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 15 April 2005This weeks news | Past News  | Send news
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Accordion Jass Chord

This Weeks News

International VIP Accordion Competition, Pontarlier - France
Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

Riding on the incredible success of the recent Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships in Pontarlier, the city officials of Pontarlier have organized another international accordion competition to take place from May 20th to 22nd 2005.

The aim of this new 'VIP World Accordion Show and Competition' is to feature the side of the contemporary accordion repertoire that relates to entertainment music. This encompasses multiple facets of the musical landscape of the accordion including dance music, Tango (Piazzolla), New Musette (Galliano) and also the accompaniment of singers and other instrumentalists. The qualities necessary for this 'popular' repertoire include musicality, technique, feeling and also rhythmic sense, stage presence, rapport with the audience, charisma as well as excellent style of arrangements for the pieces chosen.

With the organizational help of the CIA Music Committee Chairperson, Frederic Deschamps, this exciting new competition in Pontarlier will take place in three quite distinct rounds making it possible to highlight all the necessary qualities required of the popular accordionist today. In the first round, the contestant will perform a variety program to be adjudicated by the international jury panel, the second round will broadcast a pre-recorded selection on live national radio where listeners will vote, and the final round will feature the contestants performing backed by the International Orchestra of Jerome Richard at a live concert, where the audience and the jury panel will each contribute 50% of the score.

The city of Pontarlier, which plans to offer this event for the next five years, is subsidising the full expenses including travel, room and board for this competition where 10 contestants will represent Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria, Bellarus, Scotland, Finland, Russia, and France

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North Shore Accordion Orchestra Concert, Auckland - New Zealand
Contributed by Heather Masefield

On Sunday the 10th April the North Shore Accordion Orchestras, from Auckland, performed at the Auckland Zoo. All 4 of our accordion groups to were to perform at this popular concert venue. This involved 80 people in 2 concerts with solos & duets.

We were told just before our arrival that they wanted to change where we were playing by the coffee shop to the bandstand so as not to upset the giraffes! Just imagine, in the middle of one of the performances an announcement was made over the speaker system not to feed the animals!!! The wind was a problem with not just the music flying away but sometimes the entire music stands would fly off. It was a great day, sunny, and we then had a chance to see the tigers, seals etc.

This was especially fun for all of the children involved in our groups and a wonderful promotion to encourage children to start learning the accordion.


Concert Dates for Giorgio Dellarole, Aosta - Italy Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Giorgo Dellarole will perform the following two solo concerts:- April 22nd, at 9pm - Municipal Library of Saint-Christophe, Aosta. His program will include works by Franck, Scarlet, Campogrande and Tschaikin.
May 10th - Akkordeon Ensemble of Aosta Hall, Main High School, Rosmini, at 8.30pm. The program includes works by Farkas, Fugazza, Vidosic and Zolotariev.

For further information email

Dr William Schimmel Resumes Busy Schedule After Touring, New York - USA

Dr. William Schimmel, who recently returned from his tour of the West Coast and Western Canada, performed with The New York Philharmonic, playing an accordion part that he initially created: 'Por Una Cabeza' (Gardel) from the film 'Scent of A Woman', starring Al Pacino. The concert took place on April 12th at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center New York, and was conducted by Leonard Slatkin and featured violin soloist Itzhak Perlman. It is Dr. Schimmel and his band, The Tango Project, that appears in the now famous Tango scene in 'Scent of a Woman', as well as performing it in the film 'True Lies'.

Dr. Schimmel has just finished a week's run at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola - Jazz at Lincoln Center, with Ted Nash and Odeon. This is to celebrate the release of their new CD 'La Espada de la Noche', on the Palmetto record label. Odeon received wonderful reviews from the New York Times as well as the Los Angeles Times (while they were on tour). Dr. Schimmel's new solo single CD 'Roadrage' - is also now available. Only seven minutes long, it is a 'Reality' on 'Seven Rock and Roll Homages', which include Canned Heat, Jethro Tull, Lalo Schifrin, Bjork, The Doors, Ginger Baker and Grace Slick. It was commissioned by the 'Punk Accordion Summit', which took place in September 2004 where Dr. Schimmel appeared as a Mystery Guest.

