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Great Accordion Cruise 2008 - Finland
Contributed by Kimmo Mattila
& Minna Plihtari
Great Accordion Cruise 2008 was on the Silja Europa cruise ship from
Turku, Finland to Sweden and back on Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd March.
The international accordion festival Sata-Häme Soi and the Finnish
Accordion Association arranged The Great Accordion Cruise for
the 17th time.
Kimmo Mattila - Cruise Artistic Director, Jacques Mornet and Frédéric
Deschamps of France and Sirpa Sippola - Sata-Häme Soi Festival
Director are listening to Sami Hopponen at the opening ceremony.
This hugely popular annual event had over 2,500 accordion lovers onboard
from all over Finland and from as far away as Russia, Great
Britain, France, Italy and Sweden. The whole boat was filled with
accordion music in different forms, in the concert hall, in the pubs
and on the dance floors. Acordion music all night and all day
Aino Ojakoski (violin) and Kimmo Mattila (accordion) are playing at
the opening ceremony.
The semifinals of the Golden and Silver Accordion Competitions took
place on Monday. The finalist of the Golden Accordion 2008 are: Matti
Kakko, Konnevesi; Tarja Lepistö, Kiuruvesi; Henriikka Santamaa,
Ulvila; Timo Sormunen, Siilinjärvi; Henna Tahvanainen,
Tohmajärvi, Ukko-Pekka Yliranta, Kittilä.
finalist of the Silver Accordion 2008 are: Ella Elomäki,
Pori; Johan-Antti Kivilahti, Haapajärvi; Mikko Makkonen, Palokka;
Viljami Morander (picture right), Somerniemi; Paula Rehula, Lappeenranta;
Eveliina Suomalainen, Karkkila; Viivi Tigerstedt, Helsinki;
The Silver and Golden Accordion TV-finals take place on 25th June
2008 at the Sata-Häme Soi Festival. The winner of the Golden
Accordion will represent Finland in the international Primus Ikaalinen
competition which will be televised live on 27th June 2008.
9th Annual International Accordion Festival Vienna is currently taking
place in several venues at Vienna, from February 24th to March 25th.
A total of 200 accordion artistes from 27 countries are performing
some 47 concerts.
The guest list includes: Raúl Barboza - Argentina, Renato Borghetti
- Brazil, Marinette Bonnert & Pere Romaní, Chili Cheeps,
Heinz Ditsch, Krzysztof Dobrek, Richard Galliano - France, Lars Karlson
– Sweden, Otto Lechner, Martin
Lubenov (picture left), Madagascar All Stars, Motion Trio - Poland,
Klaus Paier, Ciro Perez, with his Trio P.S.P., Sascha Shevchenko,
Beni Schmid, with Stian Carstensen and Georg Breinschmied, Stefan
Sterzinger, Riccardo Tesi - Italy, Tini Trampler, Attwenger and Roland
Neuwirth, Ulrich Kodjo Wendt, and Zamballarana, and many others.
City based accordionist Brett Gibson performed several works, including
Piazzolla's ‘Concierto para Bandoneo y Orquesta’, ‘Tres
Tangos para solo Bandoneon Y Orquesta’ and Gardel's ‘Por
Una Cabeza’, under the direction of Michael Booneas, guest soloist
on the Tango Romantico Concert in Longmont, CO, with the Longmont
Symphony. Performing to a capacity audience, Brett received a standing
ovation for his performances.
Brett was born in Auckland, New Zealand but now makes his home in
the Kansas City area where he has established himself as one of the
leading accordion specialists in the Celtic music scene having performed
several seasons with The Elders, Gabriel's Gate and is a regular musician
with Eddie Delahunt.
Brett began playing the accordion at the age of seven and at the age
of 12 won his first New Zealand championship for that age category
and continued to seriously perform and compete into his late teens
as a soloist and with duet, trio, quartet, ensemble and orchestra.
