yuri shishkinHonored Artist of Russia and Soloist of Rostov State Philharmonic, graduated from the Rostov Rachmaninov Conservatory in 1989 and accomplished his post-graduate studies at the Russian Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow in 1992 (class of professor V. Semyonov). He is laureate of international competitions in Germany (Klingenthal, 1988), USA (Kansas City, 1990), Italy (Castelfidardo, 1991). Nowadays, Yuri Shishkin is one of the most sought-after musicians.  His repertoire includes not only transcriptions by among others J. Brahms, A. Glazunov, S. Prokofiev, I. Stravinsky, M. Mussorgsky, P.I. Tchaikovsky, C. Saint-Saëns, G. Bizet, D. Shostakovich, J. Strauß, A. Copland but also original works by A. Kusyakov, V. Semyonov, V. Podgorny.
He organizes festivals, concerts, widely promoting the bayan and the accordion by doing lectures and master classes in major cities around the world, performing in various regions of Russia and at international festivals and competitions.

This is a rare opportunity to hear Yuri in concert in the USA! We look forward to welcoming this extraordinary accordionist to ATG as our featured guest artist.


frank petrilliWe are delighted to welcome the Frank Petrilli Quartet to the ATG 75th Annviersary.
Frank was born and still lives in Los Angeles California. Much of his energy has gone into the successful business he owns and operates, Petrilli Concrete Contractors, but his creative musical side has always been a strong drive as well. He started playing the accordion at age 7, and by age 16 was playing professionally. As the popularity of the accordion declined in the U.S., Frank switched to playing Hammond B3 Organ and saxophone for about 15 years. In 2006, he returned to the accordion and started playing with the César Mateus Latin Jazz Band at many jazz venues throughout the Los Angeles area.
In late 2006, Frank began intensive study with the great jazz accordionist, Frank Marocco which quickly evolved into a very close friendship. By virtue of their close relationship and mutual love of jazz, Frank Petrilli became Frank Marocco’s protégé. Unfortunately, this relationship ended far too soon with Frank Marocco’s untimely passing on March 3rd, 2012.
As Frank Petrilli became known as an excellent player in the jazz community, he began performing frequently in the Los Angeles area with artists such as guitarists’ Patrick Barrogain and John Chiodini at top venues such as the Vibrato Jazz Club. Frank has also performed at many of the major accordion festivals and clubs in the U.S. including the AAA Festival in Charleston 2011, and at the San Francisco Accordion Club on numerous occasions.
In October of 2011, Frank appeared on the TV series Mad Men. In May of 2012, he was invited to play in the spot that Frank Marocco had been scheduled for as a featured performer at the Accordion competition in Kiev, “Accofestival 2012.” He also was one of the judges for the jazz portion of the competition. Immediately following that, he performed at the Frank Marocco Memorial Concert in Castelfidardo, with many other stars of the accordion world. His debut CD, ”Totally Frank,” was recorded in Italy during this trip. It was produced by Elke Ahrenholz of “Artist Signed Records, ” and includes the playing of three fine Italian musicians; Felice Del Gaudio, Max Ferri, and Fabio Zeppetella.
We look forward to welcoming Frank to the 75th ATG Festival in Chicago.
John Chiodini, guitarist and composer, began his career performing in clubs, recording studios and theaters throughout New England in the 1960s & 70s. As a member of the Boston Pops Orchestra under Arthur Fiedler, John made numerous appearances in concerts and on recordings, including the PBS television series "Evening At Pops". In the early 1980s he relocated to the Los Angeles area.
He has toured and recorded with many artists including Peggy Lee, Natalie Cole, Maynard Ferguson, Tony Bennett, Celine Dion, Lainie Kazan, Barry Manilow, Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand, and Nancy Wilson, just to name a few.
Frank and John will be joined by Jim Cox-Upright Bass and Phil Gratteau-Drums.

stas venglevski 
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 natoli
joe natoli 
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.

gary blair

gary blairGary Blair started playing at the age of 8 and was the United Kingdom, under 18 years of age, Accordion Champion in 1977.
He has performed at many of the World's biggest Accordion Festivals  including The Las Vegas Accordion Convention, KIOTAC, The Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration, Carrefour Mondial De L'accordeon (Quebec), and the annual United Kingdom Accordion Championships.
His band performed for the Gala Finale of the 2008 Coupe Mondiale, a night that has gone down in history as one of the most spectacular and fun finishes for the young contestants and visitors alike, when the Coupe Mondiale was held in his home town of Renfrew (Glasgow), Scotland.
Gary is a full time Accordion teacher and Performer.  We look forward to welcoming him to our 75th Anniversary Festival in Chicago where he will open the ATG Festival Wednesday night by hosting a fun evening of Celtic Ceilidh Dance music and will teach us the dance steps so we can dance along to his music. 
It will be an evening you won’t want to miss!

