In 1951 Ernst Borgstrøm with his wife Melanie and son Boris decided to move to Canada.
Upon arrival he learned quickly that due to the regulations of the Musician's Union, he could not perform in Canada until he had lived here for one year.
Through some Danish friends in Toronto, he was introduced to a wellknown Canadian accordionst, Dixie Dean, who got Ernst a job as an accordion teacher in a well established music studio in St. Catharines.
The move proved very succesful, but after a few years Ernst decided to start his own music studio. Eventually the business grew and at the height of the popularity of the accordion, it had brances in Hamilton, Welland and Niagara Falls with close to 500 accordion students. In addition to accordion, Piano and Guitar and Percussion was introduced in the late 50's.
As a teacher , he was outstanding, and developed many talented students through the years. Ernest Manfredi, Stephen Kaye, Bob Nosal, Bob Lansky, Joy Dean, Ron Onda, Pat Nybida are just a few of the many.
Ernst established an accordion orchestra which he conducted to great success, winning the Canadian Championship several times. In 1952 he took the orchestra to Sandusky, Ohio, USA to compete in the American Accordion Orchestra Championship and won 1st prize there. At the same time he was the featured guest artist at their concert and he performed the "2nd Hungarian Rhapsody" by F.Liszt. Picture was taken at the concert.
Ernst Borgstrøm performing at the final concert in Sandusky, Ohio, USA 1952
In 1958 Ernst entered his student Ernest Manfredi in the "Coupe Mondiale" where he placed 2nd. After the competition they went to Denmark where Herman Gellin had arranged a tour for them. See the pictures below.
Ernest Manfredi (age 17) performing the last section of
Konsertstuck by C.M von Weber at a concert in 1958.
Poster of their Danish tour
Now the accordion virtuoso Borgstrøm, who became professor in Canada, is once again in Copenhagen after 8 years absence. He flew in last night with his best student, the only 17-year-old Ernest Manfredi, who on Sunday was declared as no. 2 at the World Championships in Brussels. They were received by Gellin. It is the young Canadian between Gellin and Borgstrøm, who next Sunday reunite on stage in Esbjerg, where their scheduled touring starts. Already on Saturday 27th will they be on the TV screen for viewers, and here the new accordion star, the crown prince, will show his skills on the instrument.
Gellin and Borgstrøm still hold the audience.
Rhythmic applause for the two accordion virtuosos, but the 17-year-old Canadian was the audience's favorite
The accordion virtuosos Gellin and Borgstrøm, have for a while resumed their collaboration on the concert stage after eight years of separation, showed last night at the Palace hotel, the years had past by without a trace.
They were in the best mood, as we know them from the old days, and immediately with the opening number, symbolically enough - "Old Comrades" March, the mood was struck. It did not take much to thaw out the audience with humor and precision, increasing the audience's enthusiasm. The applause was long and rhytmic, which produced several encores.
Borgstrøm was sweeping as usual, and a bouquet of red roses from the audience said his large female audience still fall for his charm. Borgstrøm however, has a dangerous rival to the female audience's favor. His 17-year-old student, Canadian Ernest Manfredi, revealed himself as a major talent on the accordion, and he was so charming that he without doubt, with the younger part of the weaker sex, will quite obscure his mentor.
The faithful audience that had come, gave the Virtuosos a thunderous applause. It is no exaggeration to describe the reunion of two old friends, as a great success.
Ernst and Ernest performing a duet
Pictures of his prize winning orchestras.
Master Conservatory of Music Senior Orchestra
"Beauful Galathea" Overture by F. Von Suppe
Recorded live 1958
Ernst Borgstrom in front of his music studio.
Boris and Ernst Borgstrøm
in the music studio
Berlingske Tidende (Major Danish Newspaper) Tuesday, October 27, 1970
by Ejvind Olsen
If there is to be made a celebration with performances in Denmark today, organizers pay sharp attention to the top-ten list, or the most famous TV name. Then there are reasonable chances of bonus in the empty money box.
In the period after the 2nd world war there was not much doubt. The pair Herman Gellin and Ernst Borgstrøm, Accordion Duo, got to send shivers down the spine of the treasurer.
The music, the two magically produced, was immensely popular.Naturally, because the two were skilled at their accordions (especially Borgstrøm), but also because their choice of repertoire was amongst the best known.
Gradually it is well known that Borgstrøm emigrated to Canada in the early 50's. Recently he turned 70 and has become something of an institution in the musical life of the city of St. Catharines, 125,000 inhabitants, about 100 miles from Toronto. With a recognized music school, 350 students, 14 teachers and a house filled with music from top to bottom. Just restored with soundproofed rooms and a music store on the ground floor looked after by Mrs Melanie. -- Yes, the old accordion virtuoso, who was
discovered by Storm P. already as a 14 year old and hailed as a child prodigy, has taken a stance far from his native land.