Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
19th May 2000
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Strasser Harmonikas

This week we had an email from reader Joanna Tordjeman who asks "I'd like to know when the first web site about the accordion was made?" This is an interesting question and we would like to hear from anyone who believes they may have been the first or who knows who made the first web site about accordion. We also wish to obtain information about the first five or so web sites and use that information as the basis of an historical article for our readers. Please send information to:

Wayne Knights Webmaster

USA National Accordion News
Music with a Smile Productions
Ganian Murdered!! - Czech Republic

Michael GanianContributed by Vahan Harutyunyan

It is now confirmed that accordionist Michael Ganian was murdered! This terrible tragedy occurred at a disco at the Brno Intercontinental Hotel on April 13th at 6am. It is believed that the murderer took five shots at Michael's head, heart and lungs and then calmly left the 13th floor of the hotel with a deep wound on his face, which seems to be very strange. The shots were preceded by a relatively long physical fight, allegedly over Catherine (the women portrayed on the cover of Michael's CD "Accordéon d'or"). This theory has not been confirmed as yet.

The murderer has not yet been found, but is believed to be a racketeer, gunman and hired killer; who was arrested last year for another crime, but then set free due to lack of evidence. There is much speculation over his identity. Some suspect he represents the Russian mafia in the Czech Republic, but precise details are unknown. Michael is believed to have had no contact or problems with the Russian mafia in the past. Little definite information has been released by the police.

7th "Astor Piazzolla" Award - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The 7th "Astor Piazzolla" Award will be held from July 7th to 9th in Castelfidardo (dedicated exclusively to the performance of this great Argentinean composer's music) for soloists and groups. This year's event includes a special award of Lit. 1.500.000 (sponsored by Carilo) to the composer of an original unedited piece of music dedicated in memorial of Astor Piazzolla. The winning composition will be published by Edizioni Musicali A. Pagani S.r.l. Groups and soloists must perform their own composition.

A scholarship of Lit. 500.000 will be awarded to the best instrumentalist or vocalist and "Busy Music France" (Paris) will offer a special prize of Lit. 1.000.000 to the winner of the 7th "Astor Piazzolla" Award.

Accordions Worldwide will sponsor a virtual publicity site (for 1 year) for the best group or soloist playing accordion or bandoneon in the finals of the "Astor Piazzolla" Award. Entries close May 31st. For further details phone: +39 71 7822987

Strasser Harmonikas
"The Corrs" Concert - England

David FarmerBritish accordionist David Farmer recently performed live with popular Irish band "The Corrs" at London's Royal Albert Hall. Providing a welcome break from his busy schedule of solo recitals, David joined the group to play a selection of their best known songs including "Radio", "What can I do?" and "So Young".

The concert, which featured many Irish groups and personalities, was organized to help promote peace in Northern Ireland and was attended by H.R.H Prince Andrew and Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson. David recently completed six performances of Martinu's Greek Passion at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Klingenthal Competition - Germany

Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

The 37th International Accordion Competition in Klingenthal from May 5th to 11th, once again proved its reputation as a major international event of accordion music. The Jury consisted of famous teachers and performers: Iñaki Alberdi (Spain), Jeanette Dyremose (Denmark), Pawel Fenjuk (Ukraine), Friedrich Lips (Russia), Frédéric Deschamps, Jacques Mornet (France), Elsbeth Moser (Germany), Owen Murray, John Webb (Great Britain), Wang Yu Ping (China), Lech Puchnowski (Poland), Tibor Racz (Slovakia), Matti Rantanen (Finland), Jürgen Ganzer, Georg Reidys, Bernhard Salewski, Fritz Dobler, Tobias Morgenstern (Germany), and Radomir Tomic (Yugoslavia).

The next (38th) International Accordion Competition in Klingenthal will be held from May 4th to 10th, 2001.

