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27th July 2001 This weeks news | Past News | Send news

Editors Note
The week we have updated the "Competitions & Festivals Held on a Regular Basis" section of the Yellow pages. If you know of a competition or festival that is held on an annual basis or regularly every, two, three, or four years etc, please send us an email so we can let interested accordionists know about them.

Wayne Knights Webmaster


This Weeks News

Rave Review for ATG Festival in San Antonio! - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

Competitors and guest artists represented nations as far afield as China, Russia, Republic of Belarus, Australia, Finland, Austria, Lithuania, Germany, USA and Poland during three days of non-stop accordion activities at the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) annual convention held in San Antonio, Texas this week.

The Anthony Galla-Rini International Competition for Classical Accordion was won by Alexander Sevastian from the Republic of Belarus, (pictured at the helm of a tourist boat cruising the San Antonio River Walk with fellow contestants Alexander Sphak - center and Yelena Belashova - right, from Russia). A recent graduate of the Gnessin Institute of Music in Moscow with Friedrich Lips, Alexander currently resides in Toronto, however he is planning on returning to Moscow to begin his post-graduate studies with Lips.

Mika Vayrynen & Joan SommersMika Vayrynen (pictured with ATG President Joan Sommers) from Finland was the headliner at the festival and dazzled participants with his stunning technique and breathtaking musicality during his performances, which included a solo concert and a presentation of the 5 Tango Sensations by Piazzolla accompanied by the UMKC Accordion Orchestra. A rare opportunity to hear Mika in the United States, festival participants were also treated to a workshop offering insight into accordion technique and the latest happenings in Europe.

Standing ovations were also given to the Viennese Accordion Ensemble, the "Accolage" Accordion Orchestra of Lower Saxony, Germany and for the ATG Festival Orchestra, a 70 piece orchestra presenting works conducted by Sylvia Zobek (Austria), Ralf Schwarzien (Germany) and Joan Sommers (USA).

Competitions results are as follows:

ATG/TAA Texas Folk Music Competition
1st Place: Mike Middleton, USA (US$500.00)
2nd Place: Terry Cavanaugh, USA (US$250.00)
3rd Place: Bernadette Conlon, Australia (US$100.00)

Nina Slyuser-WegmannATG Virtuoso Entertainment Competition
1st Place: Nina Slyuser-Wegmann, Republic of Belarus (US$1000.00)
2nd Place: Joseph Castorina, Australia (US$500.00)
3rd Place: Bernadette Conlon, Australia (US$250.00)

Anthony Galla-Rini International Competition for Accordion Soloists
1st Place: Alexander Sevastian, Republic of Belarus (US$1000.00)
2nd Place: Lidia Kaminska, Poland (US$500.00)
3rd Place: Nina Slyuser-Wegmann, Republic of Belarus (US$250.00)

ATG Piano Accordion Championship
1st Place: Shanxi Upsdell (New Zealand)

ATG Junior National Championship
1st Place: Shanxi Upsdell (New Zealand)


Bridlington International Accordion Festival - England

Holda Paoletti-Kampl & Robert RolstonContributed by Robert Rolston

The Bridlington International Accordion Festival (formerly known as the Caister Accordion Festival) will be held from November 8th to 11th in Bridlington, East Riding Council, sponsored by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Excelsior Accordions.

There has been some confusion over this event which in the past was held at The Caister Holiday Centre in Great Yarmouth England. This Festival was started by the late Malcolm Gee who pioneered this style of festival in the UK. When Malcolm died 5 years ago it was his wish that the publication "Accordion News and Times" and the "Autumn Accordion Festival" (held in Caister) be sold to Robert Rolston of Rolston Accordions in Scotland as Robert had helped Malcolm in the past to promote the accordion festival.

Daniele RavagliaThe festival was held at the holiday centre at Caister for several years but this year the venue was changed to Bridlington (on the East coast of England) as it is in the centre of the country, is easily reached by air or sea and the theatre holds about 2,000 people.

Gary BlairThe event will include a variety of entertainment and workshops. Performers include the Ballymun Accordion Orchestra, Brian Laurie Showband, Bridlington Dance Band, Family Von Skrappe, Gary Blair Trio, George & Rodney, Emil Johannsen (Norway), Gervasio Marcosignori (Italy), Daniele Ravaglia (Italy), Seamus O'Sullivan and Finton Stanley (USA).

