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  08 October 2004This weeks news | Past News  | Send news
Gary Dahl

This Weeks News

  • International Accordion Competition, Castelfidardo - Italy
  • Autumn Accordion Festival, Bridlington - UK
  • Trio Corlen - Angel Luis Castaño in Irun - Spain
  • Les AccordéONiaques Concert Performances - France
  • Celebrity Interview with Mika Väyrynen now On-line
  • Leading Dutch-based Cajun Band Wins Award - Holland
  • Higher Diploma Course for Accordion, Florence - Italy
  • Florida Accordion Association Festival - USA
  • Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham Concerts - UK
  • Christine Adams 50th Celebration - New Zealand
  • Barry Manilow, accordionist - USA, UK
  • Southwest Accordion Festival, Arizona - USA
  • Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Ruggieri - Italy
  • Accordionist on a Mission in the Age of Guitars - USA
  • Tango Festival, Wuppertal - Germany
  • Quote of the Week
  • CD Review
  • New and Updated Sites
  • A to Z of the Accordion

    International Accordion Competition, Castelfidardo - Italy
    Information supplied by Paolo Picchio

    This year's Premio e Concorso Internazionale per Fisarmonica takes place in Castelfidardo, from the 12th to 18th October. The actual competition - for soloists and bands - begins on the 13th, ending on the 17th, and the program also contains daily concerts and other activities.

    To contact the competition organiser Paolo Picchio, email

    Accordion artistes appearing in concert during the festival include Paolo D'Ascanio (Italy), Vincenzio Abbraciante (Italy), Pascal Contet (France), Jin Xing (China), the Gil Goldstein Trio (USA), Richard Galliano Septet (France) and the Modus Jazz Quartet (Italy).

    Coupe Mondiale competitors Marco Gemelli and Daniele Ingiosi (France) and Stefan Schlosser and Theresa Schlosser (Germany) are all to perform concerts.

    A special late inclusion to the program is a forum on October 14th, chaired by Benjamino Bugiolacchi, on the future of the accordion. All accordion teachers, players and manufacturers are invited to take part in the discussion.

    For full details of the program timetable plus information about prizes, regulations, auditions, photographs and previous results, see the Premio e Concorso Internazionale per Fisarmonica website.


    Autumn Accordion Festival, Bridlington - UK
    BridlingtonContributed by George Syrett

    This year's Autumn Accordion Festival at The Spa, Bridlington takes place from October 14th to 16th. This festival is an Accordion Showcase Spectacular, and the guest line-up includes Mickael Vigneau (France), Mickael Richard (France), David Vernon (Scotland), Me & Im - Yorkshire's finest gentlemen George Syrett and his madcap, award winning drummer Rodney McNamara, Harry Hussey, Alistair Cameron, Amaryllis, Gina Branelli, The RonMar Accordion Orchestra, Anne Wilson, Fiona Titterington, and UK Junior Accordion Champion Jennifer Maxwell.

    The workshop line up is: Intermediate Orchestra (Ron Hodgson), Elementary Orchestra (Michael Irving), Beginners' Orchestra (Brenda Webster), Scottish Orchestra (Alistair Cameron), Vintage Orchestra (Jean Hanger), Playford Music (Tracey Middleton), Songs of Praise (Rev John Robinson). The festival also includes an extensive trade show with Rolston Accordions, Electronic Accordions Ltd, Accordion Exchange and Music World, and Geoff Holter Accordions in attendance.

    For further information email


    Trio Corlen - Angel Luis Castaño in Irun - Spain

    Accordionist Angel Luis Castaño, professor at the Superior Conservatory of Aragon in Spain, participed in a succesfull concert in Irun with Miguel Borrego (violin and concert master of RTVE Orchestra) and David Apellaniz (Cello and Professor at the Superior Conservatory of Valencia). About 200 persons were in the public. They played music by Dvorak, Piazzolla, Falla, and Ravel.

    This month Castaño will play in Madrid, October 21st at Conde Duque Auditorium and will be interviewd about his career in Spanish Classical Radio for all the country, being the first accordionist to play in direct in the new program "La Noche Cromatica" for an audience abour 150.000.

    Another interesting concert will be 30st november in Castellon where he will play "Seven last Words" by Sofia Gubaidulina for accordion , cello and String orchestra with the Symphonic Orchestra of Valencia conducted by Joan Cervero.


    Les AccordéONiaques Concert Performances - France

    The French entertainment ensemble Les AccordéONiaques feature chromatic and diatonic button accordions, and present dynamic and interactive shows that include a colourful mix of music, song, humour and theater. They have some performances during October and November, and these dates are:-
    20th, 22nd and 23rd (8.30pm) - Centre Culturel de Minimes, Place du Marché aux Cochons, Toulouse.
    5th - La Luna Loca, Toulouse
    26th - Restaurant 'Le PréVert', Ramonvill


    Celebrity Interview with Mika Väyrynen now On-line
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    A Celebrity Interview with Mika Väyrynen, which was conducted in Ikaalinen, Finland on June 30th 2004, has now been published online - see Mika is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding accordion artistes of the new Millennium. He has performed all over the world, both solo and in concert with other internationally acclaimed artists and orchestras.

