Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
30th March 2001
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Strasser Harmonikas

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USA National Accordion News
International Accordion Festival - England

Jorgen Sundequist & Oivind FarmernContributed by Heather Smith

This year's International Accordion Festival was held from March 14th to 19th at Pontins Holiday Centre, Lytham St. Annes in Blackpool, organized by Tom Duncan & Heather Smith, editors of the "Accordion Profile" Magazine. Over 500 accordion enthusiasts enjoyed a variety of events including orchestral workshops for beginners to intermediate standard, the results of which were heard during the Sunday morning concert. These workshops catered for children and adult beginners, with elementary & intermediate standards, Scottish, buskers and a vintage accordion orchestra. Workshops were run by Ken Farran, Roy Hendrie, Brian Jenkins, Heather Smith, Johnny Coleclough, Collette Ainscow, Larysa Bodell and Adrienne Sharpe.

Peter Soave & Harry HusseyEach evening, a celebrity concert took place in the Stardust Ballroom with entertainment by Jorgen Sundequist & Oivind Farmen, Peter Soave & Jean-Louis Noton, the Keith Dickson Orchestra (KODA), David Lukins, Gordon Glenn, Jan Zukowski, Steve Roxton, Ken Hartley, Nina Suscenko & Paul Chamberlain. Scottish dance music was provided by Roy Hendrie & his Scottish Dance Band, and Harry Hussey provided the music each evening in the Queen Vic pub, after the concerts.

Nenad Ercegovcevic (15yrs) from Yugoslavia, and Jelena Zivic (19yrs) from Croatia were visitors to the festival, and attracted much admiration for their playing. Many trade stands were present, providing the opportunity for people to purchase anything from a pencil to a new accordion. Competitions were held on March 17th for younger players. Winners of the Pontins sponsored sections were Anton Bodell (Under 9yrs), David Pollard (10 - 12yrs) and Kirsty Johnson (13 - 16yrs). Adjudicators Peter Soave and Jean-Louis Noton gave the Accordion Profile "Award of Excellence" to Paul Chamberlain. Next year's festival will be held from March 6th - 11th, 2002.

15th Anniversary Celebrations - Lithuania

Ricardas Sviackevicius & Eduardas GabnysContributed by Raimondas Sviackevicius

The Lithuanian Accordion Association will hold their 15th anniversary celebrations at the Lithuanian Academy of Music from April 4th and 5th. Events include workshops, open lessons and concerts with accordionists from Vilnius, Kaunas, Siauliai, Klaipeda and Panevezis taking part.

The opening ceremony will include speeches by President Professor Ricardas Sviackevicius, Vice President, Eduardas Gabnys and Zita Abromaviciute. Open lessons will be given by P. Budginas (Plunge), L. Vinzberg (Vilnius) and masterclasses by Professor Lech Puchnowski (Poland) and Professor Oleg Sharov (Russia).

Guest performers include Oleg Sharov and the Chamber music duo of M. Majkusiak (accordion) and K. Karwowski (clarinet) from Poland. A final gala ceremony will be held with reports and discussions. For further details email:

Strasser Harmoninkas
Successful Lips Concert - Russia

Friedrich LipsContributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

Friedrich Lips performed an important and successful concert entitled "Accordionists from the end of the 20th Century to accordionists of the 21st Century" in the Gnessin Academy of Music Concert Hall recently. His program consisted exclusively of compositions over the last decade including works by A. Schnittke ("Two little pieces"), A. Cholminow ("Symphony"), S. Gubaidulina ("Silenzio" for bayan, violin and cello), E. Podgaiz ("Fantasy on the memory of Schnittke"), A. Ledeniov ("Russian landscape in the back") and T. Sergejewa ("Jasmin", Tango for bayan and piano). As an encore Lips performed Schumann's "Dreamerie", Norbak's "Shaking leaves" and "Bumble-bee" by N. Rimsky-Korsakov/J. Molinari.

"Icebreaker" Tour - Netherlands

David FarmerDavid Farmer (England) recently completed a concert tour of Holland with contemporary group "Icebreaker", playing in Gronigen, Leeuwarden, Rotterdam and The Hague.

Upon his return to England, David took part in a performance of Hans Werner Henze's "Voices" with the London Sinfonietta (conducted by Oliver Knussen) in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on March 10th. This was part of the "Henze at 75" festival and was performed in the presence of the composer.

Winedale Spring Festival - USA

The Jodie Mikula Orchestra performed at the recent Winedale Spring Festival in Texas. The event, which was sponsored by the Texas Folklife Resources included entertainment, arts and crafts and a variety of foods and desserts.

The orchestra played many popular songs like "Beer Barrel Polka", "Blue Skirt Waltz" as well as several country and western selections. Multi talented members include Charlie Patak (accordion, trumpet, saxophone and guitar), Mike Marek (accordion and tuba), Ken Mikula (trumpet and saxophone), Nick Mikula (trumpet, saxophone and guitar), Andy Mikula (drums) and Patricia Zapletal (keyboard).

