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  03 December 2004This weeks news | Past News  | Send news

This Weeks News

  • Winter Accordion Festival, Kokkola - Finland
  • New CD: 'The Magic of Piccini', Perth - Australia
  • Award winning Composer, Jesus Rueda, writes music for Angel Luis Castaño - Spain
  • The Unforgivable Sin' Premiere, New York - USA
  • Successful Accordion Festival, Besçanon - France
  • Commemorative Concerts at the Stockport Air Raid Shelters, England - UK
  • Accordionist to Perform Piazzolla Concerto with Orchestra, Pennsylvania - USA
  • Successes for Royal Academy of Music accordion students in England - UK
  • Cao Xiao-Qing and the Students' Concert - China
  • Friedrich Lips World Premiere, Moscow - Russia
  • Calexico Concert Dates - USA
  • Quote of the Week
  • CD Review
  • New and Updated Sites

  • Winter Accordion Festival, Kokkola - Finland
    Information supplied by Raimo Vertainen

    The seventh Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival in Finland will be held from the 19th to 27th February 2005. This innovative festival, set in the winter scenery on the coast of west Finland offers a huge program. The artistic level is very high and multi-faceted, offering music, movies, church concerts, lectures and sport.

    The Winter Accordion Festival has grown to a very prominent position amongst the festival scene in Finland. The Finnish media and Radio Broadcasting Company also are involved.

    The highlights of the festival are:
    - Richard Galliano and Michel Portal, who are to perform as a duo on the 25th of February.
    - Mika Väyrynen with the Osthrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, a famous string orchestra in Finland.
    - Matti Rantanen will perform chamber music
    - Hugo Noth performing a baroque-music concert with the cellist Lauri Pulakka.
    - A folk music evening with Kepa Junkera, from Spain.
    - The famous Fratres-trio is to play a concert 'Fratres in Rock!'
    - The screening of the classic German movie 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari', with accompaniment from cellist Roi Ruottinen and Veli Kujala on accordion.
    - Workshops with Hugo Noth, Kepa Junkera and Matti Rantanen.

    For further information email
    A to Z of the Accordion

    New CD: 'The Magic of Piccini', Perth - Australia
    Information supplied by John Dickson, Perth Accordion Club

    On the 28th of November the Perth Accordion Club hosted the launch of a new CD released by Trio Alegra and titled 'The Magic of Piccini'. The group consists of Eddie Staszak (accordion) Laura Mitchell (violin) and Corinne Brokken (double bass). West Australian virtuoso accordionist Peter Piccini composed all of the music for the CD. Peter and his wife were honoured guests at the concert. The Perth Accordion club made a presentation to Peter in recognition of the contribution he has made to the accordion in Western Australia over a period spanning many years.

    For further information email

    Award winning Composer, Jesus Rueda, writes music for Angel Luis Castaño - Spain
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    This year's highest prize for the arts awarded by the government of Spain has been given to Spain's great composer Jesus Rueda. Rueda's reputation lies mainly in his symphonic works, and he is also considered as today's best Spanish composer of works for the piano.

    Both Angel Luis Castaño and Jesus Rueda are founding members of 'Musica Presente'. Rueda has always been impressed by the playing of Castaño, and has openly expressed his wish to write for him. When the prestigious prize was officially announced last week, Rueda was writing his '12 Inventions for Accordion' solo. It is now finished and Castaño will premiere it next February in Madrid.

    Castaño has explicitly asked Rueda to write music that can be played by young accordionists, since the concert repertoire for this kind of level of difficulty for accordion solo is still inadequate. In order to write something 'easy(ier)', Rueda has to really know about accordion profoundly (as many composers have said, it is more difficult to write something easy to play that is also effective in its performance), and these pieces have been created in close collaboration with Castaño. They also can be performed as separate pieces. Now, the accordion repertoire is that bit richer, and these pieces can be performed as concert pieces, as well as providing teaching materials for students.


    'The Unforgivable Sin' Premiere, New York - USA
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    A new film by Micki Goodman will be shown at the Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, on Friday December 10th - 'The Unforgivable Sin'. The film is in four parts: Evidence - Falling From Grace - Parousia - And What Is This Thing Called Accordion? It celebrates 25 years of theatre, dance and performance art collaborations of Micki Goodman and Dr William Schimmel.

