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11th July 2003 This weeks news | Past News | Send news
Sata-Hame Soi - Accordion Festival

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This Weeks News


31st Annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival Attracts 36,000! - Finland

Musical Director - Kimmo Mattila, Public Relations Manager - Minna Plihtari & Festival Director - Minna Kulmala with AWW reporter Kevin Friedrich

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

The 31st Annual International Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival held in Ikaalinen, Finland attracted record numbers of over 36,000 people this year. Amidst the beautiful parks and wooden houses of Ikaalinen, which is nestled on the banks of Lake Kyrösjärvi, accordionists gathered to enjoy non-stop accordion music featuring everything from Cajun to Rock, from Classical to Folk and Tex Mex with soloists, duos, bands and orchestras all held in a variety of settings including concert halls, churches, pubs, outdoor parks and schools.

Tatar Folk Instruments Orchestra
Tatar Folk Instruments Orchestra of The State Conservatory of Kasan

Performers included Tango Nuevo, Petri Ikkelä (who performed on many of the accordion family instruments including the bandoneon and sheng), concertina artist Simon Thoumire (featuring Scottish Folk with a touch of Jazz), The Jump Band (an Estonian Jazz group with accordionist Tiit Kalluste), Mamba, The Trio Töykeät, a Jazz Trio, famed Finnish folk artist Maria Kalaniemi, Taija Maatiala and the Yawnmovers, Joao Frade (Portuguese World Entertainment Champion), Pavel Zyabko and Josif Puritz (Junior Klingenthal Champions from Moscow, Russia), Tatar Folk Instruments Orchestra of The State Conservatory of Kasan, Russia, The Crawfish Kings (Zydeco music), numerous young accordion students and bands, Accordion Club Bands and much more.

This year celebrated the 20th Annual Golden Accordion Award, which was won by 21 year old Janne Mäkinen from Rauma. Nine year old accordionist Vilma Avikainen from Mikkeli won the Silver Accordion Award for children under 10 years of age. This Golden Accordion Award is televised live nation wide and provides excellent exposure for the Festival and the accordion. In the Finnish 1 & 2 Row Accordion Folk Musician Championship the results were as follows:

12 Years and Under: 1st - Anne Lahti (Alavus)
15 Years and Under: 1st - Emilia Mäkelä (Kaustinen)
18 Years and Under: 1st - Ali Välimäki (Kantvik)
Open Age: 1st - Merja Leinonen (Niinimaa)
50 Years and Over: 1st - Usko Välimäki (Kantvik)

Kimmo Mattila
Kimmo Mattila

A special congratulations to Festival Director Minna Kulmala, Public Relations Manager Minna Plihtari and Musical Director Kimmo Mattila who worked together over many months to ensure the smooth running of the festival. Capacity audiences at many of the concerts were treated to an outstanding and diverse array of accordion music and competitions. The streets were packed with people enjoying the accordion music and never ending Finnish summer evenings where the darkest it got was a hint of the sun setting.

Paavo Lipponen
Paavo Lipponen

Former Prime Minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen (who is now Speaker of the House, making him one of the three most important people in the Finnish Government together with President Tarja Halonen and actual Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen) was in attendance at the festival and gave a speech at the Closing Ceremony which highlighted some of the varied performances from the week long festival.

In addition to the Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival Organization, Ikaalinen is also home to the Finnish Accordion Institute, the Finnish Accordion Association as well as an Accordion Museum.

Plans are already underway for the 2004 Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival to be held in Ikaalinen from June 28 to July 4, 2004. For more information on the 2004 Festival and a review of the 2003 Festival, please visit the Sata-Häme Soi site or contact:


Sata-Hame Soi - Accordion Festival

Successful National & International Competition of Atri 2003 - Italy

The National & International Competition of Atri 2003 was held at the Auditorium S. Agostino and at the Teatro Comunale of Atri (Teramo province) on May 30th and 31st and included the 2nd national competition and the 1st international competition for classical accordion.

The prestigious jury included Paolo Picchio, Carlo Panetta, Paolo Di Biase, Nicola Penna, Carmine Di Marco, Gianluca Pica, Cesare Chiacchiaretta, Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi, Renzo Ruggieri, Orietta Cipriani, Luciano Micaroni, Roberta Moscianese, Pasquale Clivio, Giovanni Fantozzi and Costantino Ciofani.

Classical accordion: 1st prize not assigned
Accordion Variété: 1st prize - Marie Andree Joerger
Electronic keyboard: 1st prize - Mario D'Amario

On the final evening, there were performances by the first prize winners and maestros Rinaldo and Renata Tepore, artistic directors of the competition. The event was hosted by famous TV presenter Luca Di Nicola. Plans for the 2004 event are underway.



Michael Ganian Memorial Concerts - USA & Armenia

Contributed by Eva Klarova

Accordionist and composer Michael Ganian would have celebrated his 45th birthday on July 21st had it not been for his untimely death a few years ago. As a dedication to his memory a variety of concerts will be held in Los Angeles (USA) and Yerevan (Armenia) on July 21st.

