Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
2nd June 2000
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Strasser Harmonikas

Two weeks ago we requested information from anyone who thought they may have been one of the first to put an accordion website online. We have received some interesting replies so far and would like to use some of this information as the basis of an historical article for our readers. We will draw a winner from the replies, who will receive a CD of Italian tunes by popular New Zealand entertainer Silvio de Pra. Please send details to:

Wayne Knights Webmaster

USA National Accordion News
Music with a Smile Productions
2000 Australian International Accordion Championships - Australia

The 2000 Australian International Accordion Championships and Festival (organized by the Australian Accordion Teachers Association) was held from May 26th to 28th in Sydney. The event included performances by Tania Lukic-Marx, Elizabeth Jones, Leo and Ossie Mazzei, John Cave,Silvio de Pra (New Zealand), John MacDonald, ACE (Australian Concert Ensemble), Lian Jones (New Zealand) and Chen Gong (China) plus a testimonial dinner to honor Ossie Mazzei. A "Gala Concert" was held at the "Marconi Club" (one of Australia's largest clubs) with successful performances by guest artists.

Chinese Accordion OrchestraThis year's competitions included a large number of Chinese entries and was the first time a Chinese orchestra had competed in Australia. The AATA also invited Chinese accordionists to perform as guest artists.

Paula Harris & Bernadette ConlonThe Australian International Piano Accordion Solo Championship class included a high standard of performances and judges were unable to separate two players awarding first equal to the 1999 defending champion Bernadette Conlon (Australia) and Paula Harris (New Zealand).


  • International Solo 12 and under: 1st - Alexander Selman (New Zealand)
  • International Solo 15 and under: 1st equal - Alexander Selman (NZ) and Liang Ou (China)
  • 12 and under Australian Champion: - Ivan Liashenko
"Accordion Spring Plovdiv 2000" - Bulgaria

Contributed by Peter Stanchev

The "Accordion Spring Plovdiv 2000" national competition was held recently in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Over 90 participants aged from 6 to 29 years of age performed in nine competition categories with Pavel Vassilev (Plovdiv) the overall winner. International jury member Zoran Bozanic (Yugoslavia) performed a concert, impressing the capacity audience. The competition was so successful, it grew into a spectacular accordion fiesta!

Strasser Harmonikas
International Accordion Festival in Vienna - Austria

Contributed by Friedl Preisl

The International Accordion Festival held in Vienna in March this year was so successful that organizers are planning to hold another festival in March 2001. They have already contacted international groups and have received positive feedback from Catrin Pfeifer (Germany), "K" Trio (USA), Tania Lukic-Marx (Australia), Alexander Dmitriev (Russia) and Guy Klucevsek (USA).

This year's festival was attended by over 1,200 people who enjoyed concerts by over 42 accordionists including the Klaus Paier Trio, Otto Lechner, Wiener Neustädter Ziehharmoniker, Xandi Tichy (Austria), Tango Vivo Quartet (USA), Alexandre Chevtchenko (Russia), Bratko Bibic & The Madleys (Russia) and Joao De Bruco (Brazil). For further information phone: + 43 1 676 5129104

"Princess Isabelle" Film Screens in Florida - USA

The film "Princess Isabelle" (directed and produced by Morgan W. Boatman) screened at the WorldFest International Film Festival on May 20th in Melbourne, Florida at the American Digital Arts Festival.

"Princess Isabelle" is Emery Ried's spectacular antique accordion. Is it an accident or fate when his wife Rose destroys the Princess while Emery is away on a business trip? Rose then embarks upon a quest to replace the beloved Princess Isabelle before Emery returns. Roaming across Arizona, Rose scours every imaginable source in search of her musical Holy Grail. At every turn, she is confronted by quirky characters in this fun movie. In the end, Rose must choose total financial ruin or her husband's monumental disappointment. Or is there another alternative?

For details on future screenings email:

USA National Accordion News
Cao Xiao-Qing at Bach Festival - Germany

Contributed by Bugari Armando srl

Chinese accordionist Cao Xiao-Qing will perform "Sonata" (Bach) with cellist Martin Rummel on July 21st at a "Bach Festival" in Bochum to honour the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach. For further information contact:

Competition for Children - Poland

Contributed by Lech Puchnowski

An accordion competition for children was held in Chelm (near Warsaw) from May 24th to 28th. Over 90 entrants competed in three categories, 10 & under, 12 & under and 15 & under on a variety of accordion types such as button accordions with converter system, piano accordion and button accordion with standard basses.

