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6th July 2001 This weeks news | Past News | Send news

Editors Note
It is great to see the number of people who have sent in news items via the new "Submit form" at the top of the English news. We designed the form to make it easy for you to send us your news. You can email jpg or gif images directly to or give us permission to take them from a website. If would like to send news of a concert, festival, CD release etc, please either use the online form or email Christine Adams at:

Wayne Knights Webmaster

This Weeks News

Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival - Finland

Mika VayrynenThe Kuhmo Chamber Music festival will be held during the last two weeks of July and is one of the biggest and most respected festivals in the world. Accordionist Mika Väyrynen will perform solo works at the Kuhmo Arts Center as well as works with Jan-Erik Gustafsson (cello) and a string quartet which includes Yoshiko Arai (violin), Vasile Pantir (violin) and Vladimir Mendelssohn (viola). These concerts, which will take place on July 28th, will include pieces by Sofia Gubaidulina ("In Croce for Cello and Accordion" and "De Profundis") and Astor Piazzolla ("Le Grand Tango" and "Five tango sensations"). For further details email:

International "Astor Piazzolla" Trophy - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The official programme of the "Astor Piazzolla" International Accordion Trophy, to be held in Castelfidardo this week has now been released. On July 6th Aldo Pagani (producer and publisher of works by Piazzolla) will hold a press conference at the Conference Hall in Castelfidardo and will celebrate the life of the great composer with the aid of archival footage.

On July 7th the Republic Square will host a "Noche de tango y folclore Argentino" (Night of Tango and Argentinean Folklore) featuring seven musicians and six dancers conducted by Argentinean bandoneonist Gustavo Toker. Toker and Roberto Daris (an accordionist from Trieste) will honour the memory of Piazzolla with bandoneon solos. Fourteen groups from Europe and Argentina will attend the event.

ATG Promises to be an International Affair - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

For four days, accordion guests ranging from Finnish superstar Mika Väyrynen, The Viennese Chamber Accordion Ensemble (Austria), the Accordion Orchestra of Lower Saxony (Germany) and Moldovian born Stas Venglevski will shower the ATG festival attendees with a dazzling array of accordion virtuosity and variety.

Meanwhile, contestants from as far afield as Australia, Russia, Europe and across the USA will compete in three competitions, the Galla-Rini Competition for Classical Accordion, the ATG Virtuoso Entertainment Competition and the jointly sponsored ATG/TAA Competition for Folk Music, offering almost US$5000.00 in prize money.

Also included will be a series of concerts, workshops and trade shows and a Festival Orchestra, which will provide the opportunity for attendees to be conducted (in concert) by orchestral directors from Austria, Germany and the USA.

All activities will take place at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, just a short stroll away from the famous River Walk in the beautiful and historical Texas town of San Antonio. For information, online booking, schedule information please visit the ATG site or email President Joan Sommers at:

New Accordion Postal Stamp - Germany

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Intermusik stampAfter many long discussions with postal stamps producer the German Post AG, the editor of Intermusik was successful in marketing their own stamp, which of course has the picture of an accordion, inspired by the Italians from Castelfidardo who have had their own stamp for many years.

Intermusik was able to convince German Post AG, how important it is for the German stamp-market to honor the "accordion", which has been of great importance (as no other instrument) in the history of German culture and economic development in traditional manufacturing places like Trossingen and Klingenthal.

The stamp value was requested to be suitable for the high value of the accordion, so will be available at 1.10 DM (Euro 56 cents).

Advanced Accordion Week - England

An "Advanced Accordion Week" will be held at Leesbrook Community School, Chaddesden, Derby from August 28th to 31st organized by Chapel Lunch Productions. This comprehensive and intensive four day course is being held to address the more specific needs of higher level accordionists. Four tutors known for their expertise in technique, composition and arrangements will work with groups of 10 students. During the evenings, workshops in dance forms, vocal and musical arrangement will be organized with outside tutors. A formal concert will conclude the event.