Workshops will be given by Ron Hodgson (Biggest Band and Intermediate Band), Jean Corrighan (Beginners Band), Michael Irvine (Elementary Band), Jean Hanger (Vintage), John Leslie (technique), Jack Nesbitt (music on the computer), Adrianne Sharpe (Songs of Praise), Tracey Middleton (English Folk Dancing), David & Angie Lukins (Barn Dancing), Harry Hussey (jazz), George Syrett & Rodney (Play with the Pro's), Seamus O'Sullivan (Irish Music) and Gary Blair (Scottish). For further details email:

Life Members of Shanghai Accordion Association's Activities - China

Contributed by Li Cong

The Shanghai Accordion Association is currently organising their life members' accordion exchange programme from this year to April of next year. The programme includes teaching reports, concerts & seminars etc.

This programme, which was first proposed by Li Cong (President of the Shanghai Accordion Association), is drawing a lot of attention from many teachers and members. Its aim is to help improve the level of accordion teaching and performance in Shanghai.

So far, permanent members Shen Yanhua, Fan Yang Cheng, Yan Ren Yi, Jin Yan Min, Li Cong, Wang Cong Yu, Dai Yuan Yuan and Zhao Yu Biao have held public seminars and teaching concerts. Other activities are currently being prepared. The Accordions Worldwide Chinese Site will continue to present reports on the programme in the "Chinese Accordion" column. For more information, please email:

Polish Accordion Seminar - Poland

Friedrich Lips with studentContributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

Lech PuchnowskiThe annual Polish Accordion Seminar was held in Mietne (South of Warsaw) from July 6th to 14th, directed by Professor Lech Puchnowski and D. Kaniewska. Tutors included Friedrich Lips, Lech Puchnowski, J. Jurek, B. Dowlasz, J. Kaszuba, J. Lukasiewicz, K. Baran, T. Kaszuba, M. Dowlasz and A. Kuwaczka. Participating students were from Poland, Germany, Lithuania and Serbia.

During this accordion course Polish candidates were selected for the Premio della Città di Castelfidardo next October. Friedrich Lips performed a successful concert program that included works by Schnittke, Podgaiz, Mozart, Norbaak and others.

Sylvia Pagni in Morro d'Oro - Italy

Sylvia PagniContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On July 27th accordionist Sylvia Pagni will play in Morro d'Oro (province of Teramo) together with the OPS Band. This group is an orchestra of ten musicians conducted by Piero Billeri (who used to play the saxophone for the famous Italian singer-songwriter Umberto Tozzi).

Accordionist Appointed Tutor at High School of Music - Spain

Accordionist Iñaki Alberdi was recently appointed the position of tutor at the Escuela Superior de Música de Catalunya (High School of Music of Catalonia) in Barcelona. The position will give new encouragement to accordionists in this region, as there are many interested people. Students will sit entrance examinations in September and the accordion course will begin in October. For further details email:

Pittenweem Arts Festival Concert - England

Contributed by Matthew Forbes

The Czardas Duo (which includes accordionist Ian Watson) will perform at Kellie Castle as part of the 19th annual Pittenweem Arts Festival on August 7th. The festival will include visual art, music, dance, drama and storytelling throughout the week. The duo will play a program of works by Charpentier, Albinoni, Arvo Pärt and Astor Piazzolla. For further information phone Bill Stevenson: +44 1333 312168

Successful Tour of Iceland

Gary BlairGary BlairAccordionist Gary Blair has just completed a successful tour of Iceland playing at a variety of different venues to help celebrate the Icelandic Accordion Clubs' 20th Anniversary. Beginning on July 9th Gary performed at the Rekyavik Accordion Club, followed by concerts in Buoardalur, Saudarkrokur and Akureyri Pingeyjarsysla. On July 14th he played to over 15,000 people in Egilsstaoir at the biggest athletics meeting held in Iceland. That same evening he played at the Egilsstaoir Accordion Club and in Neskaupstaour the following day. His final concert was held in Selfoss. All of the concerts were so well received that Gary sold out his supply of CD's before his final performance!

