Rocky Mountain News (CO) - November 27, 2001
Deceased Name: ROBERT DAVINE, 77, TAUGHT GENERATIONS TO PLAY ACCORDION
Colorado's unofficial accordion laureate is dead.
Robert Davine coaxed sweet subtleties out of the polka-band instrument in a career that bridged Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Music Festival, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Chinese music palaces.
Mr. Davine founded the accordion department at the University of Denver in the late 1950s, and was still an active professor at DU's Lamont School of Music when he died last week at age 77.
''He proved himself to be one of the world's great accordionists,'' said William Popp, the U.S. Air Force's only accordionist, who was taught the instrument by Davine at DU. ''From the first day, he impressed upon the students that he was welcoming them to learn.''
As a 10-year-old in 1930s Denver, he encountered the accordion as an accompaniment for a Spanish dance troupe. By the 1950s, ''every kid on the block'' had an accordion, Mr. Davine said in a recent interview with the Rocky Mountain News.
In 1954, Mr. Davine married Jacqueline. She survives him, along with his son, Greg, of Greenwood Village; daughter, Lynn Carolus, of Parker; brother, Fred, of Greenwood Village; and four grandchildren.
The accordion's popularity waned as Lawrence Welk gave way to zydeco, but Mr. Davine stayed true to the rare concert accordion. He elevated it to an instrument that would accompany orchestras and quartets, and headlined performances of music by Tchaikovsky, Mantovani and other composers. Such modern composers as Normand Lockwood wrote music - 11 new compositions in all - specifically for Mr. Davine.
Never a squeezebox elitist, he taught popular accordion as well as the concert accordion for jazz and classical music, said Anne Culver, former director of DU's Lamont School of Music.
The People's Republic of China invited him to visit in 1984, and many Chinese music students came to DU afterward.
Mr. Davine inspired a lifelong love of music in his children, said his son, Greg. ''There was always music in the house.''
The musicians who helped him win DU's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999 lauded Mr. Davine for his musicianship, his dedication and his ability to relate to students through several generations.
''A master musician and a superb instructor'' is how David R. Lindsey, music instructor at North Texas State University described Davine, who taught him from 1950, when he was 12, to 1966, when he won his master's at DU.
''There are performers, professors and deans, all of whom owe a debt of gratitude to Robert Davine,'' said Robert Yekovich, dean of the school of music at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. today at Temple Emmanuel, 50 Grape St.
Congregation Emanuel Cemetery
Created by: Dr Andree S
Record added: Jul 05, 2011
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Rocky Mountain News (CO) - November 27, 2001Deceased Name: ROBERT DAVINE, 77, TAUGHT GENERATIONS TO PLAY ACCORDIONColorado's unofficial accordion laureate is dead. Robert Davine coaxed sweet subtleties out of the polka-band instrument in a career that bri...(Read more)|
Dr Andree S
Added: Jul. 14, 2011