Tutors include Karen Tweed (England) - piano accordion, Andy Cutting (England) - diatonic button accordion, Bengan Janson (Sweden) - piano accordion and Maria Kalaniemi (Finland) - free bass accordion. For further details email:

Selection for World Accordion Trophy - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The selection of Italian candidates for the 51st World Accordion Trophy will take place on July 15th at the Nuovo Dogana theatre in San Marino. The World Accordion Trophy, organised by CMA, will be held in Lorient (France) from September 19th to 23rd. For further information phone Mr Boccosi: +39 071 201133

Viennese Accordion Chamber Ensemble Concert - USA

The Viennese Accordion Chamber EnsembleThe Viennese Accordion Chamber Ensemble will perform at the Ben Hur Shrine Temple in Austin on July 25th. The Ensemble (under Professor Walter Maurer) has performed together since 1967. All concert proceeds will benefit the Ensemble and the Ben Hur Shrine. For further details phone: +1 517-5120

Mid-Summer Festival Celebrations - Sweden

USA accordionist Jim Vandelly attended the Mid-Summer Festival celebrations in Tallberg on the shores of Lake Siljan during his recent visit to Sweden. Jim and several other members of the Balalaika Domra Association of America joined members of the Kazbek Orchestra of Stockholm in an impromptu mini-concert for guests at the Green Hotel in Tallberg on June 23rd. Their program included the performance of several popular Russian folk songs to a very appreciative audience.

New Duo 2000 CD is No 1 - South Africa

The new CD by Duo 2000 "Song for Anna" is the No. 1 seller at one of the most prestigious CD shops in Pretoria. The CD is also listed at No 11, 13, 22 and 24 at various other music shops around Johannesburg and Durban.

The CD was officially released in April and sales in the first month came to 9,000. This is considered a "phenomenal" number of sales in a country of South Africa's population, considering that the CD predominantly includes classical music by local artists and is an instrumental CD. Few South African artists in the above limitations have shown such sales. The group also had a "splashing" TV coverage of three weeks, and 55 advertising spots, which they believe would have assisted CD sales.

8th Chinese International Festival - China

The 8th Chinese International Festival will be held in Beijing from August 10th to 14th sponsored by the China International Cultural Association and organized by the Beijing Accordion Association and the Beijing Accordion & Piano School. Co-sponsors include the Shanghai Accordion Association, Tianjin Accordion Association, Keyboard Department of Tianjin, Conservatory of Music, Tianjin Musical Instrument Factory and Jiangjie Piano City. The competition offers a variety of classes for soloists of all ages, duos, trios, quartets and orchestras. Entries close on July 10th 2001. For further details email:

Accordion Workshop - Belgium

An Accordion Workshop for students aged from 8 to 20 years old will be held in Kinrooi-Molenbeersel, Limburg from August 20th to 26th. Tutor Ludo Mariën (Professor at the Antwerp Conservatorium) will cover solo, ensemble, and chamber music at the workshop. For further details email:

Dorothy Traficante Celebrates 80th Birthday in Florida - USA

The Titano Accordion Company was founded by Edward and Dorothy Traficante in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in an effort to develop a quality accordion line which they could merchandise in the chain of Traficante Music Schools which they owned and operated. During the accordion heyday of the 50s the Titano brand grew rapidly, becoming one of most popular and highly esteemed trademarks in North America. When the Traficantes retired in the 60s, the Titano Accordion Company was acquired by the New York based accordion manufacturer and distributor, Ernest Deffner, whose firm was founded in 1934.

Ed Traficante passed away in 1973 at his retirement home in Golden Beach, Florida. His wife and co-founder of Titano Accordion Company, Dorothy Traficante will be celebrating her 80th birthday this week. Congratulations.

1st Fermano Accordion and Hurdy-Gurdy Festival - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Roberto LucaneroThe quiet of summer in Lapedona will be broken on July 26th by a musical event. Organised by the countryside tourist resort "Il Rustico" and by the Excelsior Accordion Company (based in Castelfidardo), the first Fermano Accordion and Hurdy-Gurdy Festival will take place in Contrada Madonna Bruna. The programme of event includes the chance for enthusiasts to admire and try out instruments provided by the Excelsior Company. An evening concert, starting at 8pm, will feature a number of performers including Daniele Ravaglia (midi accordion) and Roberto Lucanero (hurdy-gurdy).

