Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA)
member of the International Music Council - (IMC-UNESCO)
2008 CIA Winter Congress - Skopje, MACEDONIA
119th CIA General Assembly of Delegates - January 18-20, 2008

Host: CIA Member - Association of Accordionists - MACEDONIA
"Ljubiteli na klasicnata muzika" - Skopje
Saturday - January 19, 2008
CIA Committee Meetings
Members of the CIA Music Committee: Frederic Deschamps (Chairperson),
Raymond Bodell (Secretary), Zorica Karakutovska and Jacques Mornet.
Members of the CIA Executive Committee: Frederic Deschamps (Music Committee Chairperson),
Raymond Bodell (Vice President), Herbert Scheibenreif (Vice President),
Kevin Friedrich (President) and Kimmo Mattila (Secretary General/Treasurer).
Epiphany (Vodici) on the Vadar River
Orthodox Macedonian religion celebrates the age old tradition of Epiphany (Vodici) every January 19, the anniversary of Jesus' Baptism, when believers of the purifying powers of water jump into the frigid Vardar River to claim a wooden cross.

Aleksandar Ristovski from the Radisani area of Skopje successfully caught the holy cross, which was thrown in the Vardar River by the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church 'HH Stefan'. Ristovski wished the cross to bring him happiness and success in his studies as well as health to his family, and a lot of luck to all believers in 2008.
Aleksandar was presented with a gold coin by the Mayor of Skopje Mr. Trifun Kostovski and an Icon by the Mayor of the Centar municipality Violeta Alarova.
Spectators line the banks of the Vardar River to watch the traditional Vodici Ceremony
The wooden cross is about to be thrown
into the Vardar River
Above: Participants making their way to try and claim the wooden cross.
Below: the lucky recipient Aleksandar Ristovski in the process of claiming the wooden cross.
Members of the CIA Delegation Günther Zeilinger (Germany), Mirco Patarini (Italy) and Werner Weibert (Austria) with host Anica Karakutovska enjoying the view of the proceedings from an upstairs cafe.
119th General Assembly

Executive Committee Music Committee
USA - Kevin FRIEDRICH France - Frederic DESCHAMPS
United Kingdom - Raymond BODELL France - Jacques MORNET
Austria - Herbert SCHEIBENREIF Macedonia - Zorica KARAKUTOVSKA
Finland - Kimmo MATTILA Advancement & Development Committee
France - Frederic DESCHAMPS Italy - Mirco PATARINI

Delegates in Attendance Macedonia - Biljana MLADENVSKA
Austria - Werner WEIBERT Portugal - Carlos SEMEDO
Croatia - Vjera ODAK-JEMBRIH Bosnia & Herzegovina - Zorin RAKIC
Germany - Günther ZEILINGER Serbia - Aleksandar NIKOLIC
Macedonia - Anica KARAKUTOVSKA Serbia - Nenad LJUBENOVIC
Macedonia - Elizabeta ILIEVSKA United Kingdom - Anna BODELL

Apologies for Non-Attendance    
Austria - Walter MAURER Slovakia - Tibor RACZ
Denmark - Peter ANDERS Sweden - Jörgen SUNDEQVIST
Fiji - Harley JONES USA (AAA) - Faithe DEFFNER
New Zealand - Heather MASEFIELD USA (AAA) - Linda Soley REED
Russia - Viatcheslav SEMIONOV USA-ATG - Joan SOMMERS
Serbia - Vojin VASOVIC    

Front Row Sitting:
France - Frederic DESCHAMPS, United Kingdom - Raymond BODELL,
USA - Kevin FRIEDRICH, Finland - Kimmo MATTILA, Austria - Herbert SCHEIBENREIF

Middle Row Standing:
Bosnia & Herzegovina - Zorin RAKIC, Germany -
Serbia - Aleksandar NIKOLIC, Macedonia -
Elizabeta ILIEVSKA,
Macedonia - Anica KARAKUTOVSKA
Macedonia - Zorica KARAKUTOVSKA,
Italy - Mirco PATARINI, Austria - Werner WEIBERT

Ascending On Stairs:
Portugal - Carlos SEMEDO, Serbia - Nenad LJUBENOVIC,
France - Jacques MORNET, Croatia - Vjera ODAK-JEMBRIH,
United Kingdom - Anna BODELL