    'The Unforgivable Sin' mark's Micki's film making debut, and is edited by Deborah Magosci, also an accordionist. It is not a documentary. It has its own non-linear plot. Part 4 focuses in on Dr Schimmel and his accordion philosophies; Part 3 focuses in on the term Parousia, meaning presence; Part 2 focuses in on the constant sense of struggle, conflict and non-resolve; and Part 1 defines the plight of Dr Schimmel in his accordion quest - and the price he has to pay for it.

    After the screening, there will be a reception in honor of the film, the holiday seasons and the 25th wedding anniversary of Micki Goodman and Dr William Schimmel. Since seating is limited, invitations were necessary, but some space remains for those who would like to see the film. For reservations or further information email

    On December 3rd and 4th, Dr Schimmel will perform the New York premiere of Howard Shore's 'Lord of the Rings Symphony' with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Howard Shore will be present and will speak before the Friday night performance. The concerts will take place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey.

    A week later, on December 13th, Kamala Sankram will perform Dr William Schimmel's 'Punk Prelude and Fugue in G Minor' at the Cornelia St Café in New York. Kamala, who is also an opera singer, sitar player and clinical psychologist, teaches at New School University and is a Doctoral candidate, soon to receive the Neupauer Conservatory Order of the Shield Diploma, under the tutelage of Dr William Schimmel.

    Successful Accordion Festival, Besçanon - France
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    On November 27th and 28th, the 14th Rencontre Internationale de Besçanon took place, attracting large numbers of enthusiasts to its concerts and dances. The opening event was a Bal Musette, with music by Christophe Demerson (pictured), attracting over 700 dancers.

    The concert guest artistes included Samuel Garcia and his Orchestra (France), Alexandra Paris (France), Paris-Moscow Duo (Domi Emorine et Roman Jbanov, France - Russia), Joao Frade (Portugal), Corinne and Fabienne Chapuis (Switzerland), Jacqueline Résimont (Belgium), Amélie Castel (France), Simon Gachet-Mauroz (France), Jean Ribeiro (France), Céline Sanfaute (France), and André Coutisson (France).

    Commemorative Concerts at the Stockport Air Raid Shelters, England - UK
    Contributed by Rob Howard

    Accordionists Rob Howard and John Jones will perform their annual concerts of sing along war songs and Christmas carols at the Stockport Air Raid Shelters on December 9th and 16th, from 7.30pm onwards. These concerts take place in the very atmospheric underground Air Raid Shelters, a labyrinth of fully equipped tunnels that spread underneath the town center of Stockport, and begin at the end of organised guided tours for groups of about thirty people.

    The singing and accordion playing recreates the way people regularly entertained each other during the Second World War. The period known as the Blitz began on December 22nd 1940, with massive German air raids on the Manchester area, and up to 7,000 people each night went down into the Stockport Air Raid Shelters until late 1941. Accordionists were a frequent and welcome entertainment.

    For further information email
    Ángel Luis Castaño

    Accordionist to Perform Piazzolla Concerto with Orchestra, Pennsylvania - USA
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    American concert accordionist Henry Doktorski will perform as soloist with the Butler County Symphony Orchestra on Saturday February 12th 2005 in a performance of 'Tres Tangos' by the Argentinian-born composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). During the concert, Doktorski will also accompany the young Pittsburgh lyric soprano, Beth Ackelson, in a performance of 'If We Only Have Love' by the Belgian singer/song writer Jacques Brel (1929-1978). Elisabeth Heath-Charles, the music director and conductor of the orchestra, will conduct the concert.

    Doktorski said, "I look forward to performing as soloist with the Butler County Symphony Orchestra. Piazzolla is one of my favorite composers. This work, 'Tres Tangos' (originally written for bandoneon, a type of button-accordion especially popular in South America), perfectly adapts to the piano accordion. The three movements are titled 'Allegro Tranquillo', 'Moderato', and Allegro Molto Marcato'. The second movement begins with a haunting and lyrical accordion solo." The city of Butler, Pennsylvania, is located about thirty miles north of Pittsburgh.

    Successes for Royal Academy of Music accordion students in England - UK
    Contributed by Professor Owen Murray, Royal Academy of Music, London

    On 16th November, Borut Zagoranski reached the final round of the prestigious 'Wigmore Award'. This competition, open to all instruments and voice, was held at the Royal Academy of Music. The final will be held at the famous Wigmore Hall, London, on 4th February 2005. Last year, Milos Milivojevic was in the final. To have an accordionist in the final of this competition two years in succession is a remarkable achievement. Of the six finalists, two play piano and the others accordion, cello, flute and guitar.

