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Legendary Musician Slavko Avsenik Dies

Ljubljana, 2 July - Internationally-recognised accordion musician and composer Slavko Avsenik has died at the age of 85. He is leaving behind a rich legacy of oompah music and a polka that is believed to be the most frequently played piece of music in the world.

Ljubljana
Legendary accordion musician and composer Slavko Avsenik
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Avsenik was born November 26, 1929 in Begunje na Gorenjskem, close to Lake Bled, a popular tourist spot in NE Slovenia.

In 1953, he established The Avsenik Brothers Ensemble with his brother Vilko, with whom he has produced nearly 1,000 songs in Slovenia and Germany.

The band performed before millions and in thousands of concerts. All together, they have sold over 30 million records. Their most popular is a polka entitled "Na Golici" in Slovenian, or "Trompetenecho" in German, "Trumpet Echoes" in English.

The "Trumpet Echoes" is believed to be the most played instrumental song in the world. Other great milestones of the band include performing in front of over 80,000 people in Berlin Stadium and touring the US and Canada.

"Avsenik is a real trade mark of Slovenia. A man who gives joy to millions of people most certainly deserves today's recognition," former President Milan Kučan said about the acclaimed musician on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

"Everything that has happened was coincidental and I am still analysing it today. All I can say is: 'Thank you, my destiny'," Avsenik once said about his career.

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© STA, 2015