Volodymyr Kurylenko - accordion (bayan) player
from Ukraine

K&N Music Studio = www.studio.volod.com.ua =

General info

Volodymyr Kurylenko - www.volod.com.ua Biography
About my teachers

Biographie en français

What is "bayan"

I'm playing a bayan, not an accordion. The bayan is typically a russian instrument which people in the west call a "button accordion". It has warm melodious sound and a rich and powerful bass making it perfect for playing Slavic music. There are thousands of pieces originally written for bayan.

Nowadays, after collapse of Soviet Union, bayan started to be named as accordion after some, in my opinion, rash thoughts by some professors in Ukraine. Perhaps they wanted to be more easily understood by Western public or these were reverences towards international competitions. I must admit that I feel somewhat offended when a fellow ukrainian calls the bayan an accordion.

By no means do I denigrate the accordion, which is a wonderful instrument with tremendous possibilities. There's the german and french accordion, the italian fisarmonica, the bandoneon and then there is the bayan. The bayan was named after the legendary epic bard of Kievan Rus' Boyan.


See more about Bayan in my blog


I was born on the 15th of March 1973 in a small town Krolevets, which is situated in the Northern-Eastern part of Ukraine.

When I was 9 years old I started playing bayan at children musical school. My first teacher was Olexandr Bobryk. After one year I was transferred to the class of Victor Zinchenko.

After 6 years of training I entered Sumy musical college in 1988 to the class of Genady Cherkashyn.

In 1991 I won the 1st Prize at the regional competition for Bayan and Accordion players in Belgorod, Russia.

In 1992 I won the 1st Prize at the competition for performers on folk instruments amongst students of musical colleges from Ukraine, Russia and Byelorussia in Bryansk, Russia. Friedrich Lips was head of the jury. There I also won a special Prize for best performance of the arrangement of national folk tune.

Having graduated the college in 1992, I entered Sumy Pedagogical Institute to the department of teachers of music. My teacher on bayan was Victor Rudyuk.

In 1993 I was transferred to Donetsk Conservatoire (High School on Music) to the class of Pr.Vyacheslav Voyevodin. In 1997 my studies were finished.

In 1996-1998 I took part in International Accordion Competitions in Klingenthal, Germany.

In the period 1998-2001 I studied at Kyiv National University, Institute of Foreign Affairs. I have a degree of Master of International Law.

From 1995 I started going to the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium for taking part in international competitions and for playing, first, in the streets and, later on, at different occasions.

Currently, I’m playing classical concerts in theatres and other places for listening public where I present different programs. My repertoire includes pieces by composers starting from Bach up to modern times, from classical till jazzy and entertaining music. Mostly, I perform pieces by Soviet, Ukrainian and Russian composers specially written for bayan. Not too modern, music is there, still.

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About my teachers

Olexandr Bobryk – my first teacher. He is the man who played an important role in my musical career. He made so, that I wasn’t distracted from bayan as some children are. Playing the instrument is difficult for a child, I need to say. I changed bellows where I wanted violating the rules, I used the most irrelevant fingering, any tempo, – everything was possible in his class. The most important for him was that child loved the music first and didn’t notice the task of technical development. He was for me a guide into the world of music.

Victor Zinchenko Victor Zinchenko – the second teacher at children musical school. He taught me for 5 years. With him I grew up as a young performer as he used to include me into various kinds of concerts in my hometown as well as on different stages at regional level. He prepared me for entering the college. He persuaded me (well, first, my mother) to do that.

Genady Tcherkashyn – he taught me at musical college for 4 years. It’s a pity, he died of heart attack quite early...
He was the student of Master of Bayan – Pr.Volodymyr Podgorny, performer, composer famous far beyond the boundaries of former Soviet Union. My teacher belongs to, so-called “Podgorny” school. So do I, to a certain extent. That school means maximum of musicality and passion in music.
The school doesn’t like “dead” sound; the sound has the life inside! It trembles, cries, shouts, weeps, rejoices, whispers, – so taught me Genady Tcherkashyn. Playing bayan and thinking of the instruments of symphonic orchestra – that was also part of the school. ‘Don’t just play the melody on bayan, imagine that it is played by a clarinet or another time by a violin’, – he used to tell me. So the music was becoming richer for me.

Victor Rudyuk – also a representative of “Podgorny” school. During one year of studies he taught me how to be with the instrument one as a whole. Only than it is possible to achieve desirable “aliveness” of sound. Big respect towards the sound and holding the instrument as firmly as holding the beloved girl was part of his school.

Vyacheslav Voyevodin – Professor at Donetsk Conservatoire. He was my teacher for 4 years. He used to conduct the folk students orchestra where I played contrabass-balalaika. Those were the most important lessons for me. Everybody saw him making the form of the piece like sculptor makes his chef-d’œuvre.
After his private lessons I got some subtlety and delicacy in music, what was a plus to the great school I got from my previous teachers.
Finally, after the state exams, Professor blessed me for the future and said that, unfortunately, I wasn’t his student to the full extent. He said that I was going my own way and wished me all the best in my musical career.

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