Street Accordionist Plays Vivaldi

There should to be a way to put money into his hat over the internet!

But who is this guy?

Years ago I saw a PBS documentary about a professional orchestra. There is a scene where orchestra members happen by a guy sitting on the sidewalk, I think in a Metro station. The guy was just sitting in a lotus position against the wall, head bowed, only his hands moving. He is sitting there, playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons like there’s no tomorrow. Just whaling away on that magic box. The juxtaposition of these professional musicians watching this street musician modestly making magic as others walk past. The music bigger than everything around it. It was very moving.

I had tried to find out who he was a few times with no success. So the other day I got curious again and searched YouTube for accordion players playing Vivaldi and found the above video.

But this video did not identify the artist! I had to know if this was the same guy I had seen years previously on the PBS documentary.

I was determined. I searched on [orchestra career documentary violinist accordion vivaldi “four seasons”]. That landed me at a blog entry in Neil’s Journal that talks about the documentary “Music From the Inside Out” (2003) and singles out the scene with the accordion player. The blog pointed to a YouTube video of that person playing Bach. It was a different video than the one I had found but the street musician looked very much like the same guy. It identified him as Ruslan Slinko. I carefully compared the videos and am sure this is Ruslan Slinko.

Other YouTube video of Ruslan Slinko:

Ruslan Slinko playing Bach

Thanks to YouTube and the Web, I found out who the accordion player was who had moved me so long ago. And now I know where to go to see him perform live and put money into his hat.