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Weekly News from Around the World - 19-Feb-2021
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Highlights

Registrations Now Open for Tag der Harmonika 2021 - Austria
Antonio Spaccarotella Artistic Director for 2021 PIF Castelfidardo - Italy
2021 Piazzolla Music Competition, New Hampshire - USA
XXXIII Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival Success - Finland
Martynas Levickis Performs at Piazzolla Celebration Concert - Germany
Kevin Friedrich Concert "An American Journey" in Dargaville - New Zealand

Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.

Wu Qiong on CCTV Spring Festival Gala Concert - China
Video: Exciting Renzo Ruggieri New Releases - Italy
Online: VI Odin International Music Competition 2021 Results
Ricardo Llanos Pitch Bending Paper - Spain
Online: Uruguay Tropical Festival - Uruguay
Historical Video: K Trio Performance in 2005 - USA

Future events

Alex Meixner Band Entertainment in Florida - USA
Concert "Europe Dances: Music of Palaces and Cabaret", Moscow - Russia
Accordionists Entertain at Benefit Concert - Brazil
Vardos Trio “Cookbook” Concert, Melbourne - Australia
Online: Tiina Kiik and Tuulikki Bartosik Perform at Music Week - Estonia
Online: Day of the Accordion - USA
Online: John Kirkpatrick “Morris Music Special” - UK
Tracey Collins Entertains at Auckland Fringe Festival - New Zealand
Online: Talisk Features in CCM Live Music Festival - Scotland
Online: Ian Lowthian “Eastern European Tunes” Music Weekends – UK
Online: Music From Before the Accordion was Invented - USA
1st International Conducting Festival - Italy

Childrens Corner

Kokkola Childrens Concert - Finland

New and Updated Sites

Updated Site: Jeff Lisenby

Help Desk, Information needed, Readers Comments

Submit Your Question, Comment
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Highlights


Registrations Now Open for Tag der Harmonika 2021 - Austria

HVO
Registrations are now open for the Tag der Harmonika 2021 (Day of the Accordion) competition, to be held in Perg, Austria from 3rd to 6th June 2021 organised by HVO - Harmonica Verband Osterreichs (Accordion Association of Austria).

The competition for Steirische harmonika, diatonic and buttonbox etc will include categories for soloists, duos, ensembles and orchestras as well as classes for entertainment music, chamber music and world music. Age group categories are from 6 years up to adults (maximum 32 years).

This year there will be a new category for the Steirische Harmonika (Styrian type): the Cyrill Demian Prize for international candidates!

Closing date for registrations is April 23rd, 2021.
Download Rules here in German and English: 2021TagHarmonikaRules.pdf

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Antonio Spaccarotella Artistic Director for 2021 PIF Castelfidardo - Italy

PIF Castelfidardo header
Castelfidardo logoRoberto Ascani, Ruben CittadiniVideo: Tango Revenga composed by Antonio Spaccarotella and performed by the OFC Calabrian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Volodymyr Runchak, soloist Grayson Masefield.

The City Council of Castelfidardo (Marche region, Italy), in collaboration with Castelfidardo Pro Loco Tourist Association, organizes the PIF International Competition “Città di Castelfidardo” for accordion soloists and groups, of classical music and other genres.

The Castelfidardo Municipal Administration is led by Mayor Roberto Ascani, the Castelfidardo Pro Loco headed by Ruben Cittadini, and newly appointed, on 15 February 2021, PIF Artistic Director Antonio Spaccarotella.

PIF Castelfidardo 2021 will run from 22 to 26 September, and Antonio Spaccarotella will be the youngest Artistic Director ever. His qualifications include, event Production Director, highly successful teacher with many international successes, music arranger and recently, successful composer.

Anotonio Spaccarotella is a holder of the Chair of Accordion at the Conservatory of Music of Catanzaro P.I. Tchaikovsky and also Production Director of the OFC Calabrian Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the most popular emerging orchestras on the international scene.

Spaccarotella has great respect and gratitude for the many earlier editions of PIF Castelfiidardo that have made it what it is today. For this reason he has in mind to give an innovative imprint that is, at the same time, respectful of the traditional vision, convinced that the balance between the two souls of the accordion is very important for the future.