Competition results:

Category I (Soloists up to 12 years)

  • 1st - Josi Puritz (Russia),
  • 2nd - Pawel Staniszewski (Poland),
  • 3rd - Grzegorz Miszczyszyn (Poland).

Category II (Soloists up to 15 years old):

  • 1st - Anton Antipov (Belarus),
  • 2nd - Marko Nalentina (Yugoslavia),
  • 3rd - Ivan Saric (Yugoslavia).

Category III (Soloists up to 18 years old):

  • 1st - Milos Milivojevic (Yugoslavia),
  • 2nd - Viktor Kiseljov (Russia),
  • 3rd - Aude Giuliano (France).

Category IV (Soloists without age limit)

  • 1st - Aidar Gainullin (Russia),
  • 2nd - Jerôme Richard (France),
  • 3rd - Michail Burlakov (Russia).

Category VA:

  • 1st - Dmitri Sharshon/ Andrej Getman (Ukraine),
  • 2nd - Andrzej Ceglarek/ Waldemar Zybala (Poland),
  • 3rd - Maxim Valkov/Anastasia Shrinderova (Belarus)

Category VB:

  • 1st - Mikolaij Majkusiak/Bartosz Karwowski (Poland),
  • 2nd - Carmen Merino-Ruiz/Ulrich Schlumberger (Germany),
  • 3rd - Dermot Dunne/Luis Andrade (Ireland/Portugal)

Category VI (Virtuosic light music for soloists)

  • 1st - Frédéric Baldo (France),
  • 2nd - Aidar Gainullin (Russia),
  • 3rd - Aleksandr Shuvalov (Belarus).
USA National Accordion News
Giorgio Dellarole in Nigeria and Benin - Africa

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Italian accordionist Giorgio Dellarole will tour Nigeria and Benin from June 4th to 10th, performing concerts at the Italian Embassy in Lagos, Abuja and Cotonou (Benin). His program will include music by Scarlatti, Pozzoli, Bettinelli, Piazzolla and Scappini.

On June 12th Giorgio will return to Italy to play a similar program at the Circolo Sociale in Biella, Piedmont organized by the local Rotary Club.

AAPR Accordion Seminars - Puerto Rico

Contributed by Jane Berkovitz

The Accordion Association of Puerto Rico (AAPR) will offer two workshops from June 3rd to June 10th covering different aspects relating to the performance and interpretation of the accordion, directed by association members. Tutors include Esther Eugenia Bertieaux (technique), Professor Louis Alberto DeLeon (theory), Jesus Lopez (bellow shakes) and others.

The workshops will be open to association members and others who want to improve their technique. For further information email:

Music With a Smile
New Fisorchestra Liberina plays for UNICEF - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The New Fisorchestra Liberina held a fund-raising concert for UNICEF on May 16th at S. Arpino (near Caserta, Italy). The orchestra holds UNICEF in very high regard and director Pasquale De Marco had the chance recently of meeting its national Vice President Margherita Dini Ciacci.

De Marco put together a new ensemble especially for this concert, by integrating prominent members of the ITIS F (a prestigious music school based in Caserta), accordion champion Enzo Pedone and vocalist Anna Peretta (who also directs the New Fisorchestra Liberina).

Premiere Performance - Spain

On May 14th accordionist Angel Luis Castaño performed a concert with the Segovia Instrumental Ensemble in Segovia, Spain. Their program included the premier performance of "Serenata Coral" (by Flores Chaviano) which is based on texts José Martí and written for accordion soloist, solo vocalists, choir and orchestra. They also played "Suite de Tangos" (Astor Piazzolla) to an audience of over 300.

