World champion accordionist Alex Sevastian and clarinetist Julian Milkis performed Ray Luedeke's Serenity on November 25 on the Les Amis concert series in Cobourg, Ontario. In January they will perform the piece again, in St. Peterburg, Russia. Then, on March 10, they will be in New York City to perform Serenity at Symphony Space. Included in the New York program will be Tango Dreams for string trio and accordion, also by Ray Luedeke, as well as music by famed Georgian composer Giya Kanceli (Miniatures for clarinet and bayan).
Alex Sevastian was born in Minsk, Belarus and recieved his early training as well as his first professional experience in Minsk and in Moscow. In 2001 he moved to Canada and in 2002 became a member of the famed touring ensemble Quartetto Gelato.
Julian Milkis, the only student of Benny Goodman and Juilliard trained, has an international reputation as a soloist, chamber musician and jazz clarinetist. Julian's father, Jasha Milkis, for many years the Associate Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony, was previous to that a member of the Leningrad Philharmonic, where he was a friend of composer Dimitri Shostakovitch. Jasha's reminiscences of Shostakovitch are in the book Shostakovitch, A Life Remembered.