Rules and further information for PIF 2021 will be released later at: 2021Castelfidardo
Antonio Spaccarotella

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2021 Piazzolla Music Competition, New Hampshire - USA

Piazzolla poster
Promo video of Piazzolla Music Competition.

Marking Astor Piazzolla’s 100th anniversary, the Fundacion Astor Piazzolla is launching the first edition of the Piazzolla Music Competition.

The competition, aimed at both soloists and ensembles, seeks to find musicians of any instrument or voice type, with an affinity for Piazzolla’s work, who will be able to add to the composer’s catalog.

Applicants can include pre-professional or professional soloists or ensembles of no more than six. They can be of any nationality, and must be at least 13 years of age to send in video submissions performing the music of Piazzolla.

The grand prize includes a cash reward, a recording and release deal with PARMA Recordings Navona Records, as well as a concert tour throughout China arranged and funded by PARMA.

Other prizes include a masterclass from Pablo Zeigler, and an invitation to perform with a leading overseas orchestra.

The competition jury, headed by Pablo Ziegler (former member of Piazzolla’s quintet), will include bandoneonists Hector del Curto (Argentina), Daniel Binelli (Argentina/Spain), Walther Castro (Argentina) and accordionist, bandoneonist & composer Cesare Chiacchiaretta (Italy).

Competition entries close on April 18th, 2021. The winners will be announced on 15th June 2021.

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XXXIII Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival Success - Finland

Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival header
The XXXIII Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival was very successfully held online from February 6th to 14th, 2021 in Kokkola, Finland.

The Kokkola Winter Festival has generously made all the main concerts available to the world free of charge at: 2021Kokkola
View previous years reports.
2018KokkolaReports
2020Kokkola

Event Artistic Director since inception Raimo Vertainen wishes to thank all the supporters, the Organising Committee and the sponsors for making the 2021 XXXIII Kokkola Winter Festival possible in the middle of a pandemic.

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Martynas Levickis Performs at Piazzolla Celebration Concert - Germany

Martynas LevickisMartynas Levickis will perform with Arabella Steinbacher (violin) and the Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon at a special event in the Tonhalle, Düsseldorf, Germany on March 12th, 2021 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Astor Piazzolla.

The Aurora Orchestra prefers to present their performances a little differently by standing on stage and playing by memory as they believe they release more energy with these small changes.

The concert program with Martynas Levickis will include Piazzolla’s "Libertango".

For details email: info@martynasmusic.com
Aurora orchestra

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Kevin Friedrich Concert "An American Journey" in Dargaville - New Zealand

Kevin poster
Kevin with ExcelsiorKevin Friedrich will host a concert ‘An American Journey’, on 28th March 2021 at 1pm. Presented by The Dargaville Museum - Te Whare Taonga o Tunatahi, the 14th Annual Afternoon of Music with Kevin Friedrich and Friends will feature an array of American music and finish with an American themed Sing Along.

American music covers a diverse array of genres, including Vaudeville to Vegas, Ragtime to Rock n' Roll, Cajun to Country, Broadway to Bluegrass, the Golden Oldies to Gospel, music inspired by American and much more! Moving to the United States in 1980 to study accordion at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) with renowned accordion teacher Joan Cochran Sommers, Kevin’s concert will showcase a variety of musical styles and some of the popular pieces that pertain to his country of residence, the USA.

Picture above left: Kevin with 1930s New York, USA manufactured accordion by Excelsior

Guest artists will include an Accordion Orchestra comprising members from several different groups from Auckland, Roslyn Gilmour, Jone Yelcich, Colin Horsefall and his accordion ensemble from Keri Keri, popular accordionist and vocalist Lionel Reekie, pianist Thomas Koloi, Maurice Jones and daughter Alanah Jones, Dargaville’s very own songsters, the Rivertown and Take 6 Singers, young vocalists Abbey and Isaac Skelton and Cindy and Mark Vincent on fiddle and guitar.

The Concert will be a wonderful Variety Show for all ages, bringing the community and guests together for an afternoon of music and friendship. All proceeds will be donated to the Dargaville Museum in support of their efforts to showcase the history of the community for future generations to enjoy.

The Dargaville Museum hosts the only public accordion exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere “Accordion Gems, A Master Collection of Accordions Through Time”. Established and curated by Kevin Friedrich, the 140 instruments on display showcase the fascinating evolution of the instrument over its nearly 200 year history.

