The German accodionist, Denis Patković, was born in Calw, Germany. His family roots go back to former Yugoslavia where the accordion is considered to be the national instrument. So naturally the 5 year old Denis Patkovic was drawn to the accordion: 'In the Balkan countries the accordion is the main instrument so as a child I listened the whole time to folk music from there. I was so fascinated with this instrument that by the age of five or six I felt only to play accordion and nothing else.' At 13 he took up free bass accordion, having already decided that he wanted to play for more than just a hobby. He later studied at the music universities of Trossingen and studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg with Professor Stefan Hussong. After his graduation - which he passed with distinction - he stayed with Stefan Hussong for further master-class studies. A scholarship of the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst took him to Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he studied historically informed performance (performance practice of Baroque music) under the tuition of Jukka Tiensuu, focussing especially on the works of J.S. Bach. He stayed on at the academy following his exchange year, and since 2007 he has been a postgraduate in Tiensuu’s class there.
Out of this educational relationship also grew an artistic relationship. Out of this came Tiensuu’s cycle for accordion Erz, composed as a complementary cycle to J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988). The movements of both works are entwined in performance, contrasting or complementing each other, thus the combination of J.S. Bach’s work with Erz becomes an exciting new work of its own. The first performance of the cycle, called Gold Mine Variations, took place in 2006 in Tokyo.
Denis Patkovic has recorded for Südwestdeutsche Rundfunk under the direction of Matthias Pintscher and Peter Hirsch with the Deutsche Radiophilharmomie and the Philharmonische Orchester Mainz. He is planning a concert series and workshop tour in the autumn of 2008. In 2009 he will return to Japan, having worked with video artists and composers there during three previous visits. One of Patkovic's ambitions is to perform as a soloist with orchestras, 'to show the wider audience what really is possible'.Solo appearances performing the Gold Mine Variations this season (2009-2010) include Schleswig Holstein Festival, Salzburg Festival, Festival Mitte Europa, Bachwoche Ansbach and Brandenburgische Sommerkonzerte.
Denis Patković is now based in Mannheim, Germany. For anyone interested in hearing more of the instrument's versatility, he recommends music by his teacher Stefan Hussong and Finland's Metti Ratanen, plus the 'pioneers of classical accordion', Italian Ivano Battiston and Russia's Friedrich Lips.
An exclusive artist of Hänssler Classic, Denis Patković released his debut CD “Gold mine/berg Variations” on this label in June 2008. The release received the “Supersonic Award” from Pizzicato magazine and Süddeutsche Zeitung voted it Best record of 2008. Denis Patkovic is a nominee for the prestigious Kulturpreis der Europäischen Kulturstiftung 2009.