is honoured and delighted to have secured the services of the famous
Mangosi, whose brilliant and humorous work has appeared frequently
in newspapers and magazines in Italy. Roberto's witty and often satirical
cartoons have won him numerous awards, and the world of the accordion
is now subject to his unique powers of observation.
Accordion Concert and 'Abandon'
CD Launch, Melbourne - Australia
Contributed by Rob
main accordion event of the year took place, when visually impaired
Conlon, gave her eighth annual Melbourne Cup Eve concert, as guest
artiste of the Bentleigh Organ Club. This much-anticipated concert
began with a performance by the Accordion Orchestra of Melbourne,
conducted by Bernadette. Bernadette
formed this orchestra, after an absence of an accordion orchestra
in Melbourne for over twenty-five years.
A two and a half hour concert followed, which included an hour and
half of her very popular unrehearsed audience requests. The concert
also coincided with the launch of Bernadette's latest CD, 'Abandon'.
is my most honest and introspective, yet intensively passionate album
she says. "It was a pleasure
to record some of my favourite songs and I believe it showcases the
accordion's timeless quality, in the richness of its many tonal colours
- an ability to mix the music of yesteryear, with some of today's
everlasting hits, such as 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'. It
was a journey of discovery for me, on which I hope the listener will
also embark and enjoy it as much as I did recording it."
international jury at the 4th Competition of Bayan and Accordion Players
at the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow from December 11th to 18th
has been confirmed as follows: Chairman - Friedrich
Lips (Russia), Sergey Kolobkov (Russia), Viacheslav
Semionov (Russia), Joan
Sommers (USA), Owen
Murray (Great Britain), Vojin Vasovic (Serbia & Montenegro),
Max Bonnay (France), Mie Miki (Japan), Joseph Macerollo (Canada),
Matti Rantanen (Finland), Pavel Fenyuk (Ukraine), Cao
Xiao-Qing (China) and Claudio
Jacomucci (Italy). 40 competitors from 8 countries will take part
in this event, which includes three rounds of competition with six
finalists battling for first place.
A variety of concerts will be held during the festival (including
opening and closing concerts) with performances by the Orchestra of
Bayanists of the Gnessin Academy of Music (Vladimir Shkurovsky, conductor),
Aidar Gainullin and Yuri
Medianik (both winners of the 3rd Competition for Bayanists and
Accordionists in 2000), Mie Miki (Professor at the University of Music
in Essen, Germany), Claudio
Jacomucci (Italy), Pavel Fenjuk (Ukraine), Joseph Macerollo (Canada),
Art Van Damme, Stas
Venglevski and John Simkus (USA).
Memorial about the life of Elsie
Bennett and her considerable contribution to original accordion
literature is now online. Elsie Bennett helped to launch the AAA's
Composers Commissioning Committee about 1953, and she chaired this
committee until 2004, during which time over 50 original works were
Elsie Bennett was one of the earliest USA university graduates majoring
in accordion, and was an AAA
Board member since 1953. She was a music school director, and she
devoted a lifetime of personality and energy towards the instrument
she loved - the accordion. She will be sadly missed.
Jean Michel Legros (KIWI
productions) and French accordionist Jean-Louis
Noton will travel on December 16th to Cape Skirring in Casamance
to complete a music video, on the theme of peace. After 20 years of
war a peace agreement was signed on December 29th 2004 between the
Senegalese authorities and insurgents. Jean-Louis Noton was present
on the occasion of this historic event.
For the last 15 years Jean-Louis Noton has spent his vacations in
this heavenly region and has done much to activate interest in the
accordion in the schools. The accordion fascinates the young Senegalese,
and the accordion and African instruments such as balafon and djembé
choras blend well together. Jean-Louis
Noton has composed and recorded music using Senegalese themes
begins in Poland with a major international accordion festival, held
from January 6th to 8th in Wroclaw. The festival covers a wide range
of music, including everything from Baroque to Jazz.
There will be two categories of competition: for soloists, and for
chamber ensembles and accordion orchestras. Both categories of the
competition are open to amateur and professional musicians, and there
are no age restrictions.
The Festival Director is Olexiy Suslov. A special guest of the festival
will be Yuri Shishkin (Russia) - the winner of numerous international
accordion competitions: Klingenthal
(Germany 1988), Kansas City (USA - 1990), and Castelfidardo
(Italy - 1991).
Lubenov's New CD 'Veselina' and World Music Prize, Vienna - Austria Contributed
Lubenov, at the age of 29 years, is already established as one of
the foremost contemporary virtuosos, arrangers and composers for Balkan
accordion. The Bulgarian virtuoso combines Balkan Roma music with
shades of swing, modern jazz, tango nuevo, salsa and musette and,
in doing so, pays honour to it like Astor Piazzolla did to tango and
Richard Galliano did to musette.
After the success of Martin's debut album 'Dui Droma', by the Martin
Lubenov Orkestar, a second album 'Veselina', by Martin and the Jazzta
Prasta Band has been released. Jazzta Prasta are the jazzier mini-version
of the Martin Lubenov Orkestar. The members of this unorthodox balkan
quartet flavour their unconventional fusion of Bulgarian folk and
jazz, and also with tremendous vitality. On December 3rd Martin Lubenov's
Jazzta Prasta were awarded the Austrian World Music Music Prize at
Vienna's Porgy & Bess Club.