Strasser Harmonikas
St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble Concert Tour - Denmark

St. Petersburg Musette EnsembleContributed by Vladimir Ushakov

The St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble began their two week tour of Denmark on May 18th. Their busy schedule includes over ten performances in different venues of Copenhagen and its suburbs. A final "Matiné" concert will be held on May 27th, arranged by local accordion group "Fjordmudikanterne". This concert will take place at the old Elværket building in Frederikssund, which has been renovated as a cultural house. An exhibition of accordions and accessories will be given by Danish accordion dealer "Tom's Harmonika Center" as part of the event. For tour details email Janne Jensen:

Accordionist Iona Reed in "Edith Piaf Show" - USA

Contributed by Verne Leven of Titano Accordion Co., International

Canada's Coupe Mondiale Accordion Champion, Iona Reed Pukara has been performing with ensembles and symphony orchestras throughout the Sudbury, Ontario area. During March, she did 12 concert appearances and is currently performing in the sold-out "Edith Piaf Show" for which she also wrote the orchestration. The show, which stars lyricist Pandora Topp, features Iona on accordion with other instrumentalists.

USA National Accordion News
IV "Città di Anagni" Advanced Accordion Course - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The 4th "Città di Anagni" Advanced Accordion Course will be held from July 3rd to 9th in Anagni, near Frosinone, with tutors Jacques Mornet (France), Gianluca Pica (Italy) and Nathalie Boucheix (France). The course will cover new and revolutionary topics regarding technical aspects of accordion performance which point to great future developments for the instrument ("louré touch", compression, subcompression, 3D effects and so on). The event is open to accordionists of all levels and styles (contemporary, classical and variety).

Closing date for enrolments is June 15th, 2000. For further information email:

Drakensberg Music Festival - South Africa

Accordionist Sergio Zampolli (Duo 2000) performed as guest artist with Rocco de Villiers (piano) at the famous "Drakensberg Music in the Mountains" festival on April 29th. The duo received a standing ovation for their program, entitled "Porcupine Jazz" which included "Libertango" (Piazzolla) and a jazz version of a South African traditional folk song "Sarie Marais" (arranged by Rocco).

On Mother's Day (May 14th) Sergio performed a concert with Duo 2000 harpist Amarillie Ackermann for the Rustenburg Music Society in Rustenburg. Their program included highlights from their CD "Song to the Evening Star".

Music With a Smile
Labour Day Celebrations - China

Contributed by Li Cong

Over 100 accordionists joined with Suona players (Chinese folk woodwind instrument) to celebrate International Labour Day in Shanghai on May 1st. General Director Chen Ti Jiang arranged several performances throughout the day conducted by Li Cong (President of the Shanghai Accordion Association). Their program included music from the Beijing Opera "Take Over the Weihu Mountain Wisely".

The Shanghai General Secretary, Mayor, Deputy Mayor and top Government officials attended these high profile celebrations which were televised to the whole of China by the Shanghai TV Station and Shanghai Satellite TV.

A great promotion for the accordion.

"Waiting for May" Festival - Italy

The Milonga QuintetContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The Milonga Quintet took part in the tenth "Waiting for May" festival held in the ancient town center of Polverigi (near Ancona) on April 30th This annual event includes a traditional flower show, a fair and many musical performances. Guest musicians, who played from 9 pm to midnight (when May finally arrived!) included the quintet who presented a repertoire of Piazzolla pieces (arranged by Paolo Picchio) and the folk band "La Macina", an important band of its kind in the Marche region.

Strasser Harmonikas
AAA Master Class Concert Series - USA

Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

The American Accordionists' Association will sponsor its annual Accordion Master Classes and Concert Series (August 25th to 27th) comprising of three days of seminars, workshops, lectures, discussions and performances with accordionist, Dr. William Schimmel as moderator.

