(29 August 1931 - 14 May 2017)

The name of Professor Vladimir Besfamilnov is synonymous with originality in the history of accordion performance. His many years on concert tour earned him wide critical acclaim, and sincere praise from prominent artists.

The young performer's first musical steps were with his father. Later he studied with Tkachyov at the Saratov music school and with Zhuromsky at the Kiev school of music. His education includes completing graduate and post-graduate studies at the Kiev Conservatorium of Music "Tchaikovsky" under the guidance of the esteemed professor Nikolay Rizol.

Besfamilnov's first musical success was winning an inter-school competition in 1940 in the Saratov region, thereafter followed by successes at national and international competitions from 1956 to 1959 in Moscow, Brussels and Vienna. Besfamilnoff won 3rd Prize at the Coupe Mondiale, held in Brussels in 1958 as he (with Viacheslav Galkin) were first ever USSR competitors to represent their country at the Coupe Mondiale.

In Brussels, after his performance of the test piece written by the Belgum composer Jul Katy, Besfamilnoff received a score from the composer with the following inscription
"to the great and sensitive performer of my music, Vladimir Besfamilnoff, with deepest admiration of your talent, in memory of this significant day. With friendly greetings, Jul Katy".
Soon the name of the very talented Besfamilnov became famous across the USSR and abroad. Besfamilnov began an active career as a soloist touring the world, television broadcasts, archive recordings for Ukrainian radio, recordings with recording company "Melodiya", participation in juries of international competitions and seminars, etc.

In time, his own students have received more than 40 prizes at prestigous competitions. The Kampuchean Academy of Arts honoured him with a gold medal and the title
"Esteemed Cavalier". The Russian Gnessin Academy awarded him a silver disk for "Contribution to the Art of Accordion". In 2002 the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) presented him in Moscow the prestigious CIA Merit Award.

In the Ukraine, Vladimir Besfamilnov was the first international prizewinner on the accordion, the first accordionist to tour nationally and internationally as a soloist, the first to perform concertos with symphony orchestras, chamber wind and entertainment orchestras.

As an accordion solosist he was first to be awarded the titles
"Honoured Artist of Ukraine" and "Peoples Artist of Ukraine" by the State.

Video 1:
Vladimir Besfamilnov life video

Video 2:
Vladimir Besfamilnov performs Rondo-Capriccioso by Mendelsson

Video 3:
Vladimir Besfamilnov performs Italian Polka by Rachmaninoff, arranged by Yashkevich.

For thirty years Besfamilnov has taught at the National Academy of Music in Kiev, Ukraine. Many of his students have been top place getters in international competions and become well known performers.

They have travelled to the Ukraine for tuition from various countries, or are now tutorsand peformers in other countries. These include such famous names as: Vladimir Zubitsky (Ukraine/Italy). Tatjana Lukic-Marx (Serbia/Australia), Frederic Guerouet and M. Bruno (France), S. Markovich ( Austria), D. Modrushan ( Croatia), D. Dunne ( Ireland), S. Neshich (Germany), J. Djordjevich, G. Tirnanich, S. Perich, N. Yankov (Yugoslavia), D. Kljajic (Bosnia), J. Dimitrijevich (Greece), A. Mamalyga (USA), S. Ivanovich and S. Milosevich (Switzerland), Y. Froloff (Russia), L. Trofimenko, N. Shumskiy, A Besfamilnov, V.Khavrun, L. Padi, S.Chumak, N. Kistenyoff (Ukraine) and many others.
A collection of twelve new CD's has just been released and may be ordered from Besfamilnov. These recordings have been sourced from Ukrainian Radio archives recorded between 1953 and 1989. Of particular interest on the CD's are the commentaries made by I. Shamo and K. Myaskov about their concertos, the sinfonietta-concerto of I. Shamo where the organ part is played on accordion at the composer's request, the children's album by M. Chemberzhy "Lets listen and Draw" in which each movement is accompanied by the poetry of T. Kolomietz and read by T. Malishevsky and P. Gromovenko.

In the CD's, numbered 9 to 12, the fans of Besfamilnov's talent have a real possibility to hear the unique recordings which are in musicians home archives, in particular the concert which was broadcast live from the the Organ and Chamber Hall in duet with organist V. Koshuba: the first edition of the concert by N. Rizol together with the pianist B. Shupak; "The Devotion to the Astor Piazolla " by Vladimir Zubitsky, monorecords of 50s and 70s, also Mozart-Grieg, Shamo, Silvansky, Miaskov, Tchaikin sompositions, recorded in various versions.

The performances of Vladimir Besfamilnov demonstrates the highest level of musicianship, artistic knowledge,
brilliant virtuosity in transcriptions, mastery in miniatures and the ability to make the instrument sing, all of which are testament to the rare quality of this musican. The individual style of Besfamilnov is a personal expression of his humanity in sound, which embraces a vast and varied repertoire of works.  
Yuri Yastrebov - the author of the book titled "Vladimir Besfamilnov", Tania Lukic-Marx and Vladimir Besfamilnov at the official release ceremony for the book during the 1st Ukrainian International Accordion Festival and Competition "AccoHoliday", Kiev, April 2006.

At the end of April 2006, Vladimir Besfamilnov was honored with the "Gold Medal Award" by the Academy of Art, Ukraine for his enormous contribution to the development of the accordion over many years.

Besfamilnov was also presented with another Honor titled "Living Legend Medal" by Jan Tabachnik, the organizer of the 1st Ukrainian International Accordion Festival and Competition "AccoHoliday". Besfamilnov is wearing this medal in the photograph above.

The CD pictured above is No. 2 in the series of 12 CD's recorded over many years courtesy of the Kiev Radio Archives.

Celebrations on December 6th, 2001, included a concert at the "Lisenko" Ukrainian National Philharmonic Hall dedicated to the Jubilee of this famous Ukrainian accordion concert artist. This site is sponsored by Tania Lukic-Marx and Accordions Worldwide to co-incide with those 70th birthday celebrations (and celebration of 65 years of performing) and to publicly thank Prof. Besfamilnov for the huge contribution that he has made to the development of the accordion over many years.
Site constructed and hosted by: Accordions Worldwide at www.accordions.com