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03 September 2004This weeks news | Past News  | Send news
Gary Dahl

This Weeks News
  • Death of Tony Lopez, "Father of Tejano" - USA
  • Accordion University Study in Linz - Austria
  • Fylde Folk Festival - UK
  • Karen Tweed performs in Sweden and USA - UK
  • Friedrich Lips Recital in Shanghai - China
  • Busy Time Ahead For French Accordionist - France
  • Angel Luis Castaño concert dates - Spain
  • Accordionist performs with Frankston Symphony Orchestra - Australia
  • New kids on the block' Jamie and Nicola - UK
  • The "Acoustic Music Ensemble" On Tour Italy
  • Iron Accordion in Art Galler, Texas - USA
  • "I was spat at and called a traitor", Khaled - Algeria
  • Expanding Polyphony In Family Picchio - Italy
  • Annual Master Class and Concert Series Celebrates 10 years! New York City - USA
  • Zoltan Orosz on Radio and Television - Hungary
  • Cavagnolo Centenary Celebrations - France
  • Accordion Help/Information
  • Quote of the Week
  • CD Review
  • New and Updated Sites
  • A to Z of the Accordion

    Death of Tony Lopez, "Father of Tejano" - USA

    Tony Lopez, saxophonist, vocalist and considered by many to be the "father of Tejano" has died at the age of 75 from complications following a stroke and a brain aneurysm.

    In 1956 Lopez formed the Isidro Lopez Orchestra, and broke new ground musically by combining big band sounds with Mexican traditional accordion-driven cojunto music - creating what became known as Tejano. Tony Lopez, whose vocal style was likened to both Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, featured accordionist Tony de la Rosa amongst his musicians. He also worked with accordionists Flaco Jiminez and Ruben Ramos, both of whom are present-day cojunto stars.

    Rick Garcia, Executive Vice President of Hacienda Records, said this of Lopez: "He really was the innovator of combining orchestra with the accordion-laced cojunto"

    Tony Lopez was inducted into the Tejano Hall of Fame, in San Antonio, in 1982.

    Accordion University Study in Linz - Austria

    In spring 2004, the Linzer Bruckner Konservatorium was accredited to the Anton Bruckner Privat Universität (private university). They now offer, as well as a study in the pedagogic, the possibility in the arts area, academic degrees Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Masters of Arts, (MA). One of the first Masters of Arts at the young University is the accordionist Andrej Serkow, born in the Ukraine.

    He has studied at the conservatory in Odessa with Viktor Vlassov and in the last four years in the concert-department class with tutor Alfred Melichar in Linz. Andrej performed at his diploma examination concerts the works of Berio, Gubaidulina, Hosokawa, Mundry, Piazzolla, Stravinski and has now successfully completed his MA degree study.

    The accordion education at the former Conservatory in Linz already has tradition, being the first educational institution in Austria to have offered a full study for accordion. With the revaluation to University status, the high artistic level is formally recognised, and the qualifications have EU wide validation as an academic degree. Another important step internationally for accordion study possibilities for young people.At present, students who major in accordion come from Austria, Germany, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Serbia.

    For further information, email tutor Alfred Melichar

    Fylde Folk Festival - UK

    The annual Fylde Folk Festival takes place at the Marine Hall and other venues in Fleetwood, Lancashire, from September 3rd to 5th, featuring a large number of folk artistes and dance teams, representing many different British, Irish and international styles.

    The guest list includes teenage accordionist Harriet Bartlett, melodeon and fiddle duo John Spiers and Jon Boden, and Hoover the Dog, an accordion-led band. Accordionists, melodeon and concertina players will be very much in evidence as accompanists for the various dance teams, and in the music sessions.

    There will also be a concertina workshop, led by Martin Whittell. For more details, email Festival Director Alan Bell

    Karen Tweed performs in Sweden and USA - UK

    Celtic/Scandinavian folk band SWAP, featuring Karen Tweed on piano accordion, is performing in Sormland, Sweden, from 3rd to 13th September.

    After this, SWAP travel to the USA where they will be appearing at the Nordic Roots Festival, Minneapolis, from the 16th to 19th September.

