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22nd February 2002 This weeks news | Past News | Send news

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Wayne Knights Webmaster



This Weeks News


Parade of Accordion Stars at 15th Annual Symposium & Festival - USA

Charles NunzioJoanna ArnoldFinal preparations are now underway for the American Accordion Musicological Society 15th Annual Symposium and Festival from March 1st to 3rd at the Holiday Inn, King of Prussia, PA. Organizers have arranged a tribute dinner to honor New Jersey resident and accordion pioneer, Charles Nunzio. Mr Nunzio (92 years of age), is only one of two accordionists still living, who is a founder member of both the American Accordionists Association and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild International. He has pioneered innovative construction changes in the accordion, is a noted composer, performing artist, teacher of 1961 Coupe Mondiale winner Donald Hulme and teacher of Jazz Artist Ed Monteiro.

Bobby RayThe event will also feature workshops and concerts with a "Parade of Accordion Stars" such as Carmen Carrozza (USA), Victor Danilotchkine, Stanley Darrow and Joanna Arnold, Rita Davidson, Mike Dellapenna & Charles Kofira, Lenn Feldmann, Sam Fire, Tom Groeber, Joe Grum, Frank Hodnicki, Rick Kaplan & Tom Tonon, Monsigneur Stanley Kloskowski, Dee Langley, Dr Robert McMahon, Ron Onda, John Opiela, Lou Persic, Vitaliy Pirog (Ukraine), Peter Stan, Ed Touchstone, Jim Vandelly, Jim Wadowick, and accordion entertainer/comedian Bobby Raye who will present the "Bobby Raye Show".

Festivities include three major concerts, a banquet, 60 competitive and non-competitive events, 12 workshops, as well as displays and vendors. Elissa Darrow Eystad will be on hand with various accordion related items, such as novelty gifts, shoulder straps, cassettes, CDs etc., and Dave & Anthony Darrow will be available to repair and service all types of accordions. For further details phone: +1 856-854-6628


Accordionist Nominated "Visiting Professor" - England

Friedrich LipsContributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

Friedrich Lips has been nominated "Visiting Professor" at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Lips will travel to Great Britain several times a year to teach students of the accordion class of Professor Owen Murray. The first 2002 seminar took place from January 31st to February 2nd. Lips will return to London in May. For further information email Professor Owen Murray at:



Celtic Connections Festival - Scotland

The Celtic Connections Festival was held from January 16th to February 3rd in Glasgow (for the 8th consecutive year). The festival aims to bring together the finest Scottish and Celtic Music from across Scotland and the rest of the UK, to as far afield as Canada, USA, Sweden and Norway, and offers a huge variety of events and performances through all styles of traditional and contemporary music.

This year there were ten venues across Glasgow including the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, offering an impressive program of concerts, BBC broadcasts and workshops. Artists included Simon Thoumire (concertina) and Croft No. Five.


Accordion Concerts in Shanghai - China

Contributed by Li Cong

Over 180 accordion students performed solo, ensemble and orchestral programs at an end of year concert at the Shanghai Luwan Accordion Extramural School recently. This school was first established by Duan Shengyi in 1987 and now has over 300 students, the youngest of whom is only 4 years old. The current Headmaster is Duan Shuyun, who is also a committee member of the Shanghai Accordion Association.

On February 3rd a second Shanghai concert was held at the Changning Children's Palace, directed by teacher Chen Liming (also a committee member of the Shanghai Accordion Association). Mr Chen gained a 3rd placing in the 1990 1st China Cup National Accordion Competition.

Li Cong, President of the Shanghai Accordion Association and Vice Presidents Mr Pan and Mr Du Hanguo (and other committee members) attended both concerts, which were part of the Committee Members Teaching Exhibition Series of the Shanghai Accordion Association.

Guests Confirmed at Accordion Festival - Australia

Contributed by Tania Lukic-Marx

Accordionist Mario Messineo (Perth, Western Australia), will perform as a guest artist at the Australian International Accordion Championships and Festival, held in Sydney from May 24th to 26th, 2002 organized by the Australian Accordion Teachers Association.

During the Festival, the Association will honour another famous accordionist from Perth - Peter Piccini for his contribution to the accordion in Australia. The Festival will also feature the Winner of the 2001 Coupe Mondiale Piano Accordion Class - Branko Dzinovic. For further details email:


Non Stop Quartet at Winter Festival - Russia

The Non Stop Quartet (which includes accordionist Sergei Voitenko) will perform at the annual traditional International Winter Grushin's Festival in Samara from February 22nd to 25th.

