Karl Pukara

Karl Pukara. Accordionist, arranger, teacher, born Sudbury, Ont, 31 May 1931; died 1998. A largely self-taught accordionist who played both stradella and free-bass instruments, he has performed on Toronto radio stations and in 1960 on CBC TV's "Talent Caravan.

Karl Pukara

Karl Pukara. Accordionist, arranger, teacher, born Sudbury, Ont, 31 May 1931; died 1998. A largely self-taught accordionist who played both stradella and free-bass instruments, he has performed on Toronto radio stations and in 1960 on CBC TV's "Talent Caravan." With his wife and former pupil Iona Reed (winner of the 1962 Prague World Accordion Championship), he has performed in many Canadian and US cities. In 1962 they issued a recording, The World Accordion Champion: Lucky 13, which included Pukara's composition Parisien Moods. In 1990 the duo was broadcast on CBC TV's 'Grande Tournée '90.'

Pukara began teaching privately in Sudbury in 1957 and founded the Karl Pukara Music Studio there in 1964. Three of his students (Iona Reed, Marcello Deluca and Lina Guizzo) represented Canada in the Confédération internationale des accordéonistes eight times between 1961 and 1983. The studio was incorporated in 1969 as Karaccordion Ltd. The unofficial name Regional Conservatory of Music came into use in the early years of Pukara's activity, but the studio did not prepare students for university entrance until 1964. Pukara was also a festival adjudicator and examiner.

The Karl Pukara Accordion Orchestra, formed in 1957, has won many Canadian and US competitions, including the Canadian Open Band Accordion Competition (seven times to 1990), and has been broadcast on CBC radio's 'Fresh Air' (1981 and 1984) and on television. For the orchestra, and for soloists and duos, Pukara has transcribed works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Dvořák, Gershwin, Grieg, Haydn, Mahler, Mancini, Tchaikovsky, and others.

Iona Reed has continued her career, and in 2010 remained a respected accordion teacher and performer.