    Friedrich Lips Recital in Shanghai- China
    Report from the Shanghai Daily News

    Friedrich Lips played his first note at a recital last week and the entire audience was captivated. At 56, the Russian accordion player packed out the He Luting Concert Hall at Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

    Lips performed as part of the 10th Beijing International Accordion Competition in Beijing. In addition to his role on the jury, this ``poet on accordion'' also starred in a series of concerts organized by the competition.
    After playing ``Gothic Suite,'' Lips performed two contemporary Russian pieces: "Cinema'' by Sergey Berinsky and ``de Profundis'' by Sophia Gubaidulina.`

    `We had these pieces written by important contemporary composers to help develop professional accordion players,'' says Lips, who is also a professor of the Gnesin Institute of Music in Moscow. `I am not saying that classic works are not good for accordion. But every instrument should have its own face, like Beethoven and Mozart for piano and Paganini for violin,'' Lips says.

    But the audience of 600 were dying to hear the classic works in the second half of the concert which features works by George Gershwin and Franz Schubert. The climax came when Lips finally played his signature interpretation of Georgi Shenderev's ``Russian Dance.''
    Sem Accordions France

    Busy Time Ahead For French Accordionist - France

    Franck Gergaud is one of France's busiest young professional accordionists, with a full diary stretching ahead for several months. Franck, a student of Madame François Tamic and James Lesueur, began playing accordion at the age of eight, and in the early 1990s was a frequent and often successful competitor in competitions in France and in other countries. Concert performances, playing for dancing, and appearances at corporate events has provided this popular accordionist with lots of regular work.

    Listed below are Franck Gerguad's appearances during September:-
    Date Venue Location
    5th A la portu du Golfe Muzillac
    7th Dancing le Tilt Pierric
    9th Salle La Renaissance Le Pouliguen
    12th Club 85 Le Poiré-sur-Vie
    14th L'Atlantide Vigneaux-de-Bretagne
    15th Club 85 Le Poiré-sur-Vie
    16th L'Atlantide Vigneaux-de-Bretagne
    19th Le Stéphanois St Etienne-de-Brillouet
    20th Salle Hippolyte Derout Les Sorinières
    23rd Parc de la Bégraisière St-Herblain
    (Gala also featuring Jean Claude Borelli and Michel Pruvot)
    Is this Privot or similar spelling? I have not heard of a Pruvot.

    26th Dancing le Boléro Brée
    28th L'Atlantide Vigneaux-de-Bretagne
    29th Club 85 Le Poiré-sur-Vie
    30th Casino Lucien Barrière La Baule

    Angel Luis Castaño concert dates - Spain
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    Spanish accordion virtuoso Angel Luis Castaño has a number of prestigious engagements in his diary over the next few months, involving appearances in Italy and England. Details, as follows:-
    21 Trio Corlen (Violin, Cello and Accordion ) in Irun (Spain)
    28 Concert in SGAE Madrid presentation new CD by C. Camarero
    13-17 Jury member at the International Competition in Castelfidardo
    21 Concert Trio Flute, Cello and Accordion in Madrid
    22 Concert Duo AN-tifon (new pieces by Hickey, Panisello, etc...) in Reina Sofia Center, Madrid
    26 Concert "7 Words" by Gubaidulina for Acc. Cello and String Orchestra in Valencia
    9 Concert Duo AN-tifon in Manchester (Great Britain)
    26-30 Seminar in Valencia (Spain)
    Ángel Luis Castaño

    Accordionist performs with Frankston Symphony Orchestra - Australia

    Frankston Symphony Orchestra gave the Australian Premiere performance of New Zealand composer Gary Daverne's 'Rhapsody for Accordion and Symphony Orchestra' with Australian accordionist Bernadette Conlon to a very enthusiastic audience recently.

    The Rhapsody, composed by well known composer Gary Daverne (pictured) of New Zealand has been performed in over 50 different countries, since it was first penned, many by New Zealand accordionist Harley Jones, the Director of this website, for and by whom the piece was commissioned.
    The performance attracted wide interest in Australia, due to the novelty of the accordion performing with a Symphony orchestra

    The orchestra conducted by Mark Shiell, also accompanied Bernadette in two pieces she performed on an original Alfred Arnold bandoneon, Piazzolla's 'Oblivion' and Rossi's theme from the film Il Postino, as well as a dazzling encore of a medley of pieces from Bach to well known tunes from West Side Story, in keeping with the concert title of 'From Bach to Broadway".