Web Sales Increase of 22% for 2005 - USA Contributed
Forrester Research and Shop.org of the USA, predicts that general
web sales will increase by 22% this year with the coming holiday season
likely to set new online sales records. E-commerce currently accounts
for about 7% of all retails sales and by 2010, that figure is expected
to rise to 12% of all retail sales.
That is nearly doubling online sales in the next five years. The accordion
industry will enjoy an even greater increase in internet sales due
to the huge numbers of accordionists in China, Russia and Eastern
European countries, who will have credit cards in the future.
North West Area Festival, Fleetwood - UK Contributed
by Gina Brannelli
National Accordion Organisation North West Area Festival was held
at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood, Lancashire on November 27th. A perfect
location for this event, with 229 entries, it was a very busy day
for adjudicators NAO
Bodell, together with his clerk William Langton, and Fred Parnell,
together with his clerk Mrs Mavis Parnell. The day began at 7am for
the Organising Committee, and the Festival was off to a prompt 9am
start. It was a fantastic day, with many remarkable performances from
soloists, groups and orchestras.
The presentations commenced with a summary of the competition from
the adjudicators. Raymond
Bodell and Fred Parnell were delighted with the event, and remarked
on the high level of performance offered by all the competitors. They
were asked to choose the awards for the outstanding performances of
the day. Santana O'Connor, Hannah Heaney, Julie Langton, Daizilee
Pattison and Alexander Bodell were the recipients.
The Accordion Times International Challenge Award was presented
to Harry Hinchcliffe for his support and valuable assistance at the
North West Area Festival. His orchestras and groups set a very high
standard and senior competitors included Janet Etherington, who won
the Advanced Section. Ann Parker and John Smith were also successful
The New Petulengros won the Entertainment section with an exciting
selection of music. Hannah Heaney, brother Kieran Heaney, sisters
Philomena and Jody made up "The 4 Aces", and did really
well for the first time in competition, plus individually achieving
Thanks must go to the committee of the North West Area: William Langton,
John Fairclough, Stage Managers Jean Southern and Betty Pollard, Room
Managers Tom Sharples, Christy O'Connor and Mark Langton, and photographer
David Batty. The Charnwood
Publications stand was a popular spot in the trade area, thanks
to representative Anna Bodell. Rob
Howard was present with his new book 'An
A to Z of the Accordion, Volume 2', signing copies. The Committee
thanked all the teachers and accordion clubs who supported the North
West Festival 2005, and also the Wyre Borough Council for providing
the superb venue.
First picture shows Jean Louis being mobbed by fans. Second
picture, first left is Chinese Vice-President Chen Jun, next is Roberto
Ottavianelli of accordion manufacturer Bugari
Armando, Jean Louis, then far right is Chinese Vice-President
Prof. Li Cong who is
also the President of the Shangai Accordion Association.
The well travelled French accordionist Jean-Louis
Noton was recently in China at the International Musicfair in
Shanghai, demonstrating the Odyssey OPTIMA, made by the French accordion
producer Cavagnolo at the at
the stand of the Chinese producer Golden Lion. As always during his
performances of French and international tunes, Jean-Louis drew a
large crowd of enthusiastic fans.
Ivano Battiston has just concluded a series of concerts with the Symphonic
orchestra of San Remo, directed by the Japanese conductor Tsutsumi
Shunshaku. This prestigious orchestra, appearing for the first time
in Italy, performed the 'Concerto Sol minore opus 46', by Bernhard
Molique. This concerto was written originally for English concertina
and adapted for the accordion by Ivano Battiston.
German-born composer Bernhard Molique (1802-1869) studied in Nuremberg,
worked in Vienna, and then moved to London where he met the Swiss-born
guitarist and concertina player Giulio Regondi at the Royal Academy
of Music. In 1853, Molique wrote 'Concerto Sol minore opus 46' for
Giulio Regondi, and the piece was critically acclaimed. Ivano Battiston
has now revived the concerto for modern audiences.
Christmas Concert, Washington - USA Contributed by Rob
Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) held its 2005 Christmas
Holiday concert on December 4th. Joan Grauman (right picture), an
accordionist from Potomac Maryland, conducted the WMAS orchestra and
the Potomac Ensemble. Dale E. Wise of Virginia, accordionist and teacher,
acted as Master-of-Ceremonies.
The program included Christmas songs, Channukah songs, international
songs from France, Germany, Israel, Russia, plus some folk music.
Soloists included Elise Malouf, Czarina Attipoe, Silvia Eberly, Daniel
McCharen, Phil Fox, Ronald Charvet, Dan Grauman, Rick Nunno, Adam
Carter-Nafziger, Mara Cherkasky, Peter Di Giovanni, Leone Monticone,
Clare Cherkasky, Michael B. Rubin, Jim Vandelly, Vladimir Titarenko,
Merv Conn, Joan Grauman, and Dale Wise.
The WMAS orchestra and the Potomac Ensemble also performed several
American and international Christmas songs. The Potomac Ensemble will
also be the guest artistes at the Dale E. Wise Christmas Holiday Concert
on December 14th.
course for improving accordion playing technique, led by Claudio
Jacomucci, will be held at the Istituto Pareggiato in Rimini.
The eight sessions run from November 2005 until June 2006, and the
remaining dates are: January 14th, February 18th, 18 March 18th, April
15th, May 13th and June 3rd.
The program includes working on transcriptions of classical music
(from JS Bach to Stravinsky) and the contemporary repertoire (from
Berio to Zorn). Many points of technique, including bellows shake,
will be covered.