Other performances include an appearance with the S.E.M Ensemble on April 14 at Merkin Concert Hall and Ensemble Sospeso on April 16th. On April 18th, he will give a seminar on Accordion Culture to Microsoft. He is the accordion instructor for the Smash Off-Broadway hit 'Shock Headed Peter' as well as contributing arranger to the Smash Off-Broadway Hit 'Squeeze Box', written and starring Ann Randolph - soon to appear on HBO.

For further information email

'Days of Macedonian Music 2005' Festival, Skopje - Macedonia
Contributed by: Anica Karakutovska

The annual festival 'Days of Macedonian Music 2005', organised by the Composers Association of Macedonia - SOCOM, was held from March 30th to April 8th in Skopje.

In the concert of Young composers held on April 3rd in the 'Museum of Skopje' two young Macedonian composers, Elizabeta Ilievska and Mihajlo Sterjev, presented their new works for accordion. Zoran Kirjakovski, Filip Stamevski and Kosto Todorovski, accordion students of Professor Zorica Karakutovska, performed 'Passacaglia' by Elizabeta Ilievska for accordion trio, and Zoran Kirjakovski performed the composition 'Fission' from Mihajlo Sterjev.

Ilievska and Sterjev are ex-accordion students of Professor Zorica Karakutovska, and this was another successful co-operation between her and these young composers. The compositions for accordion were very well received by the large audience, and the composition 'Passacaglia' received high praise from the music critics, as an excellent new work.
The increased presence of accordion in the 'Days of Macedonian Music 2005' is representative of the increased popularity and great reputation of this instrument in Macedonia lately.


Yuri Medianik's Tour - Russia
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Yuri Medianik (violinist and bayan-player) continues his tour of Russian Philharmonic Halls in which he performs in his two capacities in solo concerts, with chamber orchestras and together with the
Piazzola-Quintet. Yuri Medianik's concerts in April are as follows:-

April 16th - Uraj, and April 17th - Nyagan; (both concerts with pianist K. Morozova) - performing works by Saint-Saens, Ysaye, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Tchaikovsky and Semionov April 21st - Ufa - with the National Orchestra of Republic of Bashkortostan (Conductor - T. Kamalov), performing works by Vivaldi and Piazzolla.


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Mika Väyrynen to lecture in Tallin - Estonia
Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

From April 15th to 17th, Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen will give a series of master classes at the Estonian Music Academy, located in capital Tallinn. Master classes will include daily lessons to the students of the academy.

In addition to his master classes in Estonia, next week Mika will begin performing bandoneon with his new quintet. Other members of this new group feature top musicians from Finland including Iiro Rantala (piano) who is world famous jazz pianist, Ismo Eskelinen (guitar), a multi international competition winner and artistic director of the 'Sonkajärvi Soi' Festival. Additional members include Mr. Henrik Perello (violin), the leader of Tampere Philharmonic and member of the In Time Quintet, which won the first international Astor Piazzolla Award competition, and Tarja Nyberg (double bass), who has appeared in several performance projects and orchestras.

Rob Thorn in Concert, Wragby - UK
Contributed by
Rob Howard

Rob Thorn, the UK Polka Champion, is in concert on April 20th at Wragby Town Hall, Lincolnshire, England. The concert begins at 8pm, and in support will be a trade show, mounted by Geoff Holter Accordions. Rob Thorn has recently released his debut CD, 'Reel 'Em In', which will be available at this concert.


Campbell Bettridge Performance, Auckland - New Zealand
Contributed by Lionel Reekie

Past New Zealand and South Pacific Solo Accordion Champion, and 3rd place winner in the Coupe Mondiale Piano Accordion class, Campbell Bettridge was a featured soloist in a Red Cross Benefit concert held Saturday 9th April, in Auckland, NZ. This event, which raised NZ$1,000, was presented by the Music Education Centre at the Kaipatiki Theatre and included some of their top teachers in a program of mainly classical and chamber music.

Presented was the World Premiere of an exciting new work for accordion and string/wind ensemble composed by Campbell Bettridge. 'Peasants of Siberia' was fantastically well received, with the audience demanding an encore performance. The composer performed the accordion part.

It was a highlight of the afternoon's entertainment. Campbell also transcribed a special arrangement of Brahm's Hungarian Dance no 5, for accordion with Violin, Viola, Cello, Flute and Classical guitar, which the audience enjoyed immensely. Campbell is a well-respected accordion teacher, solo performer, and committee member of the New Zealand Accordion Association.

