I fell in love with Balkan music while still at school in Folkestone. My piano teacher sent me to the local folk dance group to play the piano for them for a small fee, and there I learned a large number of European folk-dance tunes. For a trip to Salzburg and Croatia to demonstrate English and Scottish dancing at festivals, they suggested I should have a portable instrument and lent me a small asthmatic accordion, which I taught myself to play in about half an hour. As soon as I got home I set off in search of a bigger better one, and have worked through several over the years. Balkan music fascinated me more than all the other European traditions, with its interesting rhythms and chord progressions. When I came to live and work in London in the mid 1960s I was scooped up by the Society for International Folk Dancing. Eventually I met Narendra Kotiyan who told me about Dunav. I went to one of their concerts and was impressed. He invited me to a rehearsal and that was that. My first concert with them was in 1971. I enjoy the friendship, the challenge of learning new pieces and styles, of playing them to the best of my ability and the delight when our audiences respond with warm appreciation.

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