Available at the Dargaville Museum, tickets are $25 for Adults and $10 for Children and include Afternoon Tea. For information, please phone: (09) 439-7555.

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Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.


Wu Qiong on CCTV Spring Festival Gala Concert - China

Video: Excerpt featuring accordionist Wu Qiong, CCTV 2021 Spring Festival Gala Concert.

Accordionist Wu Qiong has been a member of the China Oriental Performing Arts Group since 2010. At 13, Wu was admitted to study the accordion at Tianjin Conservatory of Music and graduated from the school with a master's degree in 2009.

Music is a family tradition. Her grandfather was a keyboard player, her father was a pianist and accordion player and her mother a violinist. Wu started learning piano when she was 3 years old, and at 9, she played her father's accordion recreationally and was drawn to the sound of the musical instrument. She decided to learn playing accordion with her father.

During the third season of I Am a Singer, Wu collaborated with Chinese singer-songwriter Li Jian on the song, Baikal Lake, which Li wrote and performed in 2011. The song not only won Li positive reviews from the audience and music critics but also led to TV performances on various shows, including The Voice of China by Zhejiang Satellite TV Station.

"The accordion is an amazing instrument," says the now 35-year-old musician, who was born and grew up in Tianjin. "It's powerful yet delicate and sensitive." "I want to display the versatility of the musical instrument, melody, chords and accompaniment," says Wu. "I hope more young composers will write original music pieces for the musical instrument."

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Video: Exciting Renzo Ruggieri New Releases - Italy

Renzo RuggieriVideo: Renzo Ruggieri has released his new work "Il Bosco Incantato" for accordion and string orchestra. The accordion soloist is Claudio Azzaro.

Catalog: rrenzo517 - Il Bosco Incantato for free bass accordion
Catalog: rrenzo524 - Il Bosco Incantato for free bass accordion and string orchestra (full score and individual parts).

Renzo Ruggieri is pictured right with his new accordion by Bugari Armando, has also published an update of his very popular composition "Tango Italian" (ver. 1.3) for solo virtuoso accordion. Real value for only Euro 10 and ideal for competitions and concerts.
Catalog: rrenzo503

Tango Italiano is also released in 5 versions:
accordion & orchestra and
accordion & string orchestra
accordion & strings, rhythmic section
accordion & rhythmic section
added piano
(full score and individual parts). Catalog: rrenzo522
Il Bosco Incantato score

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Online: VI Odin International Music Competition 2021 Results

Odin poster
Odin logoMargherita BerlandaVideo: Odin International Music Online Competition, 1st prize winner 17 – 18 years Sofia Ros Gonzalez (Spain). Sofia's prize included an Online Masterclass with Jury member Margherita Berlanda.

The VI Odin International Music Competition was held online in January 2021, organized by the European Academic Artists Association, a non-profit organization with the aim to promote worldwide cultural and educational exchange.

The international jury included Margherita Berlanda (accordion, Italy - picture right).

Results:

• Accordion 11 - 12 years: 2nd place - Maksymilian Sztabinski (Poland)
• Accordion 15 – 16 years: 1st place - Žygimantas Vyšniauskas (Lithuania)
• Accordion 17 – 18 years: 1st place - Sofia Ros Gonzalez (Spain)
• Accordion 17 – 18 years: 2nd place - Martin Kot (Czech Republic)
• Accordion 19 – 22 years: 1st place - Marek Mikác (Slovakia)

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Ricardo Llanos Pitch Bending Paper - Spain

A paper has been released entitled “Accordion acoustics: A study on pitch bending”, written by M. Jesús Elejalde-García, Erica Macho-Stadler and Ricardo Llanos - Vázquez.

The paper is published by Acoustics in Practice (AiP) which is an open access electronic journal (free to read, no submission fees but contributions are limited to EAA - European Acoustics Association society members).

Download the paper to read at:
https://euracoustics.org/activities/acoustics-in-practice/acoustics-in-practice

Thank you to the three authors for their generosity in making the paper freely available.

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Online: Uruguay Tropical Festival - Uruguay

Uruguay Tropical fest
The online event “Uruguay Tropical Festival” was held on February 12th, 2021.