On February 26th the quartet will give joint concerts with well known Russian opera singer Boris Shtokolov as part of the "Basses XXI of the Century" International Festival. This festival will be held in Samara from February 23td to March 1st. For the further details email:


National Music Teachers Lecture and Performance - USA

Dr William SchimmelAccordionist Dr William Schimmel presented a lecture and performance for the National Music Teachers' Association recently at New York's Steinway Hall. William talked about his role in contemporary and avant-garde music with special emphasis on the music of Sofia Gubaidulina, covering information concerning his performance of the New York Premiere of De Profundis in 1989 as well as subsequent performances including a staged version by his wife, choreographer/director Micki Goodman and accompanying Jessye Norman (opera) and choreographer Bill T. Jones in their theatre work "How Do We Do".

Dr. Schimmel also performed De Profundis at a 70th birthday concert for Sofia Gubaidulina on February 12th at Miller Theatre, Columbia University. The concert was presented by Continuum Joel Sachs and Cheryl Seltzer, directors.

Easter Accordion Course - Croatia

Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

The international Easter Accordion Course for accordion (bayan) and transverse flute will take place in Porec, Croatia from April 1st to 6th. The course prepares music students for examinations, competitions and test games. However, they are open also to pupils and advanced laymen who would like to deepen their knowledge. For further details phone/fax Mirjana Petercol (Germany) at:
+49 521 8752216



"Five for Tango" Concert - Italy

Five For TangoContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On February 21st "Five for Tango" performed at the Odeon Theatre in Latisana. This concert was organised by the Fruili Venezia-Giulia regional foundation for recreation and is part of the 2001/2002 "Musica" series. The group, which includes Adam Seli (accordion), Lucia Clonfero (violin), Fulvia Miniussi (piano), Mauro Pestel (guitar) and Laura Soranzio (double bass) played a program of pieces by Astor Piazzolla such as "Otoņo Porteņo", "Milonga del Angel", "Invierno Porteņo", "Soledad" and others.


Radio Program of Folk Music - Norway

Oivind Farmen & Sturla Eide SundliThis week accordionist Øivind Farmen and violinist Sturla Eide Sundli participated in a radio program for the Norwegian National Broadcasting Corporation (NRK). The duo began playing together six months ago and have a repertoire which includes their own arrangements of a variety of Norwegian and international folk music. The duo are also in the process of making a CD recording as the "Flukt" trio with Sondre Meisfjord (double bass). For further information email:



Positive Reviews for Viktor Romanko - Germany

Accordion OrchestraContributed by Jutta Menn

After recent concerts by Viktor Romanko, regional daily newspapers featured titles such as "Bajan Replaced the Organ" and "Absolutely Exceptional Performance". The Intermusik magazine wrote about the great art of this Russian musician, who has a great fan community in Western Europe, and especially in Germany as follows: "His professional performance in many different musical styles has left audiences speechless. With great skill, passion, and improvising talent, Romanko guides the bayan/accordion away from the stepchild image, which is how it is often seen in comparison to the more established instruments".

On April 21st Romanko will perform as soloist for the Orchestra Association Ferndorftal/Wilden concert at Gebr.-Busch-Theater in Dahlbruch. Participants include the Ferndorftal/Wilden Orchestra (conducted by Jutta Menn) and the Youth Orchestra (conducted by Kerstin Rau).

Their program will include "Parlez-moi d´amour" (Rudolf Würthner), "Libertango" (Piazzolla) and "Intercity" (Adolf Götz). For details email:


Church Concert - South Africa

Duo 2000 will perform at the Dutch Reformed Church Tygerberg in Pretoria on March 9th. Their program will include a selection of pieces from their upcoming CD such as "Air on the G String" (Bach), Medley of Leroy Anderson Works and "Ball Scenes" (Hellmesberger). For details email:


Sextet Entertains at Music Museum - New Zealand

CapriceSarah Langley, Wayne Knights (Accordions Worldwide Webmaster), Rhonda Morrison, Campbell Bettridge, Kathryn Fletcher and Lionel Reekie make up "Caprice", an accordion sextet based in Auckland, which were given their name by New Zealand composer Gary Daverne, after performing a piece written by him.

Recently the sextet performed an entertaining concert at the Whittakers Music Museum, on Waiheke Island (a large island in Auckland's harbour). The Whittakers Museum has antique instruments including many accordions, as owner Lloyd Whittaker is a very very keen accordion enthusiast.

