International Yiddish Conference & Retreat

Walt Mahovlich: Accordionist, Balkan & Slavic Music; Founder, Harmonia

Malt Mahovlich

Walt Mahovlich, Accordion
Harmonia’s founder, Walt Mahovlich, grew up listening to the Croatian and Hungarian music of his family. He got his start playing Croatian and Macedonian weddings at the age of 19, and spent much of his youth playing with traditional village musicians. He’s played extensively at traditional events for East European immigrant communities throughout the United States and Canada as well as in frequent concert tours of Europe. His career has included performances at Smotra Foklora in Zagreb, Croatia, the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife, Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural, the Rededication of Ellis Island, the Bicentennial Celebration of the Constitution in Philadelphia as well as performances in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Walt made his off-Broadway debut in Tony Kushner’s adaptation of the S. Ansky classic, A Dybbuk, performing at New York’s Public Theater and appeared in the film, The Suicide. Walt’s been a faculty member at the Balkan Arts Music Camp as well as director of the Cleveland Tamburitzans. His album, Nova Domovina: Balkan Slavic Music from the Industrial Midwest won the Unesco award for ethnomusicology. In addition to appearing on CDs with Harmonia Walt’s clarinet playing is also featured on Budowitz: Mother Tongue on the Koch International label.