Dmitriev tours Austria

Alexander DmitrievContributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

Alexander Dmitriev has just completed a tour of Austria, performing concerts in Neunkirchen, Vienna (Vienna Accordion Festival), St. Paul, St. Andrä and Hochegg. His program, which was very popular with the public, included contemporary works by Solotarjov, Derbenko, Shamo and transcriptions by Rossini, Strauss, Vivaldi, Boelmann as well as Russian pieces by Panitsky, Kusnetzov and Gridin.

Because of his magnificent technique and great musicianship, Dmitriev has proved that he is one of the elite in the world of bayan artistry.

USA National Accordion News
Successful Universidad Concert - Colombia

On March 13th accordionist Lacides Romero performed at the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional de Bogotá, on the occasion of the Premiación de las Competencias Deportivas Interuniversitarias of Bogotá. His program included works by Brahms as well as Italian, French, Spanish and Colombian music.

Lacides is currently working on a CD recording with the Nuevo Mundo quartet which includes Julio Noguera (flute), Jairo Peña (clarinet) and Leonardo Guevara (bassoon). The CD will contain Colombian music and works by Astor Piazzolla.

Hof Concert - Germany

The Hofer SymphonikerContributed by Günther Zeilinger

The Hofer Symphoniker Music School accordion class held a successful Großes Jahreskonzert on March 25th at the Festsaal der Freiheitshalle Hof in Bayern. Their program included the Overture to "The Bat" (Strauss), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), Lord of the Dance and Supertramp (Gary Daverne).

Strasser Harmonikas
Competition in Memory of Anatoli Kusnetsov - Russia

Contributed by Viatcheslav Semionov

The 2nd "Trans Regional Competition" for young accordionists and bayanists was held recently in Urengoy, North Russia. The competition was held in memory of Anatoli Kusnetsov and included participants from nineteen Russian cities. The youngest category was won by Valentina Kosenkova (Surgut), with Igor Prokopienko (Urengoy) winning the middle category. The third and oldest category was won by Artem Suroviatkin (Urengoy).

Surprise Concert - New Zealand

Kristina, Stephanie & Olivia PanzicOn March 24th, Kristina, Stephanie and Olivia Panzic took part in a surprise concert to honour well known Puhoi accordionist Joe Tolhopf who has been performing locally at the famous Puhoi pub for over 50 years. Kristina performed Joe's composition "Starlight" which was the test piece for the 10yrs and under New Zealand Championship in 1998. It was very appropriate that Kristina (who lives quite near to Joe) performed this piece, as she was the winner of the championship class that year.

Colorful Spring & Summer Accordion Activities - China

Contributed by Li Cong

From May this year, Chinese accordion activities will include many festivals, competitions and workshops that are currently in the preparation stage. These events include the 2nd Beijing Cup Accordion Competition, held in Beijing on May 1st. During this competition, the Chinese Accordion Society Committee will elect new members and discuss the promotion of the accordion in China.

Other events include a Button Accordion Workshop and an Accordion Camp in Beidaihe in July with French accordionist Guy Vivier performing in Beijing, Shanghai, Anhui and Shandong at the end of July. During August, the 2nd Zhonghua Cup Accordion Competition (Changchun), the 8th Chinese Accordion Festival (Beijing) and the Anhui Province Accordion Festival (Anqing) will be held. Russian accordionist Alexandre Skliarov will perform concerts in Beijing, Shanghai and Haerbin organized by the 8th Chinese Accordion Festival promoters. For further details visit the AWW Chinese language site.

Accordion Jamboree - USA

Contributed by Nils Lundin

On April an Accordion Jamboree will be held at the Viking Club in Braintree, Massachusetts. Over 20 accordionists from New England, New Jersey will perform at this event including Brent Buswell from Vermont. For details phone: + 1 781 659-2206

USA National Accordion News
Italian Accordionists in Mexico

Valentino LorenzettiContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

A series of musical events featuring exponents of the Italian accordion scene took place recently in Mexico. On March 10th a "Noche Italo-Mexicana" was held in Leon City, and on March 11th the "Diva Y Divinas" concert featured Massimiliano Pitocco on classical accordion and Cemex's Valentino Lorenzetti on MIDI accordion. The musical evening (which also featured a colourful orchestra of Mariachis) was organised by the Italian political and commercial authorities and inspired by Dismamusica, an organization based in Milan (Italy).

A carefully selected public (attendance was by invitation only) responded with enthusiasm to the pieces performed by the two soloists, whose programme was concluded by Astor Piazzolla's "Oblivion" and "Libertango", played jointly by the artists.

The enthusiasm surrounding this event was so intense that the start of the concert had to be brought forward by half an hour. The event was a major success with the two accordionists filling the audience with "colourful" enthusiasm.