    He has an impressive list of recordings and is responsible for commissioning many new works for accordion. In addition to his busy concert and recording career, Mika also teaches the accordion at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki as well as giving masterclasses and seminars around the world.

    Leading Dutch-based Cajun Band Wins Award - Holland
    Contributed by Harley Jones

    The Cajun Company, from Holland, has been awarded the 'Prix dehors de nous 2003' by the Louisiana-based 'Cajun French Music Association for their CD 'La Robe de Rosalie'. This honor coincided with a recent tour of Louisiana, followed by some appearances in England and Wales - a highlight being a performance at Cecil Sharp House in London.

    Founded in 1992, the Cajun Company, featuring Bas van de Poll on accordion and lead vocals, perform in the style of Cajun music popularised in the 1920s and 1930s by such accordionists as Joe Falcon, Amédé Ardois and Amadée Breaux.

    For further information email

    Higher Diploma Course for Accordion, Florence - Italy
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    The Luigi Cherubini Conservatory of Music in Florence is to offer a Higher Level Diploma in Accordion, equivalent to a university higher-level degree. The course tutor is Ivano Battiston. Entry is by audition for those who already possess an ordinary level diploma or first degree from a college or university.Places are limited, and registration needs to be made by October 15th.

    For Further information emal,



    Florida Accordion Association Festival - USA
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    The Florida Accordion Association invites you to attend its Fourth Annual Smash to be held from November 12th -14th 2004 in Orlando at the Holiday Inn Select, 12125 High Tech Avenue, Orlando. Featured guest artistes will include Winner of the Vivian Vivio Stolaruk Memorial Senior Entertainment Competition held at the AAA festival in Boston - Havard Svendsrud from Norway, Salt Lake accordionist Janet Todd and concert accordionist Henry Doktorski. Activities begin on Friday evening with Café Accordion in the Lounge, hosted by Alvaro "Beaver" Barsi beginning at 4:30 pm.

    All are invited to play solos, duets, trios, jams, etc. (including ALL instruments welcome).
    Saturday will include professional performances (accordion and other instruments are encouraged to participate), dealer displays, lunch & dinner with strolling music, a bass workshop by Nick Ballarini, conga line with Maricarmen Vazquez's performance, FAA band performance, 50/50 raffles, jam session and much more. Lunch and dinner will be held on Saturday as well as an optional Sunday morning breakfast featuring Jerry Tramontozzi (MA).

    For further information, please email the Florida Accordion Association at
    A to Z of the Accordion

    Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham Concerts - UK
    Contributed by Rob Howard

    Fiddle player Aly Bain and accordionist Phil Cunningham, one of Scotland's most popular traditional music acts, are performing at venues in various parts of England during late October and early November. Their itinery is as follows:-
    20th - Alnwick Playhouse, Northumberland
    21st - Tyneside Irish Center, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
    22nd - Lamplight Arts Center, Stanley, County Durham
    23rd - The Last Inn, Hengoed, near Oswestry, Shropshire
    24th - Priestley Theater, Bradford, West Yorkshire
    29th - Blackheath Halls, London
    30th - The Regal Center, Worksop, Nottinghamshire
    31st - Hitchin Folk Club, The Sun Hotel, Hitchin, Herefordshire
    2nd - The Angel Ballroom, Brigg, Lincolnshire
    3rd - Rosehill Theater, Whitehaven, Cumbria
    6th - Hammersmith and Fulham Irish Centre, Hammersmith, London
    7th - Lavant Memorial Hall, Lavant, near Chichester

    For further information email

    Christine Adams 50th Celebration - New Zealand
    Contributed by Heather Masefield

    An evening was held at Sangrias in Auckland to celebrate Christine Adams 50th Birthday. Christine Adams was the compiler of the Accordions Worldwide News from its inception in 1996 to 2003 and is currently accordion teaching and conducting the North Shore Junior Accordion Orchestra.

    Lionel Reekie entertained after which Christine's partner Noel, with his band consisting of family members, continued with dance music. About 50 people danced to the fabulous music.


    Barry Manilow, accordionist - USA, UK

    Barry Manilow, the singer whose popularity has endured since his heyday in the 1970s, learned the piano accordion as his first introduction to music and usually includes an accordion spot in his performances. In the UK, BBC television recently screened 'One Night with Barry Manilow', and the singer demonstrated his skill on the accordion on a Saturday evening prime time broadcast.