Candidates were selected from 17 regions with each region having six places (2 per category), so the best players from all over the country competed in the finals.

Concerts were held each evening, beginning with a jazz concert on the opening night by Fabian Wlodarek and his quartet (drums, guitar, bass guitar & accordion). Other entertainers included the Accordion Quintet of the Academy of Music, Ceglarek and Zybala Duo from the Lódz Academy of Music, M. Majkusiak & B. Karwowski Duo (accordion and clarinet) who won first prize in their category at Klingenthal this year and K. Baran and his string quartet who performed pieces by A. Piazzolla. A final prize winners was held on the 28th.

Plans are underway for a 2001 Polish competition for contestants aged from 16 to 18 years. For further details email:

Music With a Smile
William Schimmel's Diverse Performance Schedule - USA

Contributed by Verne Leven, Titano Accordion Co., International

On June 6th, William Schimmel's accordion will be heard at the Cape May Music Festival in New Jersey, where he will premiere his own Ghetto Suite, a chamber suite which is based on his score composed for the "Ghetto" Broadway show (10 years ago) written by playwright Joshua Sobol to memorialize the tragedy of the Vilna ghetto.

On May 19th William was invited to the Union Theological Society's commencement in New York City, where he played his own Tango Mass and other works as part of the ceremony. Prior to that, Schimmel performed with an orchestra, in a modern rendition of Weill's Threepenny Opera complete with rap singer, during the show's run at the Stamford Grand Opera in Stamford in Connecticut.

Sergei Voitenko Premiere's New Work - Russia

Contributed by Olga Kopilova

During May Sergei Voitenko gave a concert tour in Tumen and various nearby towns in Siberia, Russia. His concert program included works by Bach, Scarlatti, Rakhmaninov, Slonimsky, Semionov, Piazzolla and Derbenko. Sergei also premiered his own new work "February Sketch" suite.

At the beginning of June Sergei plans to release his new CD in collaboration with the Folk Instruments Orchestra conducted by L. Shkarupa (Ekaterinburg, Russia). The CD will include works by Semionov, Repnikov, Shamo, Zubitsky and others.

Strasser Harmonikas
Sylvia Pagni on Tour in Scotland

Contributed by Cemex

Accordionist Sylvia Pagni will tour Scotland giving a series of concerts from June 27th to mid-July. For further information email:

Concertina Workshops - USA

Bob Tedrow will hold concertina workshops for English, Anglo and Duet system concertinas at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois on June 17th. Three separate workshops will be held including basic technique for beginners, repertoire expansion and technique for intermediate players and a "Technical Concertina Workshop" which will cover retuning, how bellows are built, repadding, revalving, tuning reeds, problem solving, how to upgrade and hot-rod Italian models. For further details email:

USA National Accordion News
Duo Contrastes at National University Concert - Colombia

Lacides RomeroOn May 15th, Duo Contrastes including accordionist Lácides Romero (Colombia) and pianist Arnaldo García (Venezuela) gave a concert at the National University at Santafe in Bogota, Colombia. Their program included works by Astor Piazzolla, Ignacio Cervantes (Cuba), and Ernesto Nazareth (Brazil). Over 400 people attended the successful concert, which was held to celebrate "Innocent's Day".

"Thanks a Lot" Tour - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The Terre di Mezzo Trio (accordionist Simone Zanchini) recently completed a series of concerts in the Romagna region of Italy. The tour was entitled "Grazie mille" (Thanks a Lot) and included performances at the Palafiera, Baraja, Mo'Cambio and Naima Club in Forlì, the Petrella Theatre in Longiano and at the Osteria Ghinea in Ravenna, where the group played pieces from its new CD "Terre di Mezzo".

