Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
20th April 2001
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We now have a new International Accordion News Centre in three languages: English, French and German. This News Centre provides links to the International News in seven languages, the National News from six countries plus a variety of other pages such as the Client Index, Yellow Pages, AWW Services, General Information, Publications and Accordion Information.

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USA National Accordion News
International Accordion Symposium St. Gallen - Switzerland

Michel BessonContributed by Claudius Luterbacher

The International Accordion Symposium St. Gallen will be held from May 23rd to 26th 2001at the St. Gallen Musikakademie in St. Gallen, organized by Jürgen Schmid from the Musikakademie. The event will include workshops, a jazz night and concerts with guest performers Peter Nutt, Hugo Noth, Michel Besson and Sergio Scappini. For further details email:

UK Accordion Championships and Millennium Celebrations - England

The UK Accordion Championships and Millennium Celebrations will be held in Scarborough, from May 4th to 6th, organised by the NAO. Regional competitions were held during late 2000 and early 2001 and finalists will compete in this main event.

The festival will open with an evening in the Ocean Ballroom hosted by Gina & Romany Rye and a surprise list of guest players. On Saturday (5th) competitions will be held in 6 halls with over 430 entries in a variety of sections such as solo, duet, group and orchestral sections including the Virtuoso, Senior & Junior Recital solo sections from which more candidates will be selected to compete in the CIA Coupe Mondiale to be held in London in October this year. Jury members include Kevin Friedrich (USA), the CIA Vice President, Gina Branelli, Frederick Parnell, Alistair Gillespie, Raymond Jones, Cyril Pasby, Ken Farran, Gary Blair, Jack Emblow & Raymond Bodell.

During the evening a presentation event will be held which will include the appointing of a new Honorary President, followed by a Scottish Ceilidh with music by Gary Blair and his band. The new Showband champions will also perform at this event.

The next day competitions will be held for the Polka, Musette & Scottish Traditional sections, followed by a final presentation and the Annual General Meeting of the NAO. For further details email Pauline Noon, NAO Secretary at:

Strasser Harmoninkas
The Largest Accordion in the World - Italy

Giancarlo Francenella with AccordionContributed by Beniamino Bugiolacchi

Giancarlo Francenella has made his dream come true by building the largest accordion in the world, a feat which required over one thousand hours of work! The instrument weighs around 200 kg and features 45 treble piano keys, 120 bass buttons, its keyboard is 253 cm high, each key measures 70 cm and the reeds are 10 cm high. The materials used include wood (fir, cedar, mahogany, walnut), metals (aluminium & steel), cardboard, cloth for the bellows and special varnish, etc. This instrument (in perfect working order) would deserve a place in Hollywood's Guinness World of Records.

Giancarlo Francenella, an accomplished craftsman from Castelfidardo, is the owner of Sonerfisa, a workshop which produces reed blocks for most accordion firms in the area, and has a deep passion for the accordion. Always eager to contribute to the initiatives of the Tourism Board and City Council when it comes to promoting the fascinating and rewarding world of accordion craftsmanship at fairs and events (last year in Perugia his work caught the attention of EEC President Romano Prodi), Francenella is well-known for his modesty.

The instrument bears the name "Castelfidardo" and its maker wishes to make it available to all organizations which aim to promote the accordion as a musical instrument and the inventiveness and skill of the craftsmen of the Marche region. This technical masterpiece will be presented at the Disma Music Show in Rimini (April 28th) and will feature during a musical evening at the Astra theatre in Castelfidardo (May 9th) during the celebration for the 20th anniversary of the International Accordion Museum.

UMKC Accordion Orchestra Celebrates 40 Years - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

The Annual Spring Concert of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra on April 29th will mark the 40th Anniversary of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra which gave its first University Recital in the Spring of 1961.

Joan Sommers has directed the world famous University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Accordion Orchestra since it formed 40 years ago, and this landmark concert will also mark her retirement from the Conservatory, making this event the last official concert of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra. Beginning in the Fall of 2001, it will be called The UMKC Community Accordion Orchestra.

In conjunction with this 40th Anniversary Concert, the UMKC Accordion Orchestra will release a set of six CD's highlighting the 40 years of accordion greatness. Everyone is invited attend and share in this truly momentous occasion.

For full details, program, information on the orchestra members, or to send well wishes for this Anniversary Concert, please email Joan Sommers at:

Lydie Auvray and Far Away Places - Germany

Lydie AuvrayContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Once again Lydie Auvray managed to take her audience into far away countries with a recent concert of accordion music that has been inspired by many influences. Together with her team of excellent musicians who she has played with for over 19 years she performed musical stories in Neu-Isenburg.

Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships - Canada

Contributed by Jeany Irvin

The 26th Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships will be held from July 8th to 15th in Kimberley, BC, Canada. Guest performers include Myron Floren, Kerry Christensen, Johner Brothers, Paisley Accordion Orchestra (Scotland), The Cottonpickers, The Emeralds, The Killaly Rhythm Kings and The Sam Pecorilla Dance Band (Oregon, USA).

The festival hosts the "World's Old Time Accordion Competitions" each year, which includes competitors aged from 5 to 95 in 17 different categories. Prizes total over CAN$12,000 with a $200 cash bursary available for competitors aged 16 & under. This festival has been twice voted into the "Top 100 Events in North America" by the American Business Association.

Other events include jam sessions, family dances, accordion & dance workshops, pancake breakfasts, BBQ and lots of fun! For details email:

USA National Accordion News
Astria Trio Present Piazzolla Concert - France

Contributed by Jacqueline Frangiamone

On April 21st a concert will be held in the Saint Laurent de Sausheim Church (near Mulhouse) organized by the "Les accordéonistes du Quatelbach". Performers include the Astria Accordion Trio (who will interpret works by Astor Piazzolla, songs by Jacques Brel, and some personal compositions) as well as entertainment by an accordion quintet and accordion orchestra. For further information phone: + 33 6 19 72 16 38

Virginia Concert - USA

The Manny Bobenrieth Ensemble will perform at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia on April 27th. The ensemble consists of Manny on accordion as well as violin, piano, bass, electric guitar and vibes. For concert details email:

Strasser Harmonikas
30th International Festival - Australia

Contributed by Elizabeth Jones

The Accordion Society of Australia will hold their 30th International Festival and 31st Annual Congress on the Gold Coast, Queensland from July 15th to 22nd. Overseas guests will include the Bavarian Youth Accordion Orchestra (conducted by Fritz Dobler) and the Saalfelden Accordion Orchestra (Austria).

The event will include competitions, workshops and a final Gala concert. For further information please email:

Tokyo Bandoneon Club Concert - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On April 16th and 18th, the Tokyo Bandoneon Club held successful concerts at the Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo.

On April 26th accordionist Ryozo Yokomori will accompany vocalist Shizuru Ookaka at the "Morino Hall 21", Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture. This concert will be repeated on April 30th at the Sagamihara Municipal Hall, Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture. For further concert details phone: + 81 3-3291-2711

"Ensemble Musiche Possibili" at Rimini Music Show - Italy

Ensemble Musiche PossibiliContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The "Ensemble Musiche Possibili" which includes Marcello Crocco (flute), Andrea Cavalieri (double bass) and Fabio Martino (accordion) will hold a concert on April 29th in the "Teatro Live" (hall D5) of the Disma Music Show. This event is an important trade fair which takes place from April 28th to May 1st in Rimini (Italy). For further information please email:

Duo Paris-Moscou Concert - France

The Duo Paris-Moscou (Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov) performed in Troyes on April 8th. Their program featured classical music, Russian folklore and French musette pieces.

Following this (from April 9th to 21st), Domi and Roman will be part of the teaching team at the C.N.I.M.A (National and International Center for Music and Accordion) directed by Jacques Mornet. Also present will be Claude Thomain, Nathalie Boucheix, Franck Angélis, Aurélien Noël, Claude Sauvage and Stéphanie Méthot.

USA National Accordion News
Latin Jazz Festival - USA

Contributed by Luis Llarez

A Latin jazz festival will be held on April 26th at the Plaza Garibaldi Club in Boston, Massachusetts. The festival will include an opening performance by the group "Querubin" which includes Victor Prieto (accordion), Santiago Greco (bass) and Ramon Rey (drums). For further information email:

"Piazzolliana" Concert - Russia

Rizol Bayan QuartetA concert dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Astor Piazzolla entitled "Piazzolliana" was held in the St. Petersburg Concert Hall last month, organized by Sergei Likhachov and Vladimir Ushakov of the St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble.

Performers included the National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine Rizol Bayan Quartet (includes Sergei Grinchenko, Viacheslav Samofalov, Oleg Shiyan and Roman Molochenko), St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble, Svetlana Stavitskaya and Vladimir Ushakov.

Strasser Harmonikas
Day of Amateur Music in Trossingen - Germany

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The "Day of Amateur Music", which will be held in Trossingen on April 28th, will be colourful, multi-facetted and as fascinating as the music itself. Baden-Württemberg (which is considered the "Music State No 1" in Germany), will present itself with the help of nine amateur music clubs, schools, youth music schools, kindergartens, and choirs.