cory pesaturo
cory pesaturoCory Pesaturo (“C Pez”) is a graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, where he was the first musician ever to major and graduate in the accordion.  Pesaturo is one of only four accordionists to win a World Championships competition on both the Acoustic and Digital Accordion, and is the only person to ever to also win a World Championship in Jazz.
Pesaturo's extensive resumé includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton on four different occasions, starting at age 12.  On one of those occasions, he became the youngest person ever to perform at a State Dinner, performing with the Marine Strolling Strings for the President of Hungary.  He has since performed at seven other events for the Clintons and continues to keep in touch as proved by his 14 letters from the First family.  He has judged accordion competitions in the US, Canada, and Europe, in addition to music competitions in general.
On his Classical side which is less known, a win at 16 years old in a Concerto competition at the New England Conservatory of Music, gave Cory the rare opportunity to perform with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist and on the Jazz side, Cory recorded two CD’s with saxophone legend George Garzone and his famous band “The Fringe” at age 19, and has performed / become friends with Jazz and Music Legend Wynton Marsalis. 
He has developed his own electric accordion, and already has made the first ever skinned accordion that includes a symmetric midi lighting system attached to the keys. 
The ATG delighted to have Cory as part of their 75th Anniversary Celebration!
m bridge

michael bridgeCanadian accordion champion and winner of the University of Toronto Concerto Competition, Michael Bridge uniquely fuses classical, pop-rock, jazz and world music. He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops at age 16, and has performed in Asia, Europe, and North America, now giving over 100 concerts per year. In 2013, he placed 2nd at the world digital accordion championships.
Currently studying accordion performance at the University of Toronto with Joseph Macerollo, he is a captivating young musician - boldly redefining the sound and image of his traditional instrument. www.michaelbridgemusic.com


  • “I’m amazed what you do with this instrument, I find it totally baffling!”
       - Keith Lockhart, conductor, Boston Pops
  • "What an impressive artist! Michael achieves an awe-inspiring level of virtuosity on the
    accordion. His performances are done with musicianship, style and flair that are second to
       - Marco Parisotto, conductor, Ontario Philharmonic !
  • “Michael is both an accomplished musician and a riveting entertainer. His versatility and
    virtuosity are equally amazing.”
       - Dr. Paul Gooch, President, Victoria University at the University of Toronto
  • “Bridge makes accordion cool! He has the uncanny ability to turn disbelievers into staunch
       - Airdrie Echo

umkc title

umkc chamber accordion ensembleThe University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) Chamber Accordion Ensemble are delighted to appear in Lisle, IL (Chicago) as part of the 75th Anniversary Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival.
All players are alumni of the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and former members of the renowned UMKC Accordion Orchestra. The players make their living in various careers, but each have remained devoted to promoting the accordion and its varied repertoire, which includes transcriptions, commissions and other original works.
The UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble under the direction of Joan C. Sommers, has recently performed in Chicago, San Francisco and Kansas City.  In addition, they have participated in the USA contributions to World Accordion Day, when videos of their past performances were broadcast during the live presentation.
This year, the UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble will be joined by Macedonian violin soloist Filip Lazovski, a violinist with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, who will be featured as soloist on Por una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel (arr. J. C. Sommers) and as a member of the ensemble on Hans Boll’s Immortal. The ensemble will also perform Danse Bacchanale by Saint-Saens (arr. J. C. Sommers) and Gigue by Gretry, Decade by John Darnall with Jeff Lisenby as soloist and Blue Swan and Fuga a new composition by former ATG President and current Board of Director Stas Venglevski.

mary tokarskiConcert Accordionist, Mary Tokarski performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestras and as a member of The 'K' Trio. For 20 years Mary served as Director of Music Education at Tokarski Music Center in North Haven, Connecticut, where she taught piano and accordion, as well as conducted the choral & ensemble programs, and supervised the pre-school programs.
As a two-time United States Champion she represented the U.S. in the Coupe Mondiale (World Championship) events in Belgium and France, and now serves as President of the American Accordionists Association (AAA). Mary is one of the founders of the Connecticut Accordion Association, and is a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, Intl. (ATG).
Mary currently teaches piano and accordion at her home in Northford, Connecticut and is sought after for her adjudicating skills, workshop presentations and Master Classes on improving musical skills, and coaches on all aspects of performance throughout the U.S. and Canada.
jarosh title