Music With a Smile
Annual Festival Concert - USA

Contributed by Mary Tokarski

The "K" Trio will help St. Anthony's Church celebrate their Annual Festival in New Haven on June 11th. The trio will perform Italian favourites and contemporary music. FUN is the theme for the afternoon! For further details email:

Summer Concert - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

The "Osaka Shin-On Accordion Kenkyukai" will hold a Summer Concert at the Municipal Learning Center, Abeno, Osaka Prefecture on June 25th. For further information phone: + 81 90-1589-0083

Strasser Harmonikas
Accordion and Flute Duo - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Ivano Battiston will perform a number of concerts with David Bellugi (flute) in June and July The duo will perform pieces by Ortiz, Cima, Corelli, J.S. Bach, Bellugi-Battiston, Vivaldi and Bartok in Firenze, Amalfi, Montespertol, Montemignaio, Signa and Strada in Chianti. On July 1st the duo will play the same program at the Auditorium Bacchus in Lyon, France.

Eero Richmond Premieres AAA Commissioned Work - USA

Contributed by Frank Busso, Vice President of American Accordionists' Association

The Inoue Chamber Ensemble premiered a work commissioned by the American Accordionists' Association, titled "Accordion Sonata" (Robert Baksa) in New York City on May 31st. Accordionist Eero Richmond played the AAA piece as well as other premieres for accordion in a program which celebrated the year 2000 with a series of new commissions, as well as works by Haydn and Stravinsky. The Inoue Chamber Ensemble has delighted audiences for nearly 20 years, performing traditional and contemporary Japanese music. This outstanding group has appeared in 160 concerts in major New York halls and in Japan.

USA National Accordion News
Enthusiastic Fans at Marconi Club Concert - Australia

Vic Genova, Del Giribaldi, Bernadette Conlon, Enzo Toppano & Vic ToscanoAustralian and South Pacific Accordion Champion, Bernadette Conlon performed to over 500 enthusiastic fans at the prestigious Club Marconi in Sydney on May 21st. Among those present were Australian accordionists Enzo Toppano, Vic Toscano and Enzo Giribaldi. Bernadette presented them with a copy of her new CD "Accordion Popular Classical Masterpieces".

New Accordion Book - Russia

Contributed by Valeriy Bashenyev

A new book "In the Creative Search" has been published by Authors of Ufa Arts Institutein Russia. The book covers 30 years professional experience of the Folk Instruments Department with biographies, teaching and playing activities of teachers. It also includes a list of graduated students over the last 30 years and winners of various competitions. For further information email:

Music with a Smile Productions
Accordion Article Published - USA

An article by accordionist Henry Doktorski titled "The Accordion and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue: A Historical Perspective," has been published in the journal "Music Theory - Explorations and Applications," Volume 7. The article, which was researched in part at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., examines important accordionists and their performances and recordings of the Rhapsody, beginning with the historic 4.5 minute 1928 Victor Record by the Basil Fomeen and Nick Hope duo, and ending with the 18.5 minute 1998 Alanna Records compact disc by the author (Doktorski) and the Duquesne Chamber Players.

Renzo Ruggieri Group Performs at Jazz Club - Italy

The Renzo Ruggieri Group played at the Corto Maltese Jazz Club in Roseto degli Abruzzi (near Teramo) on May 26th. The group, which includes accordionist Renzo, Massimo Manzi, Paolo Di Sabatino, and Marcello Sebastiani will play in Borgonovo Val Tidone on June 1st and at a concert dedicated to the memory Wolmer Beltrami in Mantua Province on June 17th. For further information see Future Events.

Strasser Harmonikas
Klucevsek Writes Music for Documentary Film - USA

Accordionist Guy Klucevsek has written the music (with Loren Toolajian) for the documentary film "Family Secret", which will premiere at the documentary festival "Docfest" on June 3rd in New York. The film follows the life of filmmaker Pola Rapaport who finds a mysterious photo of a boy in his desk. Ten years later he receives a letter from a long lost brother. So begins a brave search for missing family truths. For further details email:

Accordionist Accompanies Well Known Vocalist - France

Accordionist Patrick Brugaliere will play the bandoneon, accordina and MIDI accordion when he accompanies well known French singer Pascal Danel on June 30th in "Palavas les flots" (near Montpellier). Their program will include "Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro) and "La plage aux Romantiques".

