago, St. Hedwig’s Cathedral in Berlin, Grand Theatre in Warsaw, Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Radio WDR3 in Köln, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Grzegorz has been awarded numerous scholarships by the Minister of Culture, and won scores of awards and distinctions at national and international musical competitions. His major achievements include the Grand Prix at the competition in Poprad (Slovakia, 2007), the 1st prize in Pula (Croatia, 2012), and the Special Prize in Arrasate (Spain, 2010). He is also a laureate of major Polish accordion competitions in professional categories (Czechowice-Dziedzice, Gorlice, Gdańsk, Mława, Przemyśl, and Szczecin).
Grzegorz has given many concerts to the accompaniment of the orchestra, playing together with such orchestral ensembles as the Orchestra of Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall in Kraków, Przemyśl Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the ‘PANtonale PhilHARMONIKA’ Festival in Berlin, he has also played as a member of the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Orchestra of the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall in Kraków, Orchestra of the Philharmonic Hall in Zabrze, Orchestra of the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, Capella Tarnoviensis Creo symphonic orchestra, Modern Symphony Orchestra, and Die Reihe Orchestra (Austria). He is invited to run master courses and workshops at e.g. the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius, and at music school and other institutions in Poland. He participates in first performances of contemporary solo and chamber compositions for the accordion, and sits on juries at national and international accordion competitions.