He went on to tour overseas with both the Air
New Zealand Accordion Orchestra and also the UMKC
the late 1990s the Musikakademie in the city of Kassel has inserted
the accordion into their teaching curriculum, offering a diploma course
of studies and also artistic training. In the last two years,
the accordion has now also become both a main and subsidiary subject
at the city’s university.
Faculty for Education and Human Sciences offers the possibility for
teaching training, for those interested. At both institutes
- the music academy and University of Kassel – the accordion
teacher is Mrs. Mirjana Petercol (picture right).
city of Kassel is famous for its permanent art exhibition, which includes
works by Rembrandt, and also as the home of the Brothers Grimm.
Kassel lies in the centre of Germany and enjoys all advantages
of a large city, with a calm and marvellous surrounding countryside.
The university and its different faculties as well as the famous academy
of art and the music academy shape the townscape.
Accordion Sculpture by Nikolina Trajanovska - Macedonia
Contributed by Anica Karakutovska
The accordion sculpture made by Nikolina Trajanovska specially for
the CIA Winter Congress, which was held in January in Skopje, is another
proof that the accordion is a great inspiration for artists to create
Trajanovska is a member of the Macedonian Association of Accordionists
and a fan of the accordion. She is a graduate in medicine, and art
is her hobby. The accordion sculpture was her realization of our mutual
idea and another beautiful co-operation between fans of the accordion
After the congress this sculpture is now displayed in the accordion
classroom of Professor Zorica Karakutovska in the DMBUC ‘Ilija
Nikolovski-Luj’, Skopje, and together with the original caricature
(symbols of the CIA Winter Congress 2008), is enriching the nice accordion
atmosphere in the music school.
Congress delegates sketched by a local artist Mr. Sabedin Ejupi-Sajgon
with real photos on the left. The drawing names with national flags,
left to right: Herbert
Schiebenreif (Austria), upper Mirco Patarini (Italy), lower
Friedrich (CIA President - USA), upper Ray
Boddell (UK), middle Zorica Karakutovska (Macedonia - host,
Macedonia President), Jacques
Mornet (France), Kimmo Matilla (Secretary - Finland), Frederic
Karlsson Band will be touring Austria next week. Concerts
will take place in Neunkirchen, St. Georgen/Lavanttal, and at Vienna's
International Accordion Festival, from March 7th to 9th.
Karlsson Band was formed in 1997 and has recently released the
latest CD ‘Tungo’. Their music is a mix of Nordic
folk music combined with influences of blues, rock, jazz and tango.
The band has appeared on different TV shows, are constantly performing
at festivals in the Nordic countries.
Karlsson has for the last 12 years been one of Sweden´s most
well known accordion artistes and is especially known for his innovating
way of mixing different musical styles, becoming influential for young
accordionists in recent years. He became Nordic Champion
on diatonic accordion in 1993 and has since been a judge in different
accordion competitions. In 2001 the Swedish Accordionists Association
voted him ‘Accordionist of the Year’, the first time ever
awarded to a diatonic accordionist.
In 2006 he made a nationwide tour, including 18 concerts in Sweden
together with Régis Gizavo from Madagaskar, and Lelo Nika from
Serbia. The same year Lars was one of the artistes in the opening
gala show for the European Championships of Track & Field with
a live performance for a crowd of over 100,000 people, appearing on
a TV show seen all over Europe.
The Lars Karlsson Band members are: Lars Karlsson (diatonic accordion),
Thomas Andersson (guitar), Dan Herbertsson (bass), and Göran
Kansas City based accordionist Juha
Silfverberg performed Piazzola's ‘Milonga sin Palabras’
with pianist Dr. Martín Cuéllar on the recent concert
'Martín Cuéllar and Friends' at Emporia State University
Pianist Martín Cuéllar is Assistant Professor of Piano
at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. An active performer,
Dr. Cuéllar has played concerts in the United States, Mexico,
Brazil, and Spain. He frequently serves as adjudicator and workshop
clinician in piano competition and workshops throughout the Midwest
and other parts of the United States.
Silfverberg is regularly found entertaining professionally in
the Kansas City area, where he freelances in a wide variety of ensembles.