    'New Kids on the Block' Jamie and Nicola - UK
    Contributed by Liza Austin-Strange MBE

    Jamie Schofield (accordion) and Nicola Lyons (fiddle), aged 14 and 16 years of age respectively, are already seasoned international concert and festival performers, with two CD recordings to their credit.

    This year they have toured Sweden, appeared in the National Festival of Youth Music at London's South Bank Centre, and appeared at the Whitby and Sidmouth folk festivals. Later this year they are off to China, and will also play at the Royal Albert Hall in London, as part of the Fosbrooks team (musicians, singers and dancers from Banks Lane Junior School in Stockport, MD Liza Austin-Strange MBE), for the Youth Proms.

    Jamie Schofield plays piano accordion, piano and mandolin. His major strengths on the accordion are said to be his creative keyboard improvisations for any given melody, and his powerful bass techniques. Nicola Lyons, apart from being a superb traditional music fiddle player, has also had classical training, and additionally plays piano, whistle and piano accordion.

    Jamie and Nicola are in concert at St James' Church, Spring Bank, New Mills, Derbyshire - as part of the annual New Mills Festival - on September 17th, at 7.30pm.

    For information about the New Mills Festival
    , email

    The "Acoustic Music Ensemble" On Tour, Italy
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    The newly formed group "Acoustic Music Ensemble" with Savior Cauteruccio (accordion), Enzo Campagna (guitar) and Pietro Perrone (violin) have just completed a long and important tour in August in various historical places along the Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy).

    There are many concerts still due in September. The arrangements of accordion, violin and guitar confer a particular and appreciated "sound" to the repertoire, which include standard jazz, tango and famous melodies. Savior Cauteruccio, accomplished accordionist, is a student of the 2 year accordion jazz course at the Conservatory of Teramo, with tutor Renzo Ruggieri.

    For further concert tour information, email

    Iron Accordion in Art Gallery, Texas - USA

    A display of artefacts made from iron, created by artist Alejandro Diaz Jr, is on display at the Le Pena Gallery, 227 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas. One of the creations is an accordion made entirely from iron. The exhibition lasts until September 9th.
    A to Z of the Accordion

    "I was spat at and called a traitor", Khaled - Algeria
    by Robin Deneslow, The Guardian

    Algerian singer/accordionist Khaled has in recent years become one of the best known and most popular musical celebrities of the Arab world, and is often referred to as the 'King of Rai'. Khaled, whose big breakthrough came in 1992 with his hit record 'Didi', is credited as the man who brought North-African Arab music to a new audience in Europe, especially in France where he has made a major impact on the pop music scene. Khaled's European travels have also seen him performing to rapturous applause in such venues as London's Royal Festival Hall, and the Venice Casino in Italy.

    Khaled's music is essentially a mixture of western Rhythm & Blues and an Algerian dance music known as Rai. His style, however, also incorporates the influence of jazz, rock, reggae, hip-hop and funk. On his recent recordings, Khaled says that: "I play percussion, mandolin and accordion. That was always my lucky instrument. I grew up with accordion in Oran".

    The songs written and performed by Khaled have attracted notoriety and, in recent years, open hostility in his home country due to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Lyrics involving sex and alcohol have not gone down well with those seeking to turn Algeria into a strict Muslim state, operating on Islamic fundamentalist principles.

    On a return to Oran, after being away in Europe for some years, Khaled tells, "I was spat at, threatened, and accused of being French and a traitor". Fortunately, times have changed again, and the hostility whipped-up by the extremists in his country has subsided, and Khaled is popular in Algeria once again. His new CD, 'Ya-Rayi', produced by Wrasse Records, was released on August 30th.

    Expanding Polyphony In Family Picchio - Italy
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    In the family Picchio they increase the " voices " and accordingly the possibilities to perform the polyphonic repertoires. While it is continuing the vocal growth of Matteo, Silena (Paolo Picchio's wife) has given birth to their second child Francesco Emanuele, weight 3.9Kg.

    Newly born, he has begun immediately with his vocal training, with some crying and screaming. Wishes and compliments to everybody. Of course, our news inform you of any future melodious reviews of this polyphonic ensemble.

    Annual Master Class and Concert Series Celebrates 10 years! New York City - USA
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    The annual master class and concert series sponsored by the American Accordionists Association and moderated by Dr. William Schimmel celebrated its 10th anniversary last weekend in New York City.