"Two Duos Quartet" Concerts - Ireland

Karen TweedThe "Two Duos Quartet" (which includes accordionists Karen Tweed and Andy Cutting) will perform concerts in Ireland from August 4th to 8th. Beginning at "The Lobby" in Cork City on the 4th, the quartet will follow this performance with concerts in Roisin Dubh, Galway and the Linenhall Arts Centre. For further details email:

Alexander Technique Workshop - Italy

Accordionist Claudio Jacomucci will perform at the Tre Castagni in Catania on August 2nd. His program will include pieces by Tedde, Zorn, Kurtag, Bach and Piazzolla. Following this Claudio will hold an Alexander Technique workshop for musicians and performers (theatre, dance and mime) at the Sala del Carmine in Orvieto (TR) from August 6th to 12th. For further details email:

Accordionists Perform with Traditional Chinese Fiddlers - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On August 3rd, accordionists Saburo Tano'oka and Yuichi Otsuka will perform with the "Erhu's" who are a group of traditional Chinese fiddlers. This event will take place in Rakuya, Naka-meguro, Tokyo. For further details email:

Heather Music Festival - England

Contributed by Paul Asher

The Heather Music Festival, which begins on July 27th July, will be held at the Crown Inn, Heather, Nr. Coalville. Zydeco, swamp, blues and rock 'n' roll group "HotBox" (which includes accordionist Carla Simmons) will play at the opening of this festival. In addition, traditional cajun band "Bayou Noir", a three piece group including Tim Zielonko (accordion), Mitch Proctor (violin) and John Elliott (guitar), will entertain. For further details email:

Music School Workshops - Austria

Accordionist Klaus Paier will hold a jazz workshop at the Musikschule Wolsfberg in Wolfsberg, Austria from August 13th to 18th. Workshop subjects will include jazz improvising, jazz theory, ensemble, arrangements and music by Astor Piazzolla. For further details email:

End of Year Concert - Italy

The "Voglia d'arte" Music School directed by accordionist Renzo Ruggieri recently organised an end of year concert featuring young students Antonio Mancini, Andrea Sottanelli and Moreno Straccialini in the entertainment music section. The event also featured Giovanni Di Silvestre's "First Jazz Concert" in a trio which included Enrico Ferri on drums and Fabrizio Di Giacinto on bass.

The evening was designed to give young students the opportunity to experience the stage in a real concert before completing their advanced courses. The varied programme included pop music, variety and jazz standards. The concert took place at the "Palazzo del Mare" in front of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. As usual, participants took part in the school's annual dinner after the concert.


Trio Fratres at Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival - Finland

Trio FratresOn July 29th, Trio Fratres will perform two world premiere chamber works at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (one of the most well known and respected festivals in the world). The group were invited to perform by Professor Seppo Kimanen, leader of the festival. The new compositions are by leading Finnish composers, Tuomas Kantelinen and Pehr Henrik Nordgren.

Over 40,000 people will hear 100 concerts and five world premieres during the festival's two week duration. For more information email:

Historical Appointment - China

Contributed by Li Cong

Cao Xiao-Qing, accordion teacher from the Tianjin Music Conservatory (who has been studying in Germany) was recently employed by the Hanover College of Music and Theater as an accordion teacher. This is an historical break through for the Chinese accordion world.

Cao held his successful graduation concert on February 23rd this year at the Hanover College of Music and Theater, receiving his soloist's diploma certificate with excellent marks. Last week, the Hanover College of Music and Theater made the decision to employ Cao as their accordion teacher from October 1st this year. He will also be involved with new students' entrance examination.

While studying in Germany, Cao not only achieved highly with his accordion playing, but he assisted with the development and promotion of the accordion in China. With his assistance, his teacher Professor Elsbeth Moser and many other famous accordion artists have attended many concerts and seminars in China.


Blue Opel Omega Inventory Stolen - Germany

Contributed by Bernhard Boden

The Russian Bajan-Trio Harmony have had their Blue Opel Omega (Russia Sing H 921 MM) inventory stolen on July 1st in Cologne. The inventory includes the following:

  • 3 nearly new blue Bajan-Accordions (B-Manual), Russia production, Brand name "Jupiter", Trademark in Cyrillic language outside the instrument
  • Three magnificent stage costumes
  • Personal belongings

The local TV station "WDR punkt Koeln" has provided the 3 accordionists with some accordions and a generous company has sponsored clothing and important utilities for living purposes.