From April 23rd to 30th (2003) Ganian's death was commemorated in Yerevan with a performance by the Huis Chamber Orchestra at the Arno Babadjanyan concert hall (April 23rd). This group have decided to rename their group to Ganian's Chamber Orchestra. Other well-known artists played a variety of Ganian's compositions also.

In addition a biographical documentary on Ganian was aired on Armenian television. This was followed by the unveiling of a statue by Armenian sculptor Gagik Stepanyan at Ganian's secondary school on April 30th.

The St. Gayane Church in Etchmiadzine held a mass in his honor. These events were attended by Ganian's family and close friends, famous musicians and personalities from the cultural and political scene, who deeply admired the art of Michael Ganian.


Ranco Accordions

Mika Väyrynen in Yugoslavia

Mika VayrynenContributed by Kevin Friedrich

Concert accordionist Mika Väyrynen is currently teaching and performing in Krajouavic, Yugoslavia where he will teach several Master Classes as well as present a recital of the complete Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach.

Mika has recorded twelve CD's, which include over 90 compositions on world famous labels such as Finlandia Records/Warner Classics, JVC Victor Japan and Naxos. Mika's repertoire is exceptionally broad, including contemporary accordion music, transcriptions from various periods, new tango, concertos and chamber music. In addition to teaching accordion at the Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki, Mika is concertizing around the world both as a soloist and as a guest artist with major orchestras.



Accordionist Tours Brazil with "Odeon" - Brazil

Accordionist Dr. William Schimmel will present four concerts at the Teatro Sao Pedro in Sao Paulo, Brazil with the jazz quintet "Odeon". Odeon will also present a workshop at the Cento De Estudos Tom Jobim in Sao Paulo.

"Odeon" will also present four concerts at Mistura Fina in Rio De Janeiro. "Odeon" consists of founder/leader/reed player Ted Nash, Nathalie Bonin (violin), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone & tuba), Matt Wilson (drums) and Dr Schimmel (free bass accordion).

Their CD "Sidewalk Meeting" on the Arabesque label was voted Best New Jazz CD of 2001 by the New York Times, Village Voice, New York Newsday and The Boston Globe. It was also voted Best New Jazz CD by the Downbeat Magazine critics' poll. The group has just completed a successful run at the Village Vanguard in New York.

For further tour details email:

Master Sound

Val Tidone 2003 Masterclass - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The Val Tidone 2003 International Master Class Project will be held in the Rocca Comunale, Val Tidone (Piacenza) from August 25th to 31st directed by Livio Bollani. Tutors include Tomislav Baynov (Germany) and Carlo Levi Minzi (Italy). The event is open to musicians from any nationality, without age limit and will include professional opportunities and scholarships for participants.

A students concert will take place at the end of the course and all musicians will receive a participation diploma. For every Master Class, the organization will provide a euro 400,00 scholarship. For further details phone/fax: +39 0385245798


9th Alexander Technique Seminar - Spain

Anne LandaContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The 9th Alexander Technique Seminar will be held in San Sebastián from July 14th to 20th organized by the Acco Land Cultural Association, an association dedicated to the promotion of the accordion. Accordion classes will be tutored by Stefan Hussong and Anne Landa will tutor the Alexander Technique classes. Participants include 21 students from Spanish cities and overseas. The event will include a diatonic accordion masterclass by Kepa Junkera (on July 17th), amongst other similar activities, and will finish on July 20th with a public concert by the seminar students. For further details email:


Ranco Accordions

Alexander Poeluev Tour to USA Cancelled Due to Visa Problems

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

Unfortunately due to problems with delays in getting his Visa, the concert tour to the USA by CIA World Champion Alexander Poeluev has been cancelled. Alexander would have had to leave Russia on Wednesday July 9th in order to make his guest appearance at the American Accordionists Association 65th Anniversary Festival in time, but as of closing of business the day before, the Embassy had not issued the Visa, so the trip had to be cancelled.

Despite getting a New York Congressman involved and numerous calls to the Embassies in Washington DC and Moscow nothing could be done to speed the process, despite the impending cancellation of the tour.

In addition for Alexander, it is extremely disappointing for all concerned, including the AAA and other concert organizers at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and Accordion Clubs in Chicago and Milwaukee as it had generated much excitement to have him present recitals in these venues.

Alexander was recently in New Zealand and Australia concertizing and will be touring to Denmark later in the year.



Museum Garden Concert - Netherlands

Accordéon Mélancolique which includes accordionists Jean-Pierre Guiran and Cherie de Boer will perform an outdoor concert at the Museum "de Buitenplaats" (museum for figurative art) in Eelde, Holland on July 13th. This concert will be held in the museum if the weather is not suitable. The duo will play a variety of pieces from their CD's plus some new melodies such as "Oh, for some Blue Skies". For further details phone: +31 343-513432


Sata-Hame Soi - Accordion Festival

International Morro D'Oro Competition - Italy

A variety of international guests will attend the prestigious International Morro D'Oro Competition, held from July 18th to 20th. On July 18th Roman Jbanov and Domi Emorine (Paris Moscou Duo) will entertain, followed by Jerome Richard on the 19th. On the final day (20th) the Renzo Ruggieri Group will perform along with the "Ars Musica" Orchestra directed by Antonio Cericola. For further information email:


1st Accordion Festival in Saint-Jeannet - France

The 1st Accordion Festival will be held in Saint-Jeannet (near Nice) from July 11th to 13th. The event will include performances by the Paris-Moscou Duo (Domi Emorine & Roman Jbanov) who will present a musical trip from France to Russia, Duo Musette (AAPCA - Constantino & Bonifassi), Trio with Freddy Garcia (accordion, violin & double-bass), Guy Giuliano (who will play Argentinean tangos), Accordion Duo Cerato & Drogoul and Bruno Sabalat (melodeon).

