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 18 March 2005This weeks news | Past News  | Send news
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Accordion Jass Chord

This Weeks News


James O Brien

Accordions International 2005, Caister - UK
Contributed by Rob Howard

After an absence of several years, an accordion festival - 'Accordions International 2005' - is set to take place at Caister Holiday Center, November 10th to 14th. The international guest artistes are Oivind Farmen (Norway), Murl Allen Sanders (USA) and Giancarlo Caporilli (Italy). Supporting guest artistes include UK accordionists Gary Blair, Charlie Watkins, Bert Santilly, Johnny Coleclough and Norvic Concordia.

The festival includes celebrity evening concerts, master classes, orchestral workshops, 'Free and Easy' sessions, 'Buskers Band', and Scottish and ballroom dancing. The festival also will feature an 'Auction of Accordions & Accessories'. There will be a trade show, featuring WEM, Trevani, The Accordion Shop and Geoff Holter Accordions.

For further information email


International Accordion Festival, Vienna - Austria

Dr Herbert Scheibenreif has contributed the following interim report:-
"For the 6th time, the International Accordion Festival takes place on Vienna's stages. In the Danube metropolis, the festival has become an institution. From February 26th to March 28th, 101 artists from 17 countries will perform in 19 locations.

The special ambience of the Jugenstil Theatre was the background for the opening concert, with the spectacular reincarnation of the 'Divina Ziehharmoniker', with Otto Lechner. Influenced by the multicultural society of his island Madagascar, Régis Gizavo has developed his own style on the diatonic accordion, which finds one of its characteristics in the particularly intensive use of the basses only.

A true celebration of the Italian accordion was the expectation of the festival visitors on February 27th in Vienna's jazz club, Porgy & Bess. Both Simone Zanchini (pictured) and Antonello Salis switched very easily from classical style to jazz and Ethno.

During the years, Klaus Paier has organized different successful projects (Trio, String Quartet, Gerald Preinfalk). In the meantime Klaus Paier has enlarged his tango repertoire with elements of musette and South East European music".



Geordie Folk Music Legend at Stockport - UK
Contributed by Rob Howard

Johnny Handle (pictured), accordionist with The High Level Ranters folk band, is the guest artiste at the Stockport Accordion Club on March 22nd, 8pm. Also a ragtime pianist, singer and composer, Johnny Handle is one of the British folk scene's most well-known, experienced and distinctive performers, coming from the Geordie tradition of the North East of England. Stockport Accordion Club meets at the St John Ambulance Brigade HQ, Edgeley Road, Cheadle Heath, Stockport (Junctions 1 or 2, M60), Cheshire.

For further information email

Fundación Festival, Vallenata - Columbia
Contributed by Rob Howard

The Fundacion Festival, held annually in Valleneta since 1968, is a large-scale celebration of music, song and dance in Columbia, and involves competitions, concerts, dances and parades. The festival includes many events involving diatonic accordions, most notably a competition that has categories for amateur and professional players of various ages and styles. This festival attracts large crowds, including many holidaymakers who are attracted by the colourful spectacle of the often outside

This year's Fundacion Festival takes place from April 26th to 30th, with the entry closing date for the accordion competition being April 8th. The one and two row diatonic button accordions were introduced to Columbia in the late 19th Century by visiting sailors from Europe. The three row diatonic instrument - the favourite choice with accordionists in Columbia today, later superseded these.

For further information email

Prague Harmonika Days - Czech Republic
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The second Prague Harmonika Days competitive band festival takes place from May 27th to 29th. Twenty-three orchestras and ensembles from six European countries will compete in two categories, 'Accordion Orchestra' and 'Accordion Ensemble'. This festival will be held in the Baroque chapel of the former Liben-castele (now the Town Hall of Prague district 8).

The organisers have arranged for ten of the participating international orchestras and ensembles to perform in the beautiful Wallenstein Gardens (on May 27th). There will also be a promenade concert in Marienbad on the afternoon of May 28th.

For further information email

Concerto 'Tangamente', Avigliana - Italy
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Marco Ambrosio will perform the concerto 'Tangamente', a work written in the style of Nuevo Tango, at Centro Servizi Culturali 'La Fabbrica', Avigliana, on March 20th, at 11 am. A graduate in classical accordion at Lyon State Conservatory in France, Marco Ambrosio has taught accordion and piano in Turin since 1994 and is also a leading concert accordionist.

For further information email

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Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival 2005 - Finland

The recent Winter Accordion Festival at Kokkola in Finland proved to be a great success. There were approximately 3,500 people in attendance, concerts were sold out, and there was national radio and television coverage.

The concert featuring Richard Galliano (pictured) and Michel Portal was especially noteworthy, with the audience reportedly "stunned" by their performance. Another highlight was the 'Fratres in Rock!' concert, with three accordionists, drummer and vocalist Jukka Räikkönen performing the songs of Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. One report states that "heavy rock fans were listening with long black hair"!