The trio would like any information leading to the recovery of these items as well as help to organise future concerts so they can raise funds to replace missing equipment and clothing. If you can help please email:

Open Air Concert - Netherlands

Contributed by Hillebrand Van Der Veen

On September 8th the Forzando Accordion Club will perform at an open air concert in the main shopping center in Amsterdam Noord (Winkelcentrum Boven 't Y, Buikslotermeerplein). All of their orchestras will perform at the event (from beginners to seniors).

The following day the A-orchestra will perform another open air concert at the Winkelcentrum De Banne, Ankerplaats shopping centre. These concerts aim to promote the accordion and encourage people to learn the accordion and have fun playing with an orchestra. For further details email:

"Euterphon" Trio Performance - Italy

The "Euterphon" accordion trio (featuring Daniela Maimone, Loredana Sanna and Rosa Trisciuzzi), will hold a concert in Catanzaro on August 3rd for the Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) Association. Their program will include pieces by J.S. Bach, I. Battiston, L. Bacalov, R. Galliano, N. Piovani and A. Piazzolla. For further information please email:

Leyland Accordion Club Guest - England

Accordionist Paul Chamberlain was the guest performer at the Leyland Accordion Club concert on July 18th. Playing both piano and button accordions, his programme included pieces by Frosini, Zolatariev and Rameau, as well as some traditional Scottish music.

Viennese Ensemble in the USA

The Viennese Accordion Chamber Ensemble are currently touring the USA. After receiving a standing ovation at the ATG festival in San Antonio, the group travelled to Austin, Texas. On July 25th they took part in an interview on KUT radio with compere John Aielli. Later that day they performed a program of light classical music including pieces by Mozart, Brahms, Strauss, Seiber, Dvorak, Bernstein and Rodgers at the Ben Hur Shrine Temple.

They were also special guests at the monthly "Accordion Roundup" of the Third Coast Accordion Network at the historic Broken Spoke. Regular group "Debra Peters and the Love Saints" also entertained at this event.

University of Stirling Accordion Course - Scotland

Contributed by Margery Stirling

The University of Stirling Summer School will hold an accordion course from August 6th to 11th, tutored by Ian Lowthian. Subjects include ornamentation, composition, analysis of tunes, harmony, left hand technique, special effects such as bellows shake, vibrato etc., articulation, fingering and bellows control. For further details email:

Third Birthday Celebrations - Australia

Contributed by John Dickson

The Perth Accordion Club will celebrate their 3rd birthday on August 19th with a concert at the Inglewood Civic Centre. The event will include entertainment by the Perth Accordion Orchestra and some of Perth's professional accordionists. For further details email:

Ensemble di Musiche Possibili in Concert - Italy

FabioEnsemble di Musiche PossibiliContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The "Ensemble di Musiche Possibili" will take part in the Terzo in Musica event, playing at the Sant'Anna chapel in Grillano (province of Alessandria) on August 28th. The Ensemble will soon launch a CD which will include a selection of pieces in their repertoire. For further information email Fabio at:

New CD of Original Compositions

Accordionist Mario Messineo has just released his new CD entitled "A taste of Accordion" which contains 10 original compositions written and arranged by himself. Tracks include "Per Te" (beguine with a continental flavour), "Big Boss" (jazz swing) and "Star Journey" (fast samba with jazz feel). For further details email:

New Sites/Updated Sites
Updated information includes results of the Harmonika-Weltmeisterschaft World championship held in Schenkenfelden, Austria where the first three placegetters played Strasser Harmonikas, plus details of their summer vacation.
Updated information on Wurzburger Musikverlag, including details of new music sheets.
Updated information on Accordions Worldwide Europe Head Office Manager, Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Details on "Accordions and Keyboards" completely new stock including 2 reed, 3 reed and 4 reed instruments, electronic/midi instruments, button/cajun and even some rare instruments. Each instrument comes with description and picture.

Antique Accordion Information

Shari would like information on an "Excelsior Reed" button accordion with paper bellows. It has corner markings that read "Gebr:Ludwig Accordeon", plus other markings Ludwig Pine Tree" and "Accordeon Brand", made in Germany. Email:

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