He has toured Finland, Estonia, New Zealand, Japan and throughout
the USA with diverse musical groups ranging from Zydeco to Klezmer,
from Classical to Pop.
A native of Finland, Juha came to the USA to study accordion at the
University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) as their first overseas
accordion student. He holds the titles of both Finnish and Scandinavian
Champion. In addition to performing, Juha also keeps busy repairing
and tuning accordions and pianos.
Pictured below are the performers on the piano and accordion concert,
from left to right: Paul Moore (piano), Melinda Groves (piano), Juha
Silfverberg (accordion), Janice DeBauge (piano)and Dr. Martín
On Sunday March 2nd an all-day festival titled ‘Accordion Extravaganza’
took place at Doncaster Racecourse in South Yorkshire, in the North
of England. Organised by enthusiast Harry Kipling, the brand
new Doncaster Racecourse conference and hospitality suite proved to
be an ideal venue for an event that was indeed a great day for the
There was a continuous rolling 12-hour programme of concert performances
from guests Pearl
Fawcett Adriano, Romano
Viazzani, Harry Hussey, Alan Young, Sam Pirt & The Hut People,
Rosemary Wright, banjo player Bill Sables, and the Burton Ensemble.
Harry Hussey, deputising for the indisposed George Syrett, did a sterling
job as the compere, in addition to his playing stints. The day
included a Roland
Virtual Accordion demo, a trade show, refreshments and meals.
The first International Tango Festival takes place in Rome from June
26th to 29th. Choreographers/teachers include Sebastian Arce,
Mariano Chicho Frumboli, Horatio Quota, Alex Cantarelli, Carlo Paolantoni,
and Giusy Blandamura. Guest dancers are Mariana Montes and Juana
The festival includes a performance, for first time in Italy, of the
incredible show ’Exodo Tanguedo’. The orchestras involved,
featuring accordionists and bandoneon players, are Ensemble Hyperion
and the Trio de Sombra.
training course for accordionists title “Stage Accordéon
Arts et Cultures en Europe”, will be led by 1985 Coupe Mondiale
Champion Jean-Marc Marroni.
Jean-Marc is currently a professor of accordion with the ENM of Aix-en-Provence
and Municipal principal of music of Saint-Cannat. He is also
Professor with the CEFEDEM of Aubagne and regularly writes articles
for the review "Accordeon Magazine".
The training course will take place from July 13th to 19th at Serre
Eyraud in the French Alps.
The annual Loughborough Folk Festival takes place from March 8th to
10th at Loughborough Town Hall, and amongst the many artistes featured
are accordionists Jim Causley, Martin Green, Paul Hutchinson, Hannah
James, Shona Kipling, John Kirkpatrick and Steve Turner; melodeon
players Anahata, Joe O’Connor and Saul Rose; and concertina
players Richard Arrowsmith, Robert Harbron and Mary Humphreys.
The festival includes a variety of concerts, ceilidhs and instrumental
Accordionists Ian Watson and Julie North, known as ‘Duo Esprit’
perform at Guildford Accordion Club, 7.30pm, on Good Friday, March
21st, Ripley Village Hall, near Guildford, Surrey GU23 6AF.
The organiser is John Cumiskey.
New information upon artists on the website of accordion manufacturer
New information on the website of the accordion producer Beltuna/Castelfidaro/Italy
Gary Dahl - accordionist as well as a composer, arranger, recording
artist and music educator,updates 3 of his works and release 1 new
work for accordion available for purchase online, Maria
Street Rag' and 'You
Can't Be True Dear'. Samples of this music are available on
the site. The music is in eSheet format, able to be emailed to your
computer. Purchase with credit card.
Reviews and DVD Reviews index page updated. See over 248
reviews of recordings since 1997 to 2008 by Renato Belardinelli, Tania
Lukic-Marx, Alessandro Mugnoz, Paolo Picchio and Joan C. Sommers -
a huge resource of information for those interested in accordion recordings.