4th Free Reed Festival Online Soon

Contributed by Cliff Furnald

The 4th Free Reed Festival will take place in June this year. If you would like to contribute some special material to this year's festival, such as recorded material not available elsewhere, solo, duo or ensemble, please email:

Also, if you know of a great-unknown accordion, harmonica, melodeon or other free reed player, please email Cliff as this festival is about new discoveries as well as old friends!

Strasser Harmonikas
Ensemble "Sviatozar" Concerts - Russia

SvjatozarThe Ensemble "Svjatozar" performed recently at the German-Russian house of Technical Communication in Moscow. Ensemble members include leader Vladimir Kruchkov (docent of the Moscow Pedagogical University), Dmitry Makeev (accordion), Ilya Reinbarch (balalaika), Roman Prass (violin), Vladimir Gavrikov (guitar) and Evgueni Skopinzev. Their program included Russian folk tunes and songs.

The Ensemble will perform throughout Russia and abroad during March and April. As part of their tour they will perform at the opening celebrations of the first international flight from Moscow, Russia to Bangkok, Thailand. For further information email:

Fisorchestra Liberina in Rome - Italy

Pasquale De MarcoContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The New Fisorchestra Liberina (directed by Pasquale De Marco) recently held a concert entitled "The Accordion and the Heart of Naples" in the prestigious San Leone Magno Theatre in Rome. The performance took place in front of an enthusiastic capacity crowd, which demanded several encores. During the concert, artistic director and accordionist Pasquale De Marco played one of his own compositions "Cuore e fisarmonica" as well as "Czardas" (Vittorio Monti). The evening was dominated by the accordion, which thanks to De Marco and his accomplished colleagues was capable of conveying its message of love and friendship not only to the older generations but also to the young people of today.

Accordionist Recovering from Surgery - USA

Accordionist Guy Klucevsek had prostate surgery on March 14th, returning home on March 16th and is recuperating well. The surgery went very well, and the long-term prognosis for a cancer-free future is excellent, due to his relatively young age, good overall health, and the early detection of the cancer. Guy fully expects to be playing again by May, and to resume his full-time touring activities in September. Get well messages can be sent to:

Moscow Concerts - Russia

Contributed by Viatcheslav Semionov

On March 3rd and 11th concerts were held in the Gnessin Academy Concert hall and the Dom-Centre, both dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Astor Piazzolla. Performers included the Chamber Orchestra of the Gnessin Academy (conducted by Michael Khokhlov) with soloist Yuri Medianik (prize winner of the 3rd International Bayan Competition, Moscow 2000). Their program included "The Four Seasons" (Astor Piazzolla). A number of other Piazzolla tangos were performed by various ensembles during the concerts.

USA National Accordion News
Vienna's 2nd International Accordion Festival Finale - Austria

Friedl Preisl & Claudia Ganglrockin' JanitorsContributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

Vienna's 2nd International Accordion Festival has now ended. Friedl Preisl and Claudia Gangl (responsible for public relations) organized 18 concerts in 4 weeks with such success that this festival will continue next year.

Joseph Petric & David MottOtto LechnerFinal concerts were given by Joseph Petric together with saxophonist David Mott, who presented Joseph's project "Erosonic" (Eros and Sonic) which included his own compositions and works by John Zorn (Roadrunner), David Keane (Tarantelle), Serge Arcuri (Bandoneon) and Christos Hatzis (Orbiting Garden). Petric successfully combined accordion sounds with computer produced sounds.

As the concert by Guy Klucevsek was cancelled due to his illness, Rockin' Janitors joined with Dobrek Bistro, Etno Bären and "Otto Lechner und die Frühaufsteher" to conclude the festival.

Finnish Accordionist's Recording in Toyko - Japan

Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen will record a CD with famous Japanese cellist Yoko Hasegawa in Tokyo during April. This will be Mika's 10th CD, which will include transcriptions by Russian composers like Mussorgsky, Scrjabin & Cui and will be produced by the JVC Victor label.

Mika plans to tour Japan with Yoko in November and December of this year. For further CD details email:

Strasser Harmoninkas
New CD Recording by Sergei Voitenko

Symphony of TimeContributed by Olga Kopylova

A new CD recording entitled "Symphony of Time" will be released soon by accordionist Sergei Voitenko and the Russian Folk Orchestra (conducted by Leonid Shkarupa - Ekaterinburg. Tracks include works by Shamo "Concerto for Bayan and String Orchestra", "Rossinianna" (Zubitsky), "Concert-Poem" (Repnikov) and "Baskariada" (Semionov). For more information email:

East European News Updated

An updated version of the East European News is now online. If you would like to contribute an item for this news please email Sergej Tchirkov at:

New Sites Updated information on the Novjaro quintet which includes accordionist Johanna Juhola

Antique Accordion Information

Cris King would like information on a 12 bass Swadoo piano accordion that he believes was made prior to 1880. email:

USA National Accordion News
Accordion Information Required

Danny McPherson would like information on a Metropole accordion, made in Saxony. It is a single row button accordion with three voice buttons on top. Email:


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