Patrick also performed with Pascal at the "Cirque d'Hiver" in Paris from May 19th to 21st. For further details email:

USA National Accordion News
Festival Recreation - USA

Accordionist Sylvia Miskoe will perform at a recreation of the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival (that took place in Washington, D.C. last year) at the Hopkinton Fair Grounds in Contoocook, New Hampshire from June 7th to 11th. The Festival will showcase New Hampshire culture, crafts, ways of life and music.

Sylvia will perform at daily mini concerts as well as at Scottish dances and lessons. Her program will include Scottish pieces, the music of Omer Marcoux (a French Canadian who lived in the area) and New England dance music. For further details see Future Events.

New Fisorchestra Liberina Celebrates 20th Anniversary - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On June 16th the New Fisorchestra Liberina (NFL) will hold a concert at the "Luigi Melorio" Arts and Culture Centre in S. Maria Capua Vetere, Italy. During this event Maria Antonietta Melorio, President of the association, will present an award to the orchestra to honour its twentieth anniversary and recognise its musical sensitivity and commitment.

Two days later the orchestra will perform in Liberi (Caserta Province) during a religious festival in honour of "Our Lady of the Road". This event is centred around a sanctuary built above a hairpin bend in order to plead the Virgin Mary to protect those who travel on the dangerous road.

Conductor Pasquale De Marco has assembled a special program of classical and virtuoso pieces played by accordions, violins and percussions, as well as a series of dance and variety pieces especially for this occasion.

Music with a Smile Productions
"Blind Love Tango" - Australia

Contributed by John Dickson

Ross BolleterThe Perth Accordion Club held their annual Italian Day Meeting on May 21st. Over 150 people enjoyed a varied program of Italian music, with many items given by younger players. A highlight was a selection of pieces performed by Ross Bolleter, who composed the music for the recent film "Blind Love Tango". Ross played music from the film on a "free bass" accordion.

Accordionist with Vocalist Raquel Bitton - USA

Accordionist Joe Soprani will perform with vocalist Raquel Bitton and orchestra at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on June 17th. Their program will include songs by Edith Piaf. For further details email:

Strasser Harmonikas
Peppino Principe in Concert - Italy

Contributed by Cemex

Peppino Principe will hold two concerts in S. Benedetto Belbo (near Cuneo, Italy) on June 24th and 25th organized by the local city council. For further details email:

New Book of Melodeon Music - Scotland

Matt Seattle (Dragonfly Music) has just published a new book of melodeon music entitled "Diatonic Liaisons" (compiled by Alex Browne) which features 67 tunes by French and English composers including Andy Cutting, Trevor Upham, Frederic Paris and Marc Perrone. The book text is in English and French with an introduction, biographies, instruction, background notes, photos etc. and includes "melodeon-specific" extra information about bass-strikes and bellows strokes. Tunes include "Essex Bazurka", "Spaghetti Panic" and "The Caswell Coconut Dance".

The book will be available later this month. For further information email:

USA National Accordion News
Accordion USA National News June Publication on-line

The USA National News June publication is now on-line, featuring news, concerts, clubs/associations and articles both current and archived. Please use the submit form on the site to add your news items or to request advertising information.

New Sites Information on Piatanesi Accordions in Castelfidardo, Italy. Updated information on Italian concert soloist Daniele Ravaglia. Updated information on the Fisitalia Manufacturing Company Updated information on the American Accordionists Association Information on Saltarelle, manufacturer of diatonic wooden accordions

Music with a Smile Productions
Antique Accordion Information

Simon Vayro would like some information on a Francesco piano accordion made in Saxony. He would also appreciate advice regarding books on how to play and music. Please email:

Debbie would like some information on accordion with the markings "Harmonikafabrik" and "Lubas adn John Klagerfurt" with mother of pearl keys, believed to be over 100 years old. Please email:

Carol Malmi would like some information on a piano accordion named "Nicolo Salanti" and "Italia" set in mother-of-pearl. The instrument was brought to the U.S. from Europe in 1945. Please email:

Hohner 200LRon Cadima would like some information on an old Carmen piano accordion including where and when it was built and some history on the instrument. Please email:

Jeffrey Ferris would like some information on the HOHNER 200L accordion pictured. Please email:

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