Gary Darven

Angel Luis Castano and his Students, Madrid - Spain
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Concert accordionist Jesús Mozo played a concert at the Auditorium El Greco, in Madrid on March 22nd. His program included works by Liszt, Bach, Solotarev, Scarlatti, Olczak and Piazzolla. He will play the same program on April 13th in the Auditorium Tetuan. Mozo is an accordion teacher in Murcia Superior Conservatorium in the south of Spain, and is also a student of Spanish concert accordionist Angel Luis Castaño.

Another of Castaño´s students, Serbian Dragan Vasiljevic, performed on April 6th in Teatro Juan Bravo in Segovia, Spain. He played for an enthusiastic audience a program by Bach, Scarlatti, Vlasov, Kusjakov, Bonakov and Moskowsky. Actually Dragan is having a very interesting career in the accordion world after having won several international competitions and he will finish his academic studies next year in Zaragoza Superior Conservatorium.

To finish this series of concerts, Professor Angel Luis Castaño played a duo concert with his wife, Raquel Ruiz, forming Duo D´accord in Auditorium Conde Duque on April 4th, in Madrid, for an enthusiastic audience of about three hundred persons with a program by Lundquist, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Bach, etc.


ATAM Competition Success in Boston, Massachusetts - USA
Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

The Accordion Teachers' Association of Massachusetts (ATAM) celebrated their 43rd Annual New England Music Competition and Festival in Boston, MA, where ATAM President David Lewis welcomed hundreds of contestants who took part in competitions for all ages and levels in solos, duos, ensembles and orchestras.

During the awards banquet, 15-year-old accordionist Anthony Falco was awarded the premiere solo title of ATAM New England Accordion Champion. Additionally, he won the new ATAM Entertainment Championship title, a competition that attracted five outstanding accordionists from the New England area. Anthony is a student of Robert Paolo in Johnston, Rhode Island. Winners in the New England Championship were: 1st: Anthony Falco, 2nd: Derek Rollend, 3rd: Sylvia Tobin.

Approximately 500 hundred people attended the sold out Banquet, where the music was provided by the Donald McMahon performing on the new Roland V reedless accordion as part of the Leslie Alexandra Septet. The top orchestra division was won by the Arruda Accordion Orchestra, conducted by August Arruda, while the youngest ensemble credit went to the Falcetti Music Juniorette Ensemble, conducted by Kim Hawkins.

Each of the three members pictured: Michael O'Neal, Daniel Falcetti and Dominic Pereira are only 5 years old! Co-festival Chairpersons Peggy Falcetti and Roger Latulippe report that next year's ATAM festival will take place from April 7th to 9th 2006 at the Newton Marriott in the Boston area.
Gary Dahl

Poozies' Diary Dates, England and Wales - UK
Contributed by Rob Howard

The all-female folk band The Poozies, featuring Karen Tweed on piano accordion, are to appear at the Chester Folk Festival on May 28th. On June 26th, they are in concert at Grassington Town Hall, and on August 19th they appear at the Pontadawe Folk Festival in Wales. Karen Tweed is organising accordion classes from late April (one to one lessons) in the Derbyshire, Northumberland and London areas.

For further information email


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Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov, Moscow - Russia
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov recently visited Moscow, to attend the 9th International Competition (also known as the 'Voices of Spring'). The competition was organised by a committee headed by Professor Andreï Ledienov. The jury members included Friedrich Lips, Alexander Dmitriev,
Yuri Dranga, Andrï Ledienov (Russia), Domi Emorine (France), Pavel Feniuk (Ukraine), Michael Ivachkin (Belarus), Secure Yan Chen (China) and Christiane Bonnay (Monaco).

The competition lasted eight days, involving 150 competitors - all of whom were of a very high standard and of fine artistic quality. There were 11 categories, for different age categories, and catering for both piano and button accordions. The winners received prizes from sponsors and the opportunity to appear at a festival in Prague during May. The results were as follows:-

Piano Accordion
10 to 12 years: Marina Akouletzkaya
13 to 15 years: Claudia Tarabina
16 to 18 years: Tatiana and Levgueni Gavrilouk
19 to 23 years: Anastasia Shkinderova

Button accordion
10 to 12 years: Naïl Fatekhov
13 to 15 years: Pave Ziabko l
16 to 18 years: Vladislav Pligovka
19 to 23 years: Victor Semionkin and Sergeï Kotkov

Variety Section
Alexandre Shirounov
