Martynas LevickisWorld Champion Martynas Levickis is one of the brightest young musicians in Lithuania who is known for his appearances in television projects as well as a professional music performer. Martynas was born in 1990 in Tauragė. He was barely three years old when he first played the accordion, but started more serious music studies at eight when he entered the S. Sondeckis Music School in Šiauliai (in the class of M. Markevičienė). In 2004 he became the first accordion player in the country to have received the Queen Morta Prize (Lithuania), and in 2006 his achievements were recognized by the Šiauliai City Municipality who presented him with a new Pigini accordion.
He has been participating in national and international music competitions and festivals since 2002. Martynas has received over 30 prizes and awards, the most prominent being: second place in the ATG Gala-Rini International Accordion Festival in 2010 (Santa Clara, California, USA); first place in five different genre categories at the AAA Accordion Competition in 2009 (Memphis, Tennessee, USA); first place at the World Accordion Players’ Competition “Coupe Mondiale” in the International Competition for Piano Accordion (Varaždin, Croatia) in 2010. In 2011–2012 he was selected to participate in the Park Lane Group Concert Series, and received a prize from the London Philharmonia Martin Musical Scholarship Foundation.
Martynas Levickis is a Bachelor graduate of the London Royal Academy of Music (in the class of Prof. Owen Murray). During his studies in London the performer has also participated in various music projects, such as collaborating with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Birmingham City Symphony Orchestra, and he has worked with composers Ch. Hazelwood and V.Giergiev. He has given solo recitals in the H. Purcell, Queen Elizabeth, Kings Place and Tate Gallery concert halls. He has participated in festivals such as London’s Spitalfieds, Canterbury’s SoundsNew and the International Bath Music Festival. Martynas has also taken part in contemporary minimalist operas as well as productions of W. A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute and has cooperated with England’s National Ballet Company. He made his debut in the prestigious Wigmore and Royal Festival halls in London as well as performed with Lithuanian National Čiurlionis string quartet and National symphony orchestra presenting varied repertoire and showing the diverse features of accordion.
After winning the television contest Lithuania’s Got Talent, Martynas has continued to attract the wider public to and foster interest in accordion music. In July 2012 he presented his debut CD “iAccordion” which features well-known pop songs performed on the accordion. He is currently signed with Classical Record Company DECCA and has just released his second CD "Martynas" is available now on:
Listen to clips from the album now soon.
For more information, on this active accordionist please visit or


American violinist Abraham McWilliams is quickly gaining a reputation across Europe for his unique musical voice and creative repertoire. After winning several competitions in the United States and finishing his studies at the new England conservatory in Boston, he moved to Vienna, Austria to study at the prestigious University for Music and Performing Arts with professors Michael Frischenschlager and Boris Kuschnir. He now resides in London where he is completing his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a student of Boris Brovtsyn.
He has performed in venues across Europe, the USA, and Canada, notably in the Moritzburg festival, Germany where he received the audience prize, Christopher summer festival in Vilnius Lithuania, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Boston symphony hall, Prague Smetana hall, Dresden Frauenkirche, Vienna's Haydn-Saal. Along with his duo with international prize winning accordionist Martynas Levickis, he is equally at home in both jazz and folk music, as well as being a passionate supporter of classical-contemporary composers. In summer 2012 Abe performed the world premiere of Ruta Vitkauskaite's 'Kazritsa' in the Christopher summer festival ( in Vilnius, Lithuania, and is currently developing a project of Lithuanian folk music with his duo partner Martynas.
The 2012/13 season has seen him perform as lead violinist alongside Sasha Siem in the premiere of her song cycle 'Most of the boys' at the Royal opera house, Feburary 2013, London's Royal festival hall, the Barbican hall, Southbank Centre London, and Ronnie Scott's jazz club. upcoming appearances include Music at Plush festival, Dorset, Spitalfields Summer festival London, Voksenasen Festival Oslo, and the university of new Hampshire celebrity series.

Polyphonia, 50 young musicians from the French island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean. is representative of the great variety of cultures in the French overseas territories. The orchestra features accordions, accompanied by violins, flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, keyboard and vocals. Its extensive repertoire includes classical music and jazz, film scores, and folk music

POLYPHONIA orchestra is an ensemble of musician students which has something of a family. Its diversity and plurality make it representative of our island: indeed Réunion is the name of our island because it gathers many ethnics who live together.

Young and not so young musicians meet in the orchestra to share their common passion: music. They all do the same sacrifice, devoting all their week-ends and part of their school holidays to rehearsing. But far from being a burden, this leads to beautiful concerts, loud applause from enthusiast audiences and the joy of achieving it, of playing a repertory wide enough so that everybody can enjoy it and dream with it.

Besides, they can also participate in international competitions or go touring abroad, which is enriching and tremendous for them.

To put it in a nutshell, POLYPHONIA helps them to blossom. It is an experience different from everyday life which develops in them values such as togetherness, friendship and sensibility. This musical training ensemble has been improving every year, bettering and extending their repertory, entertaining their audiences with original pieces of music of a wide diversity. The 40 student musicians who make up this amazing instrumental ensemble are from 13 to 20 years old. They come from different musical public or private schools or associations coming from 14 towns on the island where they keep improving their musical practises.