    On 25th November, Milos Milivojevic (right pictured) gave a recital at the University of London at an award ceremony attended by

    HRH The Princess Royal. Milos has enjoyed great success since his London debut in the Park Lane Concert Series held in the Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room, earlier this year. His performance, which included Berio's Sequenza, Lindberg's Jeux d'anches and Rose Luisante by Anthony Gilbert, dedicated to Milos, was widely acclaimed by the critics - "…a hurricane of imaginative invention", Hilary Finch, The Times.

    Milos will give a recital with cellist Naomi Williams at the Wigmore Hall on February 28th. Recent performances have included the Oxford Chamber Music Festival and Cheltenham International Festival. Yura Chubarenko played with the Lontano Ensemble in a BBC invitation concert broadcast on Rado 3 on 6th November. It was the premiere of 'Torque' by Elena Kats-Chernin. The piece, for solo piano, accordion and small ensemble, was conducted by Odaline de la Martinez. Borut Zagoranski, Milos Milivojevic and Yura Chubarenko study with Owen Murray.


    Cao Xiao-Qing and the Students' Concert - China
    Contributed by Lian Jones of Accordion House

    Professor Cao Xiao-Qing, of the China Central Conservatory of Music, will perform with seven of his accordion students at a special concert at Floor 1 Concert Hall, the Practice Building at the Central Conservatory of Music at 3pm on the 4th of December. As a former student of Professor Elspeth Moser, Professor Cao had won the Baden-Baden Accordion Competition in Germany in 1997, and in the same year, also won the Citta di Castelfidardo International Accordion Competition.

    He is the co founder of the accordion course at the Central Conservatory. It was a major victory for the accordionists in China after over a decade of hard pressuring to be able to achieve this. Finally the accordion is fully been recognized by the top ranked music academy in China. The members of the 1st Accordion Class are all high achievers in top level competitions. Xu Xiaonan has won the 15 years and under section at the Citta di Castelfidardo festival this year.

    Dai Yu has won the 18 and under at Citta di Castelfidardo 2004. Zhang Weiyi was the winner of the 18 years and under section at 2001 Citta di Castelfidardo. Wu Qiang was the champion at the 2001 Golden Cup National Accordion Competitions. The concert program includes 'The Gothic Suite', 'Sonata no.1' (1st and 4th Movements), and a Chinese piece 'Above Liberated Zone'.

    For more information email:

    Friedrich Lips World Premiere, Moscow - Russia
    Contributed by Dr. Herbert Scheibenreif of Friedrich Lips Productions

    Nowadays Michail Bronner belongs amongst the most well-known composers in Moscow. After 'Dream Garden' (1998) for bayan and violoncello, and 'Judas Passion' (1999) for bayan and chamber orchestra, he composed a concert for bayan, piano and symphony orchestra called 'Catuf' ("so it is written", a quotation from the Bible). This work is dedicated to Friedrich and Svjatoslav Lips who played the first performance of this most significant work in Moscow's Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory during the festival 'Moscow Autumn' on November 16th.


    Calexico Concert Dates - USA

    The Hispanic-influenced Mariachi-rock band Calexico, featuring Joey Burns on accordion, are to make several concert appearances in early December. Calexico's line up includes accordion, trumpet, guitar, steel guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Founded in 1996, they have four CDs to their credit, and on recordings they are augmented by a variety of other instrumentalists including extra accordionists.

    The December concert dates include:-
    7th - Bowey Ballroom, New York
    8th - Maxwell's, Hoken, New Jersey
    9th - Boston
    10th - Philadelphia
    11th - Connecticut

    For further information email


    Quote of the Week

      Edited by Willoughby Walshe

    ''The performance completes just the first, basic portion of work on a composition. Afterwards, the work continues for years or even for life''.

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

    CD Review

    A new CD Review of Bernadette Conlon. Review by Prof. Joan Cochran Sommers


    New & Updated Sites - The December 2004 news publication is now online.

    Benetoux - Updated concert schedule for accordionist Stas Venglevski

    Charnwood - A new site for Australian performer Bernadette Conlon advertising her CDs for sale.

    Fisitalia - The Scandalli website has been updated with new information.

    Nicemelody - The 2005 Texas Accordion Association details are now on-line, contributed by Norman Seaton. The progressively minded TAA is constantly looking for new ideas and suggestions. 

    Gary Dahl

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