Zero Sette Akordeoi Orkestra Concerts - Spain
Contributed by Christine Adams

The Zero Sette Akordeoi Orkestra have three concerts in April and May, with details as follows:-
April 16th - Borja Saloon, Basque House, Valladolid, 8pm
April 30th - Capitol Culture Center, Caja Duero, Caceres, 8.30pm
May 1st - Alcazar Theatre, Caja Duero, Plasencia, 8pm

For further information email


'Viva Bayan' Festival, Samara - Russia
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The festival 'Viva Bayan', organized by the city of Samara and under the direction of Sergeï Voïtenko, is taking place in various cities of Russia between February and May. 'Viva Bayan' is a festival that gives opportunities to French and Russian artistes to exchange ideas and skills.

This year's festival is the third event of its kind, and many of the most popular Russian artistes are involved. This year the festival is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of the World War II. Sergeï Voïtenko is holding a lecture during this festival on the subject of this commemoration.

Each year Sergeï opens this Festival with French artistes on stage and this year the Paris-Moscou Duo (Domi Emorine, Roman Jbanov) and Nicolas Massoutié were the special guests on the tour, with Jacques Mornet, for Masterclasses.

Filled concert halls such as the opera in Samara with about 1500 spectators, are exciting for the artists. Other participating artistes were: Alexandre Skliarov, Trio de Lipetsk, Trio de garmochka (traditional Russian instrument), l'ensemble accordeonada, Duo Voïtenko / Kramkov, Duo Accordéon, guitare Voïtenko/ Morozov....

The festival ends traditionally with a local competition for young accordionists. Three young accordionists (with their teachers) were chosen and invited to the CNIMA - Jacques Mornet School. They will be visiting France during June for three weeks, perfecting their skills and also learning French teaching methods.


Gary Darven

Gary Daverne CD Releases - New Zealand
Contributed by Heather Masefield

Composer, arranger and conductor Gary Daverne O.N.Z.M. has two CDs just released by EMI Classics of his New Zealand orchestral compositions.

The first CD is titled 'Gallipoli'. A major work on this CD titled 'Gem of the Kaipara' features accordionist Kevin Friedrich with The Moravian Philharmonic (symphony orchestra) of the Czech Republic, conducted by Petr Pololanik.

The second CD titled 'Youth of Auckland' is a re-release. A major work on this CD titled 'Rhapsody for Accordion and Orchestra' features accordionist Harley Jones, who has made over 100 performances of this work with Gary Daverne in China, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, USA and New Zealand. Kenneth Young conducts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra on this CD.

The third CD titled 'Accordion Concert Music' consists exclusively of accordion compositions by Gary Daverne. This is new release (previous sold-out), and includes original compositions for solo, duet, ensemble and orchestra. The music for all these accordion works is also available online. Accordion Music.

Gary Daverne was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours in recognition of his services to music both within New Zealand and internationally. Gary has held the position of Musical Director of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra since its foundation, in 1975.

Ángel Luis Castaño

Fang Yuan performs for President - Singapore
Contributed by Heather Masefield

Fang Yuan is the Principal of the School of Young Talents, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore. She was a well-known international concert accordionist, having migrated from China to Singapore in 1984.

After she left China, she became an international concert accordionist and appeared in many major international accordion events in New Zealand, U.K, France, Italy, Germany and USA, such as the Coupe Mondiale Competition, the Grand Prix, the AAA and ATG competitions and the Premio International Citta di Castelfidardo.

In 1991, she had to stop performing with her beloved instrument, the accordion, and give up her career as an accordionist touring the world, in order to concentrate on the establishment of a special piano course which became the branded School of Young Talents in 1999. However, she still continued to give accordion masterclasses in various countries and adjudicate at international events.

A chance came to Fang Yuan recently on March 4th, 2005 at the Opening Ceremony of the Academy's new campus. As there was no piano at the venue, she was invited to play the accordion to accompany the Chinese Dizi Ensemble. Her performance was very well received and highly praised by hundreds of distinguished guests including the country's President, various Ministers and foreign Ambassadors.

Feeling very happy about the outcome, she said, "Although I haven't performed with the accordion for 14 years, yet I feel so comfortable when I'm practising again. I really enjoyed the moment, looking at my audience from the stage, sharing the joy of the music with them.

The audience were very curious and surprised when they saw me on stage playing the accordion. As soon as I finished performing, I could hear people shouting in appreciation. I think it is time to introduce the accordion to Singaporeans. That function was a very suitable occasion to do it, because there were so many important people there."
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Max Bonnay Concerts, Paris - France
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Accordionist Max Bonnay, together with the Ensemble MusicAvanti, is to perform two concerts in Paris. On March 31st, 8pm, he performs at Halle Saint-Pierre, 2 rue Ransard, 75018, Paris. This concert also involves an ensemble of Cinesev percussionists. The second concert is on April 4th, 9pm, at the Salle Cortet, 78 rue Cardinet, 75017, Paris.

For reservations email
Gary Dahl

More Accordion Courses, Scotland - UK
Contributed by Rob Howard

Three accordion courses are included in the summer short course program of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye, part of the University of The Highlands and Islands. Courses are taught in English.

Course dates and tutors are:
July 18th to 22nd - diatonic two-row button accordion, BC tuning; tutor Iain MacFarlane.
August 1st to 5th - diatonic two-row button accordion, BC tuning; tutor Fergie MacDonald.
August 1st to 5th - piano accordion; tutor Sandy Brechin (pictured).