Over 30 artists from Uruguay took part in the event including popular group “Fuelles Salteños”.

You can see their performance in the video above.

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Historical Video: K Trio Performance in 2005 - USA

Video: Connecticut Accordion Association - The K Trio perform at Seven Angels Theater on January 30, 2005. This video is from Marilyn O'Neil’s collection.

Sadly, Julie Kasprzyk Cardona, 72, of North Haven, USA passed away unexpectedly on January 15th, 2021 at her home. She was a member of the K Trio, AAA, American Accordionists' Association and the Connecticut Accordion Association.

The K Trio performed all over the United States and were truly a trio of champions. Siblings Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski, Julie Kasprzyk Cardona and Walter Kasprzyk performed nationwide in competitions and concerts as youngsters. As young adults, life moved them to different areas of the United States! After 25 years apart, they all relocated to Connecticut again, and soon after began performing as The "K" Trio.

You can read more about her at: http://www.accordions.com/news.aspx?d=22-Jan-2021&lang=en#art17215

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Future events


Alex Meixner Band Entertainment in Florida - USA

Meixner poster
The Alex Meixner Band will be making its premiere performance at the Martin County Fair in Stuart, Florida on February 20th at 4pm. The band will play a “90 minute power set”. They will also be joined by Polka Hall of Fame and multi-instrumentalist Wally Dombrowski, who plays concertina, trumpet, and vocals!

The following day, (February 21st) the band will perform at the Summer Crush Vineyard and Winery in Fort Pierce, Florida from 1pm to 4pm. This concert will be in a Covid safe outdoor setting under the pavilion where everyone can spread out. For this performance the band will be joined by Rick Piotrowski on sax, clarinet, trumpet, and vocals and their repertoire will include lots of Polish-style polkas.

For details email: info@alexmeixner.com

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Concert "Europe Dances: Music of Palaces and Cabaret", Moscow - Russia

Russia poster
A concert entitled "Europe Dances: Music of Palaces and Cabaret” will be held on February 21st at 2pm, in the Musical Lounge "Watercolour Salons" in Moscow, Russia.

Performers include Maksim Fedorov (bayan & bandoneon), winner of international competitions and artistic director of the ensemble "Fandango" along with Vladislav Domogatsky (guitar).

Their program will include works by J. S. Bach, A. Vivaldi, J. Rodrigo, A. Piazzolla, K. Gardel and L. Bakalov.

See poster for details.

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Accordionists Entertain at Benefit Concert - Brazil

Brazil poster
Accordionists will entertain at a special benefit concert for music friends on February 21st, 2021 at 4pm in Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, Brazil.

Popular trio “Catuaba Com Red Bull” (picture below) will perform. Everyone is encouraged to attend to show their support for these musicians.

See poster for details.
Catuaba Com Red Bull

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Vardos Trio “Cookbook” Concert, Melbourne - Australia

Vardos cookbook poster
The Vardos Trio (which includes accordionist Sophia Chapman) will perform a “Cookbook” concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 26th 2021 at 9pm UTC+13.

“Vardos delves into the great melting pot of music from Hungary, Romania and their neighbours, stirring up many delicious discoveries to savour. Original arrangements of rarely heard songs about cooking and food provide a glimpse into the region’s wonderful culture”.

The concert is part of a series entitled “Local Heroes 2021”.

Due to Covid-19 safety regulations a range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures will be in place.

For details email: vardos@hotmail.com

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Online: Tiina Kiik and Tuulikki Bartosik Perform at Music Week - Estonia

Estonia banner
Accordionists Tiina Kiik (Canada) and Tuulikki Bartosik (Estonia) will perform an online concert entitled “Memories of Home” on February 25th at 8pm, (February 26th at 2pm UTC+13) to kick off the Estonian Music Week celebrations

The event is free of charge and donations are gratefully appreciated.

The Memories of Home Online Concert Series embraces the duality of having roots in one country while starting afresh in another. Organisers asked artists to show what memories of home mean to them.

Tiina Kiik reimagines contemporary classical compositions for the accordion bringing unexpected textures to the instrument.

Estonian accordionist and composer Tuulikki Bartosik is slated to record a special performance for the concert, a series of her original compositions. She will be performing from the ancient St Catherine's Monastery which is one of Tallinn's oldest buildings in Estonia, founded by Dominican monks back in 1 246.