Our Orchestra was founded in 1986 and has been progressing since then. Today it is a philharmonic ensemble. It is composed of 50 musicians. They have made several tours in foreign countries such as Mauritius Island, South Africa, Germany, the Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand and in France .

This group is directed by Pierre VARO, accordion teacher, with the help of Jean-Claude ATGER, flute and saxophone teacher.

His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas," Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Bayanist, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.
A Past President of the ATG, and current Board of Director, Stas is an Accordionist, a Musician, an Arranger, an Entertainer, a composer and a Teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show. Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts. He is a regular participant the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education Program (ACE); has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra; has done television commercials and performed in theater productions; produced numerous recordings including a transcription of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite for Bayan as well as one of original compositions. He has published several books of original compositions.

Stas founded Accordion XXI Century Series in 2010 so that the Midwest audiences can experience the amazing range of the Accordion and Bayan by bringing gifted artists from all over the world. In a concert setting, these gifted musicians share their skills and cultures to provide the audience with a unique musical experience. The performances feature the Accordion or Bayan in solo presentation and, when possible, in concert with other instruments.

The brilliant artistry and musical virtuosity of Stas afford an expanded dimension in music and an innovative musical adventure to the audience.

Joe makes his home in central Ohio with his wife JoAnn and has been a performer and advocate of the accordion since the age of seven. Joe started his studies with prominent Ohio accordion teacher, the late Mickey Bisilia of Youngstown, Ohio. Under Mickey’s tutelage, Joe won his age division in the American Accordionists’ Association national competitions each year until finally capturing its coveted Open Virtuoso national title at the age of 18 in Washington, D.C.. Later that year (1972), Joe became the AAA United States representative in the Coupe Mondiale world accordion competition held in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was chosen first runner up, missing the world title by 17 hundredths of a point. Joe also released an album for Giulietti Accordion Corporation that year under the Neofonic label entitled Accordion Masterworks presents Joseph Natoli and Richard Romiti, which includes many unique solo and duet arrangements and original compositions for the free bass accordion.
More recently, Joe was the winner in the first Roland US V-Accordion national competition (held in Los Angeles in September 2008). Joe subsequently represented Roland US in the Roland International V-Accordion competition held in Rome, Italy in Nov 2008. From January 2009 to June 2010, Joe became a product specialist, performing artist and clinician for Roland Corporation on the V-Accordion. Since Joe possesses Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music composition from the University of Toronto, he tries to use his orchestrational knowledge to exploit all the best coloristic and orchestrational possibilities on the FR7X. Joe’s arrangements traverse a diverse set of musical styles (including classical, light classical, jazz, and ethnic). Joe’s approach to the FR7X is to use the best orchestration possible to enhance the composition, often including accordion sounds, orchestral and percussion sounds, or all in combination.


Elena and Gregory Fainshtein are a married couple of over 25 years, whose encounter and life journey can be attributed fully to the music they have been playing together, on their button accordions - their Bayan since they were teenagers. They both graduated from the Belarusian State Academy of Music in the former USSR and are classically trained. Their music, as their lives, has journeyed with them from the Soviet Union, to the State of Israel, and for the past decade, the United States. Dallas, Texas is their home now. Their style is varied, from classical, Russian folk music, to mussette and polka.
Elena and Gregory have performed on numerous international tours, and played at many venues and occasions. Most recently, in May of 2012, Gregory participated in the adaptation of the Tango Opera "Maria de Buenos Aire"s in the Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts in Fort Worth, Texas. Elena teaches music to children of all ages and is very excited to spark interest in music in the new generation. Elena and Gregory have participated and performed in every single one of the National Accordion Association Convention meetings in Richardson, Texas since their arrival in the United States.
Both Elena and Gregory have changed careers throughout the years, but to this day, music remains their passion and their love.

Mirco Patarini was born in Spoleto (Italy). In 1978 he began to study music at the CDMI (Italian Musical Didactic Centre) in Spoleto. At this time the study of accordion was not included in the courses of the Italian Conservatory. In the month of October of the same year he began to participate in national competitions, and he was judged first in competitions in Ancona, Pescara and Recanati. In 1980 he started to study the free bass accordion and in 1981 was judged first at the Italian pre-championship of Castelfidardo, which gave him the right to take part to the 30th CMA Trophee Mondiale of the accordion, where he was the youngest participant.
Between 1983 and 1985 he won the Italian pre-championship another 3 times; so he could participate in the Trophee Mondiale of Caracas (Venezuela), Caldas de Rahina (Portugal) and finally at La Caux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) where he obtained first place and the title of Champion of the world at the age of 18.