An important part of the event will include the chance of honouring a few personalities who have been very active in the local musical scene such as accordion Oscar-winner Peppino Principe and TV director Raffaele Ventola, who have worked hard for the promotion of the accordion and of the town of Lapedona. This is an event not to be missed by those who love friendship and music. For bookings and information phone: +39 0734 936252

Childers Queensland Multicultural Music and Food Festival - Australia

Euro Band Australia (which includes accordionist Leo Karnauchow) will perform at the annual Childers Queensland Multicultural Music and Food Festival in Childers on July 29th, which is organized by the ISIS Shire Council in conjunction with the Multicultural Society. The group will entertain the crowd (as they enjoy the food in the Croatian section of the festival) with Croatian National dance music "Kola", Bavarian Slap Dance and original compositions.

Several thousand people are expected to attend this event. For further details email:

First Cologne Accordion Orchestra 1935 Tours France

Contributed by Winfried Haushalter

The First Cologne Accordion OrchestraThe First Cologne Accordion Orchestra 1935 took 44 members on a concert tour of Biscarrosse, South West France from June 19th to 25th. On June 21st, the orchestra performed in Arcachon in the "Concert Shell" by the lake side in front of a wonderful background. Unfortunately, the orchestra was not able to fulfil all the encore requests, as they had to leave to perform a concert that evening at the "Fete de la Musique" (Festival of Music) in Biscarrosse. At this concert the orchestra performed on a specially built stage till late in the evening.

The highlight of the tour was a concert in the church of Saint Martin-Biscarrosse Bour. This performance was specially enhanced by the great acoustics of the church. The audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation at the end of the concert.

The final concert of the tour was an open air performance on June 23rd in celebration of St. Jean Day. Their program included "Trompe Voluntary" (Jeremiah Clarke), "Sinfonia in B Major (Bach), "Allegro" (Vivaldi) and La Rčjouissance (Fireworks Music) by Händel.

Accordion Quartet Performs at Charity Concert - Russia

Contributed by Olga Kopylova

On June 26th the "Non Stop Quartet" performed at a charitable concert, which was devoted to the veterans of drama and opera theatres. All proceeds from the concert were donated to aid the needs of elderly actors.

The quartet have begun working on a new video entitled "Small Detective" which is planned for release in August 2001. For further details email:

Paris Festival - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

A "Paris Festival" will be held at the Osaka Sankei Hall in Osaka, Japan on July 13th. Accordionist Hajime Yoshikawa will perform at the event. For further details phone: +81 723-36-4892

3rd Annual Accordion Kings Concert in Round Rock - USA

Contributed by Dawn Orsak

The 3rd annual Accordion Kings concert will be held at the Old Settlers Park Lakeview Pavilion in Round Rock, Texas on August 25th organized by Texas Folklife Resources. This family event will feature a night of Texas' most "dance-crazy" ethnic accordion music with conjunto by Mingo Saldivar and Los Tremendos Cuatro Espadas and zydeco by Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws. For further details email:

1st National Accordion Competition - Italy

Pino di ModugnoContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On July 15th the first National Accordion Competition will take place in Lariano, Rome, organized by the Music School "Arcadia". The event finale will feature a prize giving and concert with the participation of Pino di Modugno. For further information phone Galoni Onorio at: +39 06 9647787

Accordionist at Aldeburgh Festival - England

British accordionist David Farmer recently gave a solo recital as part of the prestigious Aldeburgh Festival in Aldeburgh, England. The festival runs throughout June and is organised by Aldeburgh Productions. The concert, which was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio 3, featured works by Gubaidulina, Zolotaryov, Clarke & Messiaen.

Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships - Canada

Myron FlorenThe 27th annual Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships will be held in Kimberley, British Colombia from July 9th to 15th. Performers include Myron Floren, Kerry Christensen, the Laurie Accordion Orchestra (Scotland), The Cottonpickers, Johner Brothers, The Emeralds and the Killaly Rhythm Kings. Events include the Old Time Accordion Competition, jam sessions and a family social and dance with the Sam Pecorilla Dance Band. Workshops will also be given by Bill Sturgeon (accordion), Al Almassy ("Old Time Music" and "Button Box Clinic") Derek Sanders ("Playing by Ear").