CIA Winter Congress held in Skopje, Macedonia

The Confédération Internationale Des Accordéonistes (CIA) held its 119th General Assembly of Delegates "Winter Congress" in Skopje, Macedonia hosted by the Association of Accordionists from the Republic of Macedonia. In addition to the General Assembly, association President Zorica Karakutovska, Vice President Elizabeta Ilievska, Public Relations Manager Anica Karakutovska and secretary Biljana Mladenovska provided an exciting array of activities including meetings, sightseeing, a reception with the Mayor of Skopje Mr. Trifun Kostovski, visits and meetings at the school and university, both with the Director (Principal) of the Music High School "Ilija Nikolovski-Luj" Skopje Mr. Zoran Dzorlev and the students, a formal concert of Prof. Karakutovska's students, as well as a Macedonian evening of entertainment.

Nineteen Delegates from around the world traveled to Skopje to attend this first CIA function held in Macedonia. During the Congress, two new associations were accepted for CIA membership including the Associação dos Acordeonistas do Brasil (AAB) - President: Lauro Valerio, and the Italian Accordion Culture (IAC) - President: Federica Celesti.

The CIA Merit Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the International accordion movement were accepted to be awarded to renowned concert artist and teacher Friedrich Lips (Russia) and to Manfred Gäbler (Germany) the organizer of the Klingenthal International Accordion Competition for more than 40 years. The Honored Friend of the Accordion Award was accepted to be awarded to Friedl Preisl and Herwig Peychär (Austria), Silvio De Pra (New Zealand) and Sylvia Prior (USA), recognizing their lifelong work on behalf of the accordion in their respective countries.

During the Congress meeting, the Delegates accepted the nomination of the 2008 Coupe Mondiale host the National Accordion Organization of the United Kingdom (NAO) to nominate Anna Bodell as the 2008 CIA Honorary Vice President. Anna is also the organizer of the 2008 Coupe Mondiale, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

At the conclusion of the last General Assembly Meeting, CIA delegates conducted an extremely interesting meeting with local accordion students to discuss many interesting topics, including their experiences at the various Coupe Mondiale festivals attended, issues relating to their life as an accordion student in Macedonia and their hopes for their own musical careers and the future of the accordion. Participating students in this CIA Student Council Forum included Boban Peric (20 yrs), Bojan Volchevski (20 yrs), Elena Jovcheska (18 yrs), Maztin Kolevski (19 yrs), Ljupco Kolevski (16 yrs) and Aleksandar Kolovski (17 yrs). Recognizing and appreciating the importance of the tremendous work being carried out by the young students, the CIA plans to conduct similar meetings at future CIA events in order to gain a better understanding and working relationship with accordion students around the world.

Members of the Music Committee worked in person and via electronic communication to finalize competition guidelines for the 2008 Coupe Mondiale to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from the 22nd - 27th October, and all information can be found at
Reception and Macedonian Night
Front: Filip STAMEVSKI, Jovce PETKOVSKI, Aleksandar KOLOVSKI, Martin KOLEVSKI,
Right: Jacques MORNET and
Zorica with her parents
Gorgi and Dafinka KARAKUTOVSKI
Elizabeta with her parents
Violeta and Zoran ILIEVSKI
Anica with Darko NIKOLOVSKI, a 4th year accordion student at FMU and one of the finalists of the famous Macedonian show "M2" (like American IDOL).
Darko is
especially popular with the young audiences.
Croatia - Vjera ODAK-JEMBRIH
Serbia - Nenad LJUBENOVIC
Serbia - Aleksandar NIKOLIC
Bosnia & Herzegovina - Zorin RAKIC
Italy - Mirco PATARINI
Macedonia -
Portugal - Carlos SEMEDO
Croatia - Vjera ODAK-JEMBRIH
and Vjera ODAK-JEMBRIH in the traditional Macedonian dances.

United Kingdom - Ray and Anna BODELL
Frederic DESCHAMPS with Macedonian students

Confederation Internationale Des Accordeonistes (CIA) - General Secretary
Kimmo Mattila, Kyrösselänkatu 3, FIN-39500 IKAALINEN, Finland. E-mail:

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