Other noted performers and accordion personalities include Dr. Robert McMahan, The "K" Trio, Elsie Bennett, Dr. Jacob Neupauer, Dr. Salvatore Febbraio, Maddalena Belfiore, Rita Davidson, Carmen Carrozza, Mario Tacca, Frank Busso, Kevin Friedrich and John Serry. The event will take place at The Tenri Cultural Institute, Soho, New York City. For further details see Future Events

Accordion Trip to Castelfidardo - Italy

Contributed by Thomas Duncan

A total of 46 accordionists and enthusiasts from the UK travelled to Castelfidardo for a memorable week (May 2nd to 9th) organized by the Accordion Profile Magazine. The group visited the famous Castelfidardo Museum and the Alessandrini, Excelsior, Brandoni, Fisart (Vignoni) and Mengascini accordion factories. Factory staff demonstrated the great technical detail required at each point on the assembly lines to produce the instrument we all greatly respect and admire.

Another trip highlight was a visit to the Music Festival and display of musical instruments at the Exhibition center in Rimini where hundreds of accordions were on display. Members were able to speak with professional players, play accordions and listen to accordion music.

The trip was so successful that "Accordion Profile Magazine" has planned a repeat trip next year (May 1st to 8th, 2001). For further details email:

USA National Accordion News
Puerto Rican Accordionist Visits Shanghai - China

Ricardo E. VillalonPuerto Rican accordionist Ricardo E. Villalon (member of the Puerto Rico Accordion Association and Puerto Rico Accordion Orchestra) visited Shanghai at the end of April. During his visit Li Cong (President of the Shanghai Accordion Association) and Wang Cong Yu accompanied him on a visit to the Music Department of Shanghai Normal University, where he was treated to a concert by students and shown details of the accordion development history in Shanghai and the whole of China.

Klezmer Accordion & Clarinet Concerts - Germany

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Accordionist Claudio Jacomucci joined Joel Rubin (clarinet) to perform Jewish traditional music that Ukranian musician Beregovsky collected during the XIX Century. The concert was held at the Kito Concert Klezmer Festival in Bremen, Germany on April 29th.

On May 3rd, Jacomucci performed the same program in Burghof Lörrach with the complete Joel Rubin Jewish Ensemble - Joel Rubin (clarinet), Kálmán Balogh (cimbalom), Ferenc Kovac (trumpet), Csaba Novak (double bass), Lásló Major and Sándor Budai (violin). This concert was recorded by the Swiss Radio DRS 2 and will be broadcast on October 6th and 13th at 8 p.m.

Their next concert will be held in Salzgitter (near Hannover) on June 1st.

Music with a Smile Productions
6th National Competition - Italy

Contributed by Paolo Picchio

The Accord'ance sextet from Pescara won the 6th National Competition for Music Performers dedicated to Giulio Rospigliosi held in Lamporecchio (near Pistoia) recently. This accordion ensemble, which includes Cesare Chiacchiaretta, Monica D'Emidio, Alberto Centorami, Alisia Fragassi, Giancarlo Di Giovanni and Rocco Ronca gained 98/100 marks in the chamber music section.

Their program included "Passo Mezzo and Mascherada from "Ancient Dances and aria for lute" (Ottorino Respighi), Irish Suite (Matyas Seiber) and "Rondò Capriccioso" (Vladislav Zolotarjov).

New Orleans Festival - USA

Accordionist Jon Hammond will play (with his quartet) at the "New Orleans on The Bay Food and Music Festival", Shoreline Ampitheatre on June 10th and 11th. The group includes Barry Finnerty (guitar), James Preston (drums) and Larry Schneider (tenor sax). Jon has just completed a European tour of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. For further information email:

Strasser Harmonikas
ZAGOS at Summer Night Festival - Austria

Contributed by Franz Hochwimmer

Accordion ensemble "ZAGOS - da capo" will perform at the Summer Night Festival in the town centre of Zell am See, Salzburg in July. The whole town centre is transformed into a large stage for the event. For further details email:

"Pianello Val Tidone" Trophy and Competition - Italy

Contributed by Paolo Picchio

The concert schedule for the "Pianello Val Tidone" Trophy and Competition held in Piacenza Province from May 31st to June 4th will include Radjap Shaikudtinov (Russia) in Nibbiano, Renzo Ruggieri Quartet (Italy) in Borgonovo Val Tidone and the Milonga Quintet (Italy) in Agazzano. The event finale will be held on June 4th at Olgisio Castle and will include a concert featuring the prizewinners.