This year ten, $200 dollar bursaries will be awarded to assist and encourage young players aged 15 years and younger to enter and compete in the Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships. For further details email:

Orchestras Perform in Böblingen - Germany

The Harmonika Spielrings BoblingenContributed by Uwe Zumpe

On July 15th the Harmonika Spielrings Böblingen conducted by Günther Stoll will perform at the Alte TÜV-Halle in Oberen See, Böblingen. The concert entitled "HSB Jugend musiziert" will include performances by the Youth Group, the Youth Orchestra and the Junior Orchestra. Their program will include a varied repertoire, which is part of the Böblingen "Summer by the Lake" (Sommer beim See) event. Admission is free. For details email:

Church Concert - Italy

Contributed by Luigi Luoni

The Complesso Fisarmonicisti Cittā di Varese will perform a concert at the Azzio Church in Varese Province on July 21st. This orchestra of 16 accordionists has performed over 200 concerts in Italy and internationally since being refounded in 1984. They will perform a program of both classical and non-classical music. For further details email:

"Accordion Dreams" on National PBS Television - USA

Contributed by Evy Ledesma

"Accordion Dreams" will feature on National PBS television in the USA on August 30, 2001. Galán Productions recently completed the documentary, which was premiered on March 3rd at the Cinefestival in San Antonio and had numerous screenings at South by Southwest in Austin during March. The film has also screened at the Dallas Video Festival, at the Historical La Villita in San Benito, Texas and at the 8th annual CineSol Latino Film Festival on South Padre Island.

"Accordion Dreams" brings the rich and diverse history of Texas-based Mexican American music to the forefront in an exciting way that includes performance footage, archival footage/photos, and heartfelt interviews, weaving a character-driven story that entertains as it educates. Narrated by singer/songwriter Tish Hinojosa, the documentary captures the history and impact the European button accordion has had on the development of a unique American musical genre called Conjunto.

"With Accordion Dreams I wanted to literally follow the button accordion's journey from Europe to Texas and explore its major role in the creation of this musical expression called conjunto- that is native to Texas," says Hector Galán. "To do this, we focused in on Central Texas, specifically the city of New Braunfels, which was settled in the late 1800's by German immigrants."

The documentary also touches on the impact the Italian Immigrant community had on the popularity of the accordion in the United States. Eddie Chavez, a prominent accordion historian, whose book "The Golden Age of the Accordion", is considered one of the most comprehensive writings on the subject, is interviewed in Accordion Dreams. Chavez reminisces with fondness about the "Golden Age" when the accordion was at the top of its popularity in mainstream America, and acknowledges that it is today's conjunto musicians who are "keeping accordion music alive."

The documentary looks at today's young rebel accordionists who have expanded this musical style to the fringes of rock, blues, and pop, while paying homage to its pioneers. Some of the featured artists include Flaco Jimenez, Oma and the Oompahs, Tony De La Rosa, Valerio Longoria, Ruben Vela, Paulino Bernal, Eva Ybarra, Albert Zamora, up and coming accordion whiz Jesse Turner, and fifteen-year-old sensation Victoria Galvan. For further information email:

Cittā di Osimo Accordion Orchestra in Concert - Italy

Paolo PicchioContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The end-of-year concert of the school of the Cittā di Osimo Accordion Orchestra was held on June 26th at the church of "San Filippo Neri" in Osimo. The concert featured students from the institute, which is directed by Paolo Picchio. First to perform were soloists (aged from 5 to 18), followed by the school orchestra (which includes 14 accordionists, guitar and percussion) conducted by Paolo Picchio. The event was attended by local personalities, Diego Terzoni of the Marche regional council and the President of ANBIMA (National Association of Independent Bands).