This year, the event will be organised by the German Accordion Association (Deutsche Harmonika Verband e.V. - DHV). Admission will be free! For further information see the DHV site.

Performers Concert - New Zealand

Contributed by Christine Adams

On May 4th a concert will be held by three performers who plan to travel overseas to compete in international competitions in Australia and England this year. Campbell Bettridge, Kathryn Fletcher and Adam Thorpe will perform a variety of works from their competition program at the Takapuna War Memorial Hall on Auckland's North Shore. Guest performers the Musicale Accordion Orchestra will also entertain at this event. For further details email:

Accordionist Announces Wedding Plans - USA

Contributed by The Classical Free-Reed

Concert accordionist Henry Doktorski (founder of "The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.") and American Airlines Flight Attendant Mary Kay Welter (Accordionist of the Sky) announce their wedding which will take place at St. Patrick's Church, Oakdale, Pennsylvania on June 23rd, 2001. Accordionists wishing to perform at the reception may inquire at:

Shetland Folk Festival - Shetland Isles, Scotland

The Shetland Folk Festival will take place on the Shetland Isles (Scotland) from April 25th to 30th. Scottish band Burach (with accordionist Sandy Brechin) will perform at the event along with a variety of other bands, who will all travel to the islands by ferry from Aberdeen. The festival, which is one of the biggest Scottish festivals, will take place in various venues throughout the islands. On the final night several thousand people will attend a gala concert, which will include a performance by every band attending the event. For further details email:

USA National Accordion News
Folk Instrument Sound Festival - Russia

Contributed by V. Bashenyov

The Folk Instrument Sound Festival took place recently in Ufa (Russia) with popular performances by R. Shajhutdinov (Ufa), Sh. Amirov (Ekaterinburg) and Nikolay and Natalia Ishchenko (Chelyabinsk). Young musicians and prize winners of international competitions also played at the festival including D. Konovalov, D. Anisimov, A. Gidijatov, A. Shvedov, M. Kopylov, O. Zhadykova; A. Orlova (Ekaterinburg).

Well received programs were also given by the Orchestra (led by J. Seleznyov), "Musical Casket Quartet" (winner of the Novosibirsk competition), "The Impromptu" septet (led by V. Bashenyov) and the "Zabava" ensemble (led by N. Rusnak).

International Music Competitions of the Val Tidone - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The International Music Competitions of the Val Tidone will be held from June 5th to 10th in the Val Tidone castles. The event will include five competitions (with prizes totalling 25.000.000 itl.) "Comune di Pianello Val Tidone" Musical Interpretation Competition for young talents, "Silvio Bengalli" Piano Prize, "Carlo Civardi" Accordion Prize, "Contessa Tina Orsi Anguissola Scotti" Chamber Music Prize and the "Egidio Carella" Composers Competition.

Entries close on May 10th, 2001. For further information email the Artistic Director, Livio Bollani at:

Strasser Harmoninkas
Beltway Balalaikas Perform in Virginia - USA

The Beltway Balalaikas (which includes bayanist Jim Vandelly, balalaikas & domras) played at the Multi-cultural Festival at Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia earlier this month.

Jim will play a one-hour solo bayan concert on April 20th at the Northwest Health Care Center, Washington, D.C. He will appear by arrangement with "Nancy Sies Presents". For further details email:

Landes-Akkordeon-Orchester Hessen Concerts - Germany

Contributed by Matthias Hemmje

The Landes-Akkordeon-Orchester Hessen (State Accordion Orchestra) will perform a "Premiere" concert on April 22nd at "Tattersaal" in Wiesbaden. This will be followed by another on April 28th at the Festeburgkirche in Frankfurt. For further details email:

New CD Release - Argentina
A new CD entitled "Amadeo Tango" will be released in May by Argentinean accordionist "Amadeo". Tracks include La Cumparsita, El Choclo and Lluvia de Estrellas (Rain of Stars) with arrangements by Josè Bragato (who was the cellist for Astor Piazzolla). For further information please email:
New Sites / Updated Sites Information on Owen Murray, Professor of accordion, Head of accordion department at the Royal Academy of Music, London, England Updated information on Master Production di Antonella Toccaceli & C. snc including their new product, Midi for accordions. Updated information on Pigini srl accordion manufacturers in Castelfidardo, Italy, including a list of distributors worldwide Updated information on the University of Missouri - Kansas City Accordion Orchestra as it celebrates its 40th Anniversary

USA National Accordion News
Accordion Information Required

Chris Ryan would like information on a 48 bass "Lascala" piano accordion that appears to be mostly hand made. Email:

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