jaroshMaureen Jarosh has been a dedicated music instructor and orchestra conductor for 35 years. Teaching music began as a way to finance her visual arts degree and has since become her full time career. She was introduced to her first accordion lesson at age 14, and received a grade 10 practical diploma, with honors, at 19. Shortly after college she found herself teaching in three studios with up to 120 students per week. 
Since 1984, Maureen has operated her own music studio teaching accordion, piano and music theory from her home.  In coordination with other local accordionists in Calgary, Maureen and her colleagues have created a not for profit society to promote the instrument in Alberta and the Calgary area. The Accordion Association of Calgary is now celebrating its 26th year of cultural excellence. 
With the collaboration of all past and present students, Maureen has created a dynamic accordion orchestra. The Jarosh Ensemble is an entity of its own. Under Maureen’s direction the group presents original, innovative and eclectic music for an accordion ensemble and has travelled to music festivals all over North America as well as hosted international accordion groups on several occasions. 
Local opportunities have given Maureen the chance to showcase the Jarosh Accordion Ensemble in performances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Buckwheat Zydeco, and on stage with the Canadian artists The Barenaked Ladies. 
Her commitment to community has led to benefit performances for UNICEF, Music missions in Central America, Haiti earthquake relief effort and support of arts and culture throughout southern Alberta. The Jarosh ensemble performed at the 2013 Coupe Mondiale in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Maureen’s future projects will be inspired and diverse. One such project will be working with the Canadian Music Centre to present more accordion information and content at the Cantos Museum and concerts to showcase the accordion in a more current context.

“Una Sinistra” – the duo of Yulia Amerikova (piano accordion) and Alexander Selivanov (button accordion) – was formed in 2003. The name of the duo which means “one left hand” (from Italian) appeared to accentuate the connection between the left keyboards of piano and button accordions.

“Una Sinistra” is the 1st prize winner of Coupe Mondiale in Glasgow (2008) and prize-winner of I International competition of Modern Music “Composer XXI” (2013). Since that time the duo is often invited to perform concerts and take part in international festivals in Russia, Europe and Asia as Moscow International Accordion Festival "Bayan and Bayanists", International Festival of Accordion Music (St-Petersburg), "Sata Hame Soi" (Finland), "Spoleto Spring Festival" (Italy), "Young talents of Russia", "Rendezvous..." (Moscow), Coupe Mondiale festivals and others.
The program of duo includes music of many different styles – transcriptions of symphonic and piano classics (made by Yulia and Alexander), contemporary original music and arrangement of variety and folk tunes. Buxtehude, Couperin, Barber, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Piazzolla, Semionov, Gridin, Angelis – is an incomplete list of performed composers.
Born in Moscow, Yulia Amerikova started learning the button accordion in music school when she was 7 years. She finished in 1995 with piano accordion and in 1999, Yulia graduated from the State Musical College Gnessins’. From 1999 to 2004, Yulia Amerikova studied both piano and button accordions at the Russian Academy of Music, Gnessins’ with one of the finest accordion teachers in the world, the very famous Professor Viatcheslav Semionov. During her study she won the International Competition “The Teacher and the Pupil”.

Yulia also became the winner of the competition of arrangements for Russian folk instruments orchestra. Her arrangements have been performed by the best folk orchestras – “Ossipov” National Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments of Russia and Academic TV and Radio State Company Russian Folk orchestra. She also made a lot of transcriptions for accordion duo. Yulia Amerikova participates in the organization of competitions and concerts. In addition, Yulia is engaged in journalism. She writes analytical articles in Russian and foreign magazines for musicians and also she is the editor of online news project dedicated to accordion art in Russia - www.accordionrussia.com and collaborator of the world-renowned international Internet project Accordion Worldwide www.accordions.com.
Born in Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia) in 1979, Alexander started to play a button accordion as a seven-years-old child at the local Children’s music school. In 1994-1998 Alexander studied at the Musical College in Yoshkar-Ola (Mari El, Russia). From 1998 to 2003 Alexander Selivanov was a student of the outstanding, world famous accordion composer and professor, Viatcheslav Semionov at the “Gnessins” Russian Academy of Music in Moscow. Under Semionov’s direction, Alexander formed himself as an artist, found his own way to choose a repertoire and a performance style and learned many secrets of accordion transcription.

Alexander is the winner of competitions in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, UK and Russia including 1st prize of “Coupe Mondiale”, “Klingenthal” and “Castelfidardo” competitions. Alexander is a professor of “Gnessins” Academy of Music in Moscow. His students repeatedly became the prize-winners of the international competitions. Alexander Selivanov regularly leads seminars and accordion master classes in Russia and abroad.

He is Vice-President of Music Committee of The Confederation Internationale des Accodeonistes (CIA) IMC - UNESCO and the editor of the internet project “Accordion Russia News”.
Both have served as jury members for many accordion competitions in Russia as well as internationally.


More guests to be announced soon! Please check back.
Lisle, (Chicago) Illinois
July 22-25, 2015

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