My name is Elena Fainshtein, and I am a professional musician. My instrument of choice from childhood has been the button accordion, traditionally known as Bayan.
I started to play this unique instrument at age five. I first took private lessons and then attended a school for musically gifted children in Minsk, Belarus, where my second instrument of choice was piano. Then, at 15, I was accepted to Music College in Minsk, graduating with highest honors. After Music College, I attended the Belarusian Academy of Music, and graduated in 1987.
I have enjoyed performing from a very young age. Born into a family of teachers, I had the opportunity to perform at school for many occasions, at parties, and even at weddings.
I began playing in an accordion duo with my classmate, Gregory Fainshtein at 17. He became my husband and music partner six years later. Since our school days, Gregory and I have performed concerts all over the world, including Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, and the United States.
Gregory and I have been members of the National Accordion Association for 15 yrs. I am also a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild. Gregory and I have performed nationally at various conventions. We are actively engaged in introducing the accordion to younger generations. We take every possible opportunity to perform at various venues and have expanded our musical services to private parties, festivals, events, and weddings.
I have been teaching piano and accordion for over 25 years in three different languages, working with children and adults in Belarus, part of the former Soviet Union, in 1991 we moved to Israel, and from 2003 we live in Plano, Texas, and I work in my private home studio, called Musical Expressions. I like to share my musical passion to my adult and children students!
Recently, I took the role of conductor of the Happy Fingers Accordion Band, which was assembled with the purpose of getting more accordion enthusiasts engaged in performance in an effort to showcase their talents to a greater audience.
For more information about my passion for the accordion, read this feature from the Dallas Morning News and watch my TEDxMountainViewCollege talk (also featured at the right side of the page)