    "Dr. Schimmel's belief in the supreme adaptability of the accordion is also the philosophical core of this Master Class and Concert Series" states the New York Times in a full-page article that preceded the event. The three-day series drew an audience of approximately 300 attendees, many as a result of the New York Times article.

    During the weekend, Dr. Schimmel was presented with the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) Merit Award recognizing his outstanding contributions to the International Accordion Movement. At the presentation past AAA President Mrs. Faithe Deffner profiled many of Dr. Schimmel's outstanding achievements spanning decades of work with the accordion that led to the nomination for this prestigious international award.

    Featuring the diversity of the accordion, listeners were treated to a wide variety of styles from the classics, contemporary, jazz to performance art, from solo accordion, bass accordion, 12 bass, punk accordion to accordion with trumpet, melodica, guitar, clarinet and piano and much more.

    Dr. Schimmel, who earned his Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees in composition at the Juilliard School is already putting together the 2005 Master Class and Concert series.

    Zoltan Orosz on Radio and Television - Hungary

    On 2nd September Zolton Orosz appeared in a radio program about different kinds of music. On the 6th September Zolton will appear in a Hungarian TV program and on the 12th September, he is performing at the Castle of Buda, as part of the Wine Festival at which he is going to play background music.

    The TV program will present some of the guests who are to take part in the Wine Festival Programme.


    Cavagnolo Centenary Celebrations - France

    Cavagnolo, the French accordion manufacturers, are celebrating 100 years of making accordions in grand style with a series of seven all-star concerts during October and November.
    The intinery includes:
    1st,Théâtre des Nouveautés, Tarbres
    10th, Casino d'Arras, Arras
    24th, Centre Cultural Albert Camus, Issadun
    31st,Auditorium de Vauclose, Le Thor
    4th, Ginguette Le Petit Robinson, Joinville-le-Pont
    14th, Théâtre Edwige Feuillère, Vesoul
    21st, Auditorium Stéphanie Bouttet, Dinard.

    A very extensive list of guest accordionists to appear at these concerts includes Alain Musichini, Jean-Louis Noton, Yvette Horner, Jean-Marc Torchy, Eric Bouvelle, Bruno Lorenzoni, Dmitriv Saussard, Aurélian Noel, Nicolas Massoutie, Laurenza Cavagnolo, Quartet, Maulus, Frédéric Langlais, Gérard Luc, Gilles Cuzacq, Marcel Loeffler, Jean-Luc Maroni, Group Rossi, Jean-Luc Vicente, Fallone Group, Aline Lacour ou Dinard, Matthew Chocat, Patrick Robin, Raphäel Limousin, Christian Jeanmougin, Jean-Marc Sautereau, Ludovic Beier, Eric Comere and Didier Alves.

    For more information, email either or

    Accordion Help/Information

    Question: I have an Enrico Roselli 120 bass piano accordion, 10 treble registers and 6 bass registers. When were these instruments made; which year was mine made? Is there a book that gives information on accordion makers? Can anyone advise me where to start looking? Email Donna,

    Information required about a Zephrtone piano accordion, 140 basses, 14 registers, 7 bass registers. Email Gillian,

    Quote of the Week

    Did You Know? by Willoughby Walshe

    "For years, Yugoslavia has been a leading country internationally when it comes to demanding accordion music. Young champions pour out of the city as though from a conveyor belt. The country's leading showcase is the International Festival of Accordion Artists held at Kragujevac (100 kilometers south of Belgrade) each year in July. This event encompasses an International Summer School with seminars, classes, and master courses; international festival of accordion soloists; and national competition at which players are selected to represent Yugoslavia at the Coupe Mondiale and Trophy Mondiale International Accordion Competitions"

    Find out more….. "Walshe Essential Guide to Accordion and Harmonica Events"


    CD Review

    A new CD by Lydie Auvray titled "Tango Tojours". Review done by Musicologist, Paolo Picchio


    New & Updated Sites - Musique Gagné & Frères, based in Quebec, Canada retails a wide range of instruments including accordions. They are agents for Dino Baffetti, Gabanelli, Hohner and Salterelle accordions, with a wide range of piano and button keyed instruments available. - newly updated webpage of the Austrian harmonika producer Strasser Harmonikas

    Article titled "The Life of the Living Legend - Anthony Galla-Rini by Prof. Herbert Scheibenreif in English and German.


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