Meet the Bulgarian who repairs and balances bellowing boxes

Guenadiy Lazarov’s face lights up as he plays music. The sound takes him back in time to when he first started playing as a little boy in Bulgaria. Even when he was studying to be a physicist, he found time to play the accordion at night in restaurants.

He’s stopped counting the number of accordions he has. Because of what he could afford when he first started buying accordions, they often needed work. So, he decided to learn how to fix them. For the last decade, his lifelong passion has been turned into a full-time business.

The reeds are the heart and soul of the instrument. His PhD in Physics helps with each operation.

“When I see a problem, I may not know it. It may be the first time. There are accordions that can play single notes on the base, which means two base mechanics pivoting into one another,” Lazarov explained. “When I look at it, I spend 15 to 20 minutes, sometimes 30, to figure out how it works. When I know how it works, then I can reverse engineer it in my head and I know how to fix it, how to dissect it.”

As he describes how he does repairs, it’s like watching a doctor at work.

“In a sense, you do need to dissect them in order to fix them,” Lazarov said.

The accordion was invented in the early 19th century, but the instrument remains popular. The accordion doctor says business is growing. People from all walks of life play the instrument, he says.

Lazarov says playing the accordion fills his heart. “I live my dream,” he said.