    Manilow has caused controversy amongst accordionists over the years by his tendency to make jokes and derogatory remarks about the accordion, but this is alleviated by the fact that he is an accomplished player and his willingness to expose the accordion to audiences in many countries.

    Southwest Accordion Festival, Arizona - USA

    The Southwest United States Accordion Festival will take place on October 16th, from 12 noon until 10pm. The location is 19644 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, Arizona, and admission is free. For further information email organiser Leigh Dechaine,

    Gary Dahl

    Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Ruggieri - Italy
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    On the 15th of September Renzo Ruggieri became a father again, for the 3rd time, of a lovely and healthy boy named Francesco.

    Accordions Worldwide and all the staff wish the family good health and happiness for the future.


    Accordionist on a Mission in the Age of Guitars - USA
    By ALLAN KOZINN, New York Times

    On August 27th 2004, an interesting interview with accordionist William Schimmel appeared in the New York Times. This article was written in conjunction with the 10th Anniversary of Mr Schimmel's annual Masterclass and concert series sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association. An abridged version follows:-

    A man is sitting onstage, shaking his head vigorously and giving a brisk performance of Canned Heat's "Going Up the Country," complete with its insistent, choogling chordal accompaniment and its laid-back, bluesy melody. But there is something wrong with this picture: the musician is William Schimmel, and he is playing this rock 'n' roll classic on the accordion, an instrument that, popular as it was in the early 1950's, was swept away by the guitar-brandishing bands of the rock revolution.

    If Mr. Schimmel, who is 58, sees any incongruity in his playing the song - or in his renderings of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" or, for that matter, his fantasy on themes from Bizet's "Carmen" - he isn't letting on. There is, in his view, no music that can't, or shouldn't, be played on the accordion. He has made that belief the basis of a thriving career as a soloist, as an ensemble player and as a composer for the accordion. And a concertgoer is likely to run into Mr. Schimmel in all kinds of places: at new music concerts by Sequitur or North/South Consonance, or on recordings by Sting or Tom Waits…
    …he was also doing more classical playing: the accordion part in "Wozzeck" at the Metropolitan Opera, Hindemith's "Kammermusik No. 1" with the New York Philharmonic, and a good many new music concerts.

    And there's been some film and television work as well. Mr. Schimmel and his tango band are seen in "Scent of a Woman," and Mr. Schimmel is also seen or heard in episodes of "Law & Order" and "Sex and the City."
    …"One of the things I enjoy most about what I do," Mr. Schimmel said, "is that when I get up in the morning, I sometimes have to look at my schedule and say, `What do I get to do today?' And the more varied it is, the happier I am."



    Tango Festival, Wuppertal - Germany

    A festival dedicated to the tango and the bandoneon, known as the Tango Festival, takes place in and around the Historische Stadhalle, Wuppertal in Germany, from October 8th to the 10th. The festival includes concerts, dances, shows and workshops.

    An extensive list of bandoneon artistes includes Alfredo Marcucci(pictured), Luis Rodriguez, Omar Fernándes and La grán orquesta tipica, Marcelo J. Nisinman, Sergio Gobi and La orquesta, Roland Rivas, and Guillermo Destaillats.


    Quote of the Week

    Did You Know?
    by Willoughby Walshe

    "Select a convincing tempo that allows the music to develop and an artistic image to emerge".

    Find out more….. "The Art of Bayan Playing or Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips"

    CD Review

    A new CD Symphonies of the Century. Friedrich Lips plays Vladislav Solotarjov (Zolatariev). Review by Prof. Joan Cochran Sommers


    New & Updated Sites - Since their formation of the Moscow Duo in 1995, Evgenij Grechov and Aleksander Ushakov have concertized throughout Russia as well as in Denmark, Portugal, Germany, Korea, Italy and the United States. In October 1998 the Moscow Duo participated in the International contest "Citta Di Castelfidardo Prize" in Italy and was awarded first prize. Site contains information on each of the artists and information on their two CD recordings. Accordion World Magazine is an A4 size bi-monthly magazine that includes news and feature articles concerned with the accordion in Britain and around the world, edited and published by David Keen in the UK. - Updated information on the 2005 Festival to be held in the Dallas area from June 15-19, 2005. - Updated information on the upcoming Lifetime Achievement award for Charles Nunzio and the winners of the 2004 International Competition. - Updated information on the upcoming annual Smash, including online registration and festival information. - The October news has now been published with detailed news from around the United States, listings of accordion clubs and organisations in the United States and more. - Includes updated concert schedule that will see The 'K' Trio make their European debut during the month of October. - Updated information on this Texas based accordion store offering accordions, music and accessories. Includes updated operating hours. - Includes updated information on the 2005 CIA Winter Congress to be held in Den Helder, Holland - Includes updated schedule and bulletin board for updated messages/information for visitors arriving in Pontarlier. - Includes additional information on the career of Philadelphia based accordionist Joe Soprani.


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