Deputy Prime Minister Tours Music Centre - Canada

This week at the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto, the Deputy Prime Minister Mr Herbert Gray toured the building with government and business officials to see how better to support the recording, score dissemination and digital storing undertakings at the Centre. Accordionist Joseph Petric was asked to play a short concert featuring the work "Orbiting Garden" by Canadian Christos Hatzis. Electronic and print media were in attendance at the event. Joseph believes that the choice of an accordionist for a major media/political event of this sort bespeaks the strength of the accordion in Canada.

The piece "Orbiting Garden" is also the name of Joseph's next CD production, which was unveiled in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister. The CD is due for release in December 2001. For further details email:

Scottish Trio Tours Sweden

Contributed by Stuart Thomson

Dan Giselsson, Stuart Thomson, Alex Wilson, Kenny Thomson & Kjell Hermansson

The Kenny Thomson Trio (based in Cumnock, Scotland) recently spent a week in Sweden, playing for Scottish Country Dance Demonstrations held during the "Midsummer" event. The visit was a joint venture by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (Ayr Branch) and Folkdanslaget Vastanvind of Göteborg. Sweden holds "Midsummer" in very high regard and the Midsummer Day itself involved no fewer than 6 separate events.

This photograph was taken at an informal session in the "Gräfsnäsgården" in Göteborg and shows the trio enjoying a tune with Folkdanslaget Vastanvind's two resident musicians, Dan and Kjell.

Accordionists Wedding - USA

Henry Doktorski & Mary KayNathan WebsterOn June 23rd accordionists Mary Kay Welter & Henry Doktorski were married at St. Patrick Church in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, USA. Henry played and sang a "Betrothal Pledge" which he wrote specially for his new bride Mary Kay. Following this he played a polka medley with the band "The Mike Westbury Quintet" which got the crowd up and dancing. Henry was a member of this band for four years.

Six year old Nathan Webster brought his accordion all the way from Minneapolis, Minnesota (about 900 miles) especially to play at the event.

Buckwheat Zydeco "Down Home Live!" Tour - USA and Canada

Buckwheat Zydeco's "Down Home Live!" tour began on June 30th at the Milwaukee Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During the tour the group will perform at the Ottawa Citizen Blues Festival in Ottawa, Ontario and the Calgary Folk Music Festival in Calgary, ALB, (Canada) as well as at a variety of venues throughout Canada and the USA. The tour is due to finish on October 7th at Citystage Greensboro in North Carolina (USA). For further details see Future Events.

New Jazz CD "Cool Change" Now Available - Australia

A New Jazz CD by the Peter Piccini Jazz Trio entitled "Cool Change" was recently released by CLP Productions, Booragoon, Western Australia. The CD, which contains original compositions and arrangements by Peter Piccini, has been played on many jazz radio programmes around Australia. Tracks include "Cool Change", "Pete's Blues" and "Soft as velvet". For further details email:

New CD "Lorius" - Spain

A new CD entitled "Lorius" has just been released by "Alboka", a band specializing in Basque traditional music with members Joxan Goikoetxea (accordion and synthesisers), Alan Griffin (bagpipes, flutes and whistles) and Juan Arriola (violin).

The CD includes a carefully chosen combination of traditional material and original compositions. Guest performer, Hungarian vocalist Márta Sebestyén sings on five of the CD tracks. For further details email:


Orkney Folk Festival - Scotland

The group "Keep it Up" enjoyed themselves so much at the Orkney Folk Festival last month, that they have decided to set aside time in September to record their 2nd CD with the Foot Stompin' label. Band members include concertina player Simon Thoumire (member of The Simon Thoumire Three), Eilidh Shaw (member of The Poozies), Malcolm Stitt and Kevin MacKenzie. For further CD details email:

New Sites/Updated Sites
Updated information on accordionist Lydie Auvray including new contact details
Updated information on the 8th Chinese International festival held in Beijing from August 10th to 14th.
Updated information on New Zealand accordion entertainer, teacher and conductor Lionel Reekie including updated contact details
Updated information (in German, English and French) on the XXXVIV International Klingenthal Accordion Competition held from May 10th to 17th, 2002 in Klingenthal, Germany


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