When we heard there was a hot Polish accordionist living in South Philadelphia, we immediately went to check out her show, expecting to hear a little “Roll Out the Barrel.” The only thing you can play on an accordion is polka, right?
With her $25,000 Zero Sette accordion, her Ph.D. in accordion performance (yes, there is such a thing) and a repertoire devoid of anything that goes oom-pah-pah, 28-year-old Lidia Kaminska has proved this stereotype decidedly wrong. In performance, she transforms the accordion into a massive force — more pipe organ than squeezebox — and burns through Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Rachmaninoff, and selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier with virtuosic speed and technique. Kaminska has caused jaws to drop at concert halls from Europe to the Kimmel Center, and on the 24th of this month, she’ll perform at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square with Curtis Institute pianist Hugh Sung and dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet. To hear her rock Bach’s Prelude in B-flat major, visit phillymag.com.