"Caprice" gained this performance through the University of Auckland School of Music, as member Kathryn Fletcher is the first accordion performance student at the University. As well as various solos, Caprice performed pieces such as a Jesus Christ Superstar Medley, Entry to the Queen of Sheeba, the Russlan and Ludmila Overture as well as "Caprice"! The audience was thrilled by the virtuosity of the players and the variety of music. Caprice was invited to present another concert there later this year.

Lithuanian Accordion Quintet "Concertino" - Russia

ConcertinoContributed by Vladimir Ushakov

On February 15th the Lithuanian Accordion Quintet "Concertino" performed at the St. Petersburg Concert Hall. The concert was organized by the St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble as part of a series entitled "Friends Meeting at the Neva Riverside". Previous concerts in this series have included performances by the Rizol-Quartet (Ukraine), Vladimir Zubitsky (Italy), Roman Bazhilin (Russia), Lithuanian Accordion Duo Eduardas Gabnnis & Gennady Savkov (Lithuania), Baltic International Accordion "Excelsior Quintet" (Latvia, Lithuania & Russia), St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble and prominent accordionists of St. Petersburg.

"Concertino" performed a well received program that consisted of classical compositions and variety pieces such as Prelude, Sarabande and Rigodon from the Suite by E. Grieg, "Ballet Tango" Suite (Piazzolla), "Caravan" (Tizol) and Duke Ellington (arranged by V. Novikov). Their performance was so successful, the group had to play an encore - "Step-Dance" (Peshkov).

A special surprise had been prepared for this event. The St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble had organized the publication of two volumes of music books which contained compositions from the repertoire of the "Concertino" quintet by "S.P.M.E. Editions". These were presented to the quintet in the Concert Hall foyer. As the concert was recorded on video and audio, organizers and performers are considering the idea of producing a Video cassette and CD album entitled "Concertino Live in St. Petersburg".

Next year the quintet will celebrate their 25th anniversary. Over the last ten years group members have remained the same: Ricardas Sviackevicius (leader), Ilma Plungaite, Regina Pancekauskene, Zhanna Gumionnaya and Rasa Mikishkene.



Argentinean Accordionist Tours Europe

Argentinean accordionist Norberto Vogel toured Europe this month with his tango quartet "Locura de Tango". The group, which includes bandoneon, violin, piano, and contrabass, performed successful concerts in Torino & Bologna (Italy) and in Zurich & Lugano (Switzerland). Their program included original tango arrangements by Norberto Vogel.


Spring Concert - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

The Matsubara Accordion Club will hold a "Spring Concert" at the Yume-nity Tamokuteki Hall in Matsubara, Osaka Prefecture on March 3rd. For concert details phone Mr Yoshida at: +81 78 882-3226

World Premiere of "Six-Pack" - England

On February 18th Ian Watson performed in the World Premiere of "Six-Pack" at the Bridewell Theatre in London. The performance comprised of six short operas all scored for clarinet, saxophone, percussion, double bass and accordion, written by leading British composers Julian Grant, Rachel Leach, John Webb, Helen Grime, David Bruce and Richard Taylor. There has been much coverage in the press and media including BBC Radio 3, BBCTV, The Times and The Independent. Critics have praised the instrumentation and the performance of the ensemble. This is another great step for the development of the accordion within British Music. "Six Pack" will run until March 9th. For details email:



Sarasota Accordion Club Meeting - USA

Contributed by Jane Berkovitz

The recently formed Sarasota Accordion Club met at the Little Italy Restaurant on February 12th with a wide variety of soloists performing Slavic, Jazz, Italian and French selections. For those who preferred to play in a group the club distributed booklets of familiar tunes so players could join together, playing for fun! The club will hold its next "Accordionata" on March 12th. For information and reservations phone: +1 941-346-9322


Concert Evening - Austria

A Concert Evening will be held at the "Urania Wien" in Vienna on March 20th. Performers include Heinrich Biegenzahn (accordion, clarinet & saxophone) Zsuzsa Varga (piano), Professor Alfred Hertel (oboe) and Sebastian Novak (accordion). The group will play works by Bach. For further details email:

New Sites/Updated Sites Updated information on the New Zealand Accordion Association Annual Championships and Festival held in Auckland from May 31st to June 2nd, 2002 Information on 92 year old accordionist Charles Nunzio and Nunzio Accordion Sales


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