USA National Accordion News
"Solan" Tour England and Scotland

UK group "Solan" (including concertina player Frances Wilkins) will tour England and Scotland from May 26th to June 3rd performing at the Chester Folk Festival, The Steyning Mayfair in West Sussex, The Six Bells Folk and Blues Club in Chiddingly, Sussex, and both Falkirk and Stonehaven Folk Clubs in Scotland. Their program will include "Dead Horse", "The New Rigged Ship/Full Rigged Ship", "Handsome Molly" and "Tommy's Tarbukas". The group has just returned from a very successful five-week tour of Britain. For further details email:

Classical Jazz Concert - USA

Peter Soave will perform in concert tonight (May 19th) at Smith Theatre, Orchard Ridge, Farmington Hills, Michigan with award winning bassist Marian Haden. Their program will include classical jazz music by Claude Bolling. For ticket information phone: + 1 248 522-3667

Music with a Smile Productions
"Terre di Mezzo" in Bolzano - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The trio "Terre di Mezzo" performed a successful tango and jazz concert in Carambolage, Bolzano (Northern Italy) recently. The trio consists of Rodrigues Emiliano (sax), Simone Zanchini (accordion) and Roberto Bartioli (double bass)

Celebrity Interview

The "Celebrity Interview" with Joan Cochran Sommers, professor at the UMKC (University of Missouri-Kansas City) Conservatory of Music, USA is now online.

Strasser Harmonikas
Accordion Workshop - Switzerland

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

An "Accordion Workshop" will be held in Grimentz (in the Swiss Valais) from August 24th to 31st. Tutors include Jean-Marc Fabiano (France), Jean-Louis Noton (France), Peter Soave (USA) and Paolo Picchio (Italy). The aim of this workshop is to allow young musicians to acquire in-depth skills and further develop on their favorite instrument with courses in MIDI accordion and musical computing, chamber music courses, bandoneon and advanced courses, and preparation for international competitions. Enrolments close on July 31st. For further information email:

Jazz Festival - France

On June 4th accordionist Axel Reuter will perform at the 10th Jazz Festival in Bonnieux, Vaucluse, which runs from May 27th to June 4th. His program will include his newest composition "Tribute to Skriabin". From May 20th Axel will perform with other musicians in provincial markets to help promote the festival. For more festival information email:

USA National Accordion News
Win a Journey to Marche - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On May 21st German radio station Südwestrundfunk SWR 1 will transmit a documentary by Birgit Wächter about the Marche region from 1 to 5pm, which will include important facts about this region and Castelfidardo, the home of the accordion. Birgit has received many details on the accordion and has visited the Castelfidardo Accordion Museum and Borsini factory.

Listeners will be given the opportunity to participate in a quiz to win a 1 week holiday for two including airfares. For further information email:

Performing Arts Competition - New Zealand

Contributed by Heather Masefield

Over 50 performances were given at the North Shore Performing Arts Competition Society accordion classes held on May 7th May in Auckland. The top class was in 2 sections with Kathryn Fletcher winning the "Music of the Masters" and Adam Thorpe winning the "Own Selection" division.

Music with a Smile Productions
New Sites Information on Contemporary accordion soloist Claudio Jacomucci Updated information on Gabbanelli Accordions & Imports in Texas, USA. Information on Gianluca Pica, Italian classic accordion concert soloist and founder of the A.P.M. Music Center (Accordions Professional Music).

Antique Accordion Information

Aaron Hotelling would like some information on a "n.salanti" accordion made in Italy. Please email:

Jim Colton has a Giuseppe Venuti accordion, he believes, made in Italy, early 1900's with mother of pearl keys and body and the name displayed prominently in rhinestones. If you can help with information or a possible value please email:


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