In addition, there will be a variety of music in the village streets and a Bal Musette with traditional French dancing, with entertainment by Marcel Mercanti (accordion) and his band. For details email:



Ottawa Chamber Music Festival - Canada

Accordionist Joseph Petric will perform a number of concerts during the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival held from July 26th to August 9th. His first performance will be at The Church of St. John the Evangelist on August 1st, where he will play a solo recital of works by Robert May, Torbjorn Lundquist and JP Rameau. This will be followed by a concert of works by Mozart, Soler and Mozetich on August 3rd at the same venue.

The next day (4th) Joseph will play music by Marjan Mozetich with a string trio at The Chapel of Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa. On the 5th he will perform a concert entitled "Music of our Time The Modern Accordion" at St John's Church and on the 6th he will take part in a celebration entitled "31 Years of Mozart" with the Glassharmonika Quintet at the Tabaret Hall.

Petric's final performance will be at a "Coffee Concert" on August 7th at the All Saints Church where he will play transcriptions of Bach. For concert details email:


Master Sound

Guest Performers "Bayou Seco" - England

"Bayou Seco" from Silver City, New Mexico (USA) will perform at "Folk At The Royal Oak" in Lewes, East Sussex on July 24th. The band perform a wide range of American traditional music from Cajun to Chicken scratch. For further details email:


Sata-Hame Soi - Accordion Festival

Accordionists Perform at Summer Festivals - USA

Accordionist Guy Klucevsek will perform solo at the Warwick Summer Arts Festival in Warwick, New York on July 13th. Klucevsek has invited fellow composer/accordionists Willy Schwarz (American, who lives in Germany) and Evan Harlan's band "Andromeda4" (from Cambridge, Massachusetts) to attend the event.

On July 17th, the Guy Klucevsek/Phillip Johnston Duo (accordion and saxophone) will perform at the "Celebrate Brooklyn Festival", an outdoor event at the Prospect Park Bandshell, in Brooklyn, New York. The duo will preview pieces from their upcoming CD "Tales from the Cryptic" due out in September on the Winter & Winter (Germany) label.

For concert details email:



South Korean Film Company Approaches Australian Accordionist

John McDonaldSydney based Scots Entertainer John Macdonald, who is well known Australia wide for his top selling Gold Award Fireside Accordion Albums, had a pleasant surprise recently when a major South Korean Film Company approached him after hearing his version of a tune called "Jacqueline Waltz " composed by Scotland's late and great Will Starr (one of John's accordion idols from his homeland Scotland).

It just so happens that the South Korean film, which was in post production, needed a certain accordion sound! The film's composer Yoon Min-Hwa started a worldwide search for the most suitable accordion music for the opening scene. When she came across a copy of John's recording, she fell in love with it instantly and had to include it in the film.

Last week negotiations were in progress with Jininsa Films in Seoul and Rajon Music in Sydney, who own the Copyright on all John's early Master Recordings, to clinch the deal before the final editing of the movie finished in a matter of days. John's music will now feature in the opening sequence of the movie "Wild Dog" which will be released throughout Asia this month, with other overseas countries showing great interest.

Top Korean Director KT Kwak directed the movie and had a hit at film festivals in the USA, Japan and Canada recently with his film "Champion". It seems the South Koreans have been so impressed by John's accordion music style, that there is now talk about the "kilted" entertainer making a flying visit. John hopes to learn some South Korean "Folk Songs" in the meantime - just in case!!



Summer Seminars - Spain

Accordionist Angel Luis Castaño is currently tutoring at a summer seminar in Alcazar de San Juan until July 12th. From there he will tutor a workshop in Malaga from July 13th to 20th. For details email:


Ranco Accordions

Jazz Accordion Seminar in Acervia - Italy

A series of jazz seminars will be held in Arcevia. The event will include tuition for a variety of instruments including the jazz accordion, which will be tutored by Renzo Ruggieri from July 22nd to 26th. For further details email:



Celebrity Interview Online

Maria Kalaniemi, born 27 May 1964 is established in Finland and abroad, as one of the world's most talented accordionists, not only as a technically skilled player but also as a gifted composer. Her specialty is with Finnish Folk Music. A master of free-bass button accordion, Maria is one of
Finland's leading folk accordionists. Melody is the meaning and with Maria, listeners are sure to feel her message deeply!

Maria was guest artist at the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival in Ikaalinen on July 5th, 2003 and was kind enough to spend some time to answer some readers questions for this Accordions Worldwide Celebrity Interview.


Sata-Hame Soi - Accordion Festival

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