Monday, June 4, 2018

Toronto Busker Andrei Denga

They are Russian musicians, middle-aged and older, who play for thousands every day. But who knows their names? Who even lifts weary heads to see them?
The pairing of their instruments, violin and accordion, may be unusual in Canada, but they go together like flashing eyes and a rose in the teeth. But who notices?
Not the morning commuters charging between the GO station and the TTC subway at Union, immune to the waltzes, the polkas and folk songs, the Bach and the Mozart. Their heads are down, and mentally they are already at their desks, fretting about spreadsheets and bottom lines.
Andrei Denga, 53, is celebrating 20 years as a subway musician this year. He started his musical training as a 7-year old in St. Petersburg. Alexander Popov, 70, is an accordion player who toured the world as an accompanist for a Ukrainian choir and a ballet company.
Their audience is huge. In a single hour during peak time, 19,400 GO passengers cross the breezeway into Union Station to get on the subway. The TTC has some 150,000 passengers in and out of Union Station daily.

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