In 1988 he began to collaborate with the firm “Farfisa-Bontempi” as musical adviser and here he started his evolution through the world of electronics music. At the same time, he began his collaboration with the firm “Menghini”, a society that built the famous accordions “Scandalli”, “Paolo Soprani” and “Menghini”. The purpose of this collaboration was the development of new musical instruments and the care of sound quality and of mechanical working.
As a concert accordionist, his diversity spans the classic repertoire to modern music, from the acoustic accordion to electronics with Midi, from the soloist player to the concert for accordion and Computer! Performing around the world as a soloist and Chamber musican, he has also appeared with such greats as Luciano Pavarotti and Nicola Piovani.
With the brothers Leonardo and Luciano Menghini, he is co-owner and President of the firm “Menghini S.r.l.”, a society that develops, produces and distributes accordions with the brands “Scandalli”, “Paolo Soprani” and “Menghini”. From the beginning of 2003 his company Menghini srl joined the SEM accordion factory creating “SUONI srl” of which he also serves as President, and this group now is producing and distributing worldwide, accordions under the names Scandalli, Paolo Soprani, Menghini and Sem.
As President of Ars Spoletium, which he started in 2006 with Gianluca Bibiani, he acquired Strumenti & Musica in September 2007 from Berben srl (Ancona), the historical music magazine founded on 1948 by Bio Boccosi. He immediately restarted the edition as an international magazine and publishes in both Italian and English.
Serving on many National and International committees, Micro served as the Chairperson of the Advancement and Development Committee of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes, (CIA) IMC-UNESCO from 2006 until its conclusion, and also served as the CIA Honorary Vice Presdient in 2011-2012. He is Artistic Director of the IAC (Italian Accordion Culture) Association, the Italian Premiere Voting Member of CIA. Most recently, Micro, the founder of the Strumenti & Musica Spring Accordion Festival, now serves as its Artistic Director. A divers supported of the accordion world, we look forward very much to welcoming Mirco to ATG this year in Chicago as an exhibitor in the Trade Show, a workshop presenter, and of course as an International guest soloist!


john simkus graphic

john simkusJohn Simkus is a well known jazz accordionist who has performed all over the USA and Europe, at festivals and workshops. He often performs duets with Stas Venglevski. Their group is known as Stas Sera. He also plays bass accordion in accordion orchestras at festivals throughout the USA.
Recognized for his smooth jazz style throughout the United States. He has performed solo, as a member of his jazz trio, and in orchestras both nationally and internationally.
He currently performs in duet with Stas Venglevski in the US and Europe The Duo Sta-Sera was invited to perform twice at the prestigious Russian Academy of Music in Moscow .
John also performed with the University of Kansas City , Missouri Accordion Orchestra during their last tour in Italy. He served as President of the Chicago Accordion Club for 10 years and on the boards for the Accordionists and Teacher’s Guild and American Accordionist Association.
John has presented workshops on jazz theory, performance presentation and orchestra preparation at national accordion conventions and served as Concert Master at Galla-Rini music conferences.
With his trio he has performed at many of Chicago’s popular hotels, clubs and country clubs.


nick ballariniNick Ballarini accordionist, pianist, and bandleader is one of the world's most versatile musicians. Nick plays for weddings, corporate events and jazz festivals as a pianist and bandleader, as well as playing his accordion at Irish, French, Italian and German themed events.
His repertoire ranges from classical to pop to the many ethnic styles associated with the accordion. During Nick's career he has played with many prominent musicians such as Luciano Pavarotti, Mel Torme and The Chieftans. He has become a favorite of accordion clubs around the country.


soundscape trioSoundscape is the name of a Trio consisting of Larry Miller, Madalynn Neu and John Neu. They are based in Denver, Colorado. The group formed in 2000 by a chance meeting. Larry was an Accordion Major at the University of Denver under Robert Davine from 1967 to 1971. John and Madalynn studied with the studios of Vince Geraci in Chicago.

Each of the members had stopped playing for about 25 to 30 years but now that their kids are grown decided to rekindle their musical interests. John also currently serves as the Treasurer of the ATG.

We are delighted to welcome the Soundscape Trip back to ATG this year!
Century 21
Century 21 EnsembleThe Accordion XXI Century Ensemble was created by, and is under the tutelage of Conductor Stas Venglevski, former ATG President and current Board of Director. We are excited to welcome them to the ATG Festival for the first time, where they will present a full Matinee Concert.

Standing Left to Right are Stas Venglevski (Founder/Director), Judy Moriarity (bayan), John Simkus (bass accordion), Shirl Barry (accordion) and Richard Moriarity (percussion.)  Seated L to R are Jean Urry & Sandy Bednarek (accordions.)
umkc ensemble

UMKC Chamber EnsembleThe University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) Chamber Accordion Ensemble comprises CIA Vice President and well known accordion celebrity and former ATG President Joan Cochran Sommers, ATG President Betty Jo Simon, ATG Board of Director and Past President Kevin Friedrich, UMKC Alumni Amy Hayes, Ron Barrow and former ATG Treasurer Joyce Davis.

All players are UMKC Alumni and former members of the renowned UMKC Accordion Orchestra. In addition to their performance, members will also support the ATG Board of Directors and Friends orchestra as well as the ATG Festival Orchestra.

The UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble recently participated in the USA contributions to World Accordion Day, when videos of their past performances were broadcast during the live presentation, and are looking forward to their appearance at the ATG Festival this year.

More guests to be announced soon! Please check back.
Lisle, (Chicago) Illinois
July 17-21, 2013

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