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07-Jun-2019

Successful 13th World Music Festival, Innsbruck – Austria

13th Festival header
opening concert with Guardia NuevaDHV audienceThe Innsbruck Congress, Messe and Olympic Hall were filled last weekend (from May 30th to June 2nd) with the sound of free reeds with the 13th World Music Festival hosted by the Deutscher Harmonika-Verband e.V. Held every three years, this festival attracts accordion orchestras and ensembles from all over Germany and the world, as well as featuring top soloist performers and groups in concert.

Competition sections ranged from children’s ensembles through to adult hobby groups and the premiere category was a closely fought battle between some of Europe’s most prestigious accordion orchestras.

Ultimately the top prize was awarded to “Akkordeon im Quadrat Mannheim und Hohner Akkordeon Orchester Reilingen” with a very creditable 47.8 points – just 0.2 ahead of second placed “Akkordeonorchester der Musikschule Elmshorn”.

Alongside the competition, accordion manufacturers, music publishers, and related organisations exhibited and were featured in various presentations, although for many in attendance it was the evening concerts that provided the greatest highlights.

Finland’s world class Tango Orchestra Guardia Nueva filled the Dogana Hall, while other opening night acts included “Accordion Masters”, “Akkordeonorchester Baltmannsweiler”, “Akkordeon Landesjugendorchester Baden Wurttemberg”, the “Seminarorchester from the Trossingen Accordion Conservatory” and the IOAC winners – Felix Fritshi and /Joe Kenney.

The range and variety on Saturday night was also a superb showcase of all things “accordion”. “The Southern Cross Accordion Ensemble” formed especially for the festival with accordionists from the AATA (Australian Accordion Teachers Association), ASA (Accordion Society of Australia) and from New Zealand opened the international concert, followed by Moldova’s acclaimed “Concertino”.

Meanwhile Zoran Zorko demonstrated his incredible musicianship, along with a spectacular Styrian Harmonkia showcase. The nightclub atmosphere was carrying on downstairs with “Cologne’s 1st Accordion Orchestra” and Trossingen’s famous “Hohnerklang” sharing the stage, while Lithuania’s world-famous Martynas Levickis wowed the crowd with his sell-out show in Tirol concerthall.

With so much accordion talent on display it was a difficult to choose which show to attend, but regardless of their decisions, everyone left the event thrilled with level of virtuosity displayed.

Even after such an action-packed weekend, there was no shortage of energy on Sunday morning, when Hans-Gunter Kolz took the baton once again with “Hohnerklang” entertaining the over 5000 strong crowd eagerly awaiting the results of the competition, before being joined on the stage with other players to form the huge massed “Europa Orchestra”.

The next World Music Festival will be held in 2022.

Picture below: Southern Cross Accordion Ensemble rehearsing for their performance in Innsbruck.
International Accordion Ensemble
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