For further information email


Val Tidone International Music Events - Italy
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The Val Tidone International Music events listed below all involve accordion and other musical instruments.

1) Val Tidone International Music Competitions (June 12th - 19th), includes the following categories:-

- 'Val Tidone' Young Talents Competition, Sections: Piano, Accordion, Guitar, Chamber Music
- 'Contessa Tina Orsi Anguissola Scotti' - Chamber Music Prize
- 'Carlo Civardi' Accordion Prize
- 'Egidio Carella' Composition Competition

Val Tidone offers money prizes and concerts in Italy, Europe and America, publication and performance of the selected scores. The Val Tidone International Music Competitions require a high professional standard. Therefore a prize obtained in those contests represents a valuable passport toward an international career.

2) Val Tidone Summer Camp (July 24th - August 6th).
The 'I.M.C. Project' is an innovative program of summer mastercourses and masterclasses whose aim is to organize international cultural exchanges. Lessons will take place in a campus located in some beautiful castles of the Val Tidone, not unlike the US Summer Camps.

3) Val Tidone Festival (May - September)
The Val Tidone Festival is divided into two sections ('Val Tidone Classica' and 'Val Tidone Etnica'), with a concert itinery using local castles, villas and town squares as venues.

For further information email

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Frankfurt Musikmesse/information - Germany

From April 6th to 9th the Musikmesse will bring together the worldwide musical instruments industry at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre for the 26th time. 'Rhythm'n Business' - the motto of Musikmesse 2005 - is the name of the game. More than 1,400 manufacturers and sales organisations from all around the globe have already booked their booths. "All the signs are that we will have at least as many exhibitors at Musikmesse 2005 as last year", says Cordelia von Gymnich, Vice President, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH.

The industry has four days in which to show its innovations and trademark products, as well as to place orders for the subsequent months. Following last year's change from five to four days, which was very well received by both exhibitors and trade visitors, the organisers are continuing with the four-day run and rounding it off with an additional hour on the daily opening times.

Thus, Musikmesse now begins an hour earlier every day, so that from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., guests have an extra hour for their business and talks, as well as for events and workshops, not to mention the Musikmesse Happy Hour in the 'Agora Stage' festival marquee every evening.

Hours of opening:
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from 6 to 9 April 2005
Admission prices:
Trade visitors
Day ticket, on arrival € 31.00
Day ticket, in advance € 21.00
Day ticket, on arrival € 51.00
Day ticket, in advance € 38.00
Day ticket (Saturday, 9 April 2005)
Adult € 21.00
Child aged 6 to 12 € 6.00
Students € 12.00
Families (up to 2 adults and 3 children aged 6 to 12) € 25.00

Groups of min. 25 people
in advance and on arrival € 12.00
Public ticket online:
Members of the public wanting to attend the Musikmesse on Saturday, 9 April, can also purchase their tickets online. The conditions are the same as for trade visitors.
The joint Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound catalogue costs € 20.00.
City entrance
Torhaus / 'S-Bahn' entrance
Shuttle service:
Shuttle buses run from the 'Rebstock' car park to the 'City' entrance of the Exhibition Centre and other stops in front of the exhibition halls (every three minutes at peak periods).

Yuri Medianik Concert, Moscow - Russia

On March 20th the audience of the Zhukovsky Palace of Arts (Moscow region) will witness a performance by the bayan player and violinist Yuri Medianik with the Zhukovsky Symphony Orchestra. The program includes the Fairy Tales by Vaclav Trojan (bayan) and the Gipsy Rhapsody by Maurice Ravel (violin).

The Zhukovsky Symphony Orchestra has been on the stage for almost five decades now performing the music by composers from all over the world, of all epochs and all imaginable genres. Throughout its lengthy history the Orchestra has chanced to work with the greatest soloists and conductors of Russia and abroad, and since 1975 has been led by Sergei Skripka, People's Artist of Russia, Professor of the Moscow State Academy of Music and the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the State Orchestra of Cinematography.

In the evening of the same day Yuri is going to give a live interview with the Kultura Radio Station (Culture) . Yuri will be interviewed by journalists about his new CD, 'The Images of Three Centuries'. The radio station is also planning to put up several recordings of Yuri's live violin performances with the Piazzolla-Quintet.

The Kultura Radio Station is a relatively new but very daring and fascinating FM project, which so far broadcasts in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The mission of the team engaged in and with the project is to portray a most adequate picture of the current situation in Russia's cultural life in all of its multi-layered versatility. And it's actually the first time a Russian bayanist is going to be ever interviewed on air

Information Required

Michelle Young would like to find out anything about a "Lux-Fisa FIAMMETTA accordion series, made in Italy". She would really like to know about its history. Email



CD Review

A new CD Review of Trio Solotariev (accordion) and Francisco Dillon (cello). Review by Paolo Picchio.

New & Updated Sites

Gary Daverne has three CDs of his compositions released, available for purchase online.

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James O'Brien composer, arranger and performer, new site displaying samples of his new works.
Edition Harmonia

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