See poster for details.

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Online: Day of the Accordion - USA

DOTA
The Day of the Accordion annual event, usually held in the greater Seattle (USA) area, will be held online this year due to Covid-19.

With events still shutdown in early 2021, chairman Bonnie Birch did not want to miss doing something for DOTA.

Online performances will be posted for all to enjoy on February 27th, 2021.

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Online: John Kirkpatrick “Morris Music Special” - UK

John KirkpatrickFollowing his sell-out online concert on January 24th, 2021 and by popular demand, John Kirkpatrick will present his “Morris Music Special” concert on February 28th, 2021 at 7.30pm.

The concert will feature tunes and songs from his CD’s “Morris On”, “Plain Capers”, “Sheepskins”, “The Duck Race” as well as lots of Cotswold Morris from his days with Hammersmith Morris Men, a dip into the repertoire of the Shropshire Bedlams and Martha Rhoden's Tuppenny Dish, and a few surprises.

For details email: squeezer@johnkirkpatrick.co.uk

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Tracey Collins Entertains at Auckland Fringe Festival - New Zealand

Tracey CollinsAuckland accordionist Tracey Collins will entertain at the Auckland Fringe Festival, Tapac Performing Arts Centre in Western Springs at 3pm and 6pm on February 28th, 2021. The 2021 festival runs from February 14th to March 6th and includes a variety of exhibitions, workshops, theatre, music, comedy, art and children's events.

Tracey will perform at Voyagers “An Epic Journey”, which is a collective of award-winning and International musicians who feature "traditional and World sounds colliding with contemporary and popular forms."

For details email: tracey@traceycollins.co.nz

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Online: Talisk Features in CCM Live Music Festival - Scotland

TaliskScottish trio Talisk (which includes concertina player Mohsen Amini) will feature in a live broadcast from Capture Works in Glasgow, Scotland on February 28th, 2021 at 10.30am GMT+13.

The festival is presented by CCM Live and will run from February 26th to 28th, 2021, featuring nine artists from Scotland, Finland and Canada.

Attendees are welcome to “tune in from the comfort of your sofa as we stream live, full-length, full production and fully covid-safe festival sets to your homes!”

For details email: taliskmusic@gmail.com

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Online: Ian Lowthian “Eastern European Tunes” Music Weekends – UK

Ian LowthianIan Lowthian (picture left) will run an online Eastern European Tunes music weekend on February 27th and 28th, 2021.

Ian believes much of the Eastern European music uses some more unusual time signatures and as we are currently living in “interesting times” perhaps we can spend some time de-stressing these “difficult times”!

For details email: ianlowthian@yahoo.co.uk

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Online: Music From Before the Accordion was Invented - USA

Daddy Squeeze
Daddy Squeeze (Dan Newton) will give an online concert with a difference on March 1st, 2021 at noon CT.

The concert is one of a regular series of lunchtime online concerts and will feature “Music from before the invention of the accordion”.

Requests are welcome.

For details email: daddysqueeze@yahoo.com

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1st International Conducting Festival - Italy

conducting poster
The 1st International Conducting Summer Academy and Festival will be held from July 5th to September 30th, 2021 in Brescia, Italy, presented by the Master Orchestra Artematica.

The festival will give attendees the opportunity to work with conductors and professors as listed in the above poster. They will also be given the opportunity to conduct the Master Orchestra Artematica.

Applications close on May 30th, 2021.

For further information email: info@masterorchestra.it

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Childrens Corner

Kokkola Childrens Concert - Finland

The first concert of the XXIII Kokkola Winter Festival featured young people.

Here are the very youngest beginners, Anna Hirvinen and Joel Koivisto, playing a traditional melody Lumiukkojen tanssi. View the excellent concert of many young performers of different levels at:
http://www.accordions.com/kokkola/2021/index.htm#eight
Childrens Concert

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New and Updated Sites


Updated Site: Jeff Lisenby

Jeff LisenbyUpdated information and videos on the new page about Jeff Lisenby who passed away on January 6th, 2021.

Heinz Siemens has generously made available a video of the full 20 minute concert by Jeff Lisenby on August 11th, 1990 "to honor and remember this great talent and kind and giving gentleman." View it at: Jeff Lisenby

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