Panitsky Ivan (1906 - 1990)

Ivan Panitsky was born in Balakovo in the province Saratov to a very poor family of hirds and shephards. Some sources say he was born blind, others say that he became blind due to improper care at the hospital when he was only two weeks old.
Being a very young child, he appeard to be musically gifted: he listened to the horn of the shephards, to the whisteling of the trains, he crooned Russian folksongs and he started to play on a mouth harmonica. At the age of four he understood and played harmonical chords and his instrument no longer complied. As he got a new instrument, with four halve notes more, he could learn more complex works, such as "Autumn dream", "On the hills of Manchuria", ...
His father got interested in the musical talents of his son and bought him a chromatic harmonica. Panitsky played on it the pieces he heard from local musicians, such as "Mazurka" from Wieniowski and "Polonaise" from Oginski. In 1911, only five years old, he played his first concert in a school in his birthplace Balakovo.

As his concerts were very successfull and his family was poor, for ten to twelve houres a day and together with his brother, Panitsky had to play in restaurants and taverns in order to earn some money. Very often they also played their music from late in the evening till early in the morning. In this way there was no opportunity to study music in a serious way.
In 1916, as Panitsky heard the pianist A. Bobyleva playing, he was very impressed and decided he also wanted to study the piano, with A. Bobyleva as teacher. Within two years Panitsky was a good pianist.

In 1921 the family moved to Saratov, in search for work. At that time the Special Commission of Artists organised an audition, which was attended by a professor from the conservatory of Saratov and other professional musicians. The entire comission was impressed by the performance of the young soloist and Panitsky was admitted at the conservatory, being the best in his performing cathegory.
In this years, the instrumental trio of violin, cello and piano was making its appearance. Panitsky was lured by the intimate melodious sound of the violin and started to study this instrument. At first he worked on his own, thereafter he worked under the guidance of professor Bohatyryova of the conservatory of Saratov. 

In 1925 Panitsky graduated at the conservatory of Saratov.
In 1926 a contest of harmonica was held in Saratov and lots of talented accordeonists and bayanists from all regions were visiting it. At this contest Panitsky played on his mouth harmonica "The Lark" from Glinka, "Csardas" from Monti, "Mazurka" from Wieniawski and he won it at ease. He got a golden medal and a certificat of winner of the first degree. During this contest Panitsky met a lot of accordeonists and he decided to learn to play on this instrument too, which he did in no time.
From 1932 till 1944, in addition to performing work at the theater, the radio commitee and performing on concerts, Panitsky was a teacher at the music school. From this period he began his most brilliant music activities. He created the original polyphonical treatments for various accordeon music.
Among the most successful treatments we know "The Lark" from Glinka, "Joy of love" from Kreisler and "Polonaise" from Oginski. He arranged several pieces of folkmusic, works of Russian and western classics and Sowjet-composers.
During 35 years he gave more than 3000 concerts all over the Sovjest-Union and he got several diplomas of winner of the first degree. Panitsky played the accordeon in such a way, that its sound was almost supernatural. He played the finest pianissimo an the nobel sound he created, was the mixture of the sound of an accordeon and a violin. 
On the 20th of January 1952, in the music hall of Saratov, Panitsky played a concert in three parts for bayan and symphonical orchestra, written by N. Chaikin. To the public he revealed the accordeon with extraordinary virtuosity as an instrument with technical and artistic possibilities. He created sounds, unexpected in glory and depth, powerful and tender, with a wealth of colour: bayan in perfect harmony with a symphonical orchestra. In the following years Pantisky played this concert several times over.

The life of Panitsky was an example of firmness and tenacity.

                                                       works (among others)

Variations on Russian folksongs
     Oy, da ty, Kalinushka
     Vot Mehitsya Troika Pochtovaya
     Kak Podyablonkoy
     Sredi Doliny Rovnye
     Svetit Mesyatz
     Nochenka/ Vo sadez I, v Ogorode

     The Lark, on a Glinka theme
     Lesu Privnotovom
               (Near the frontline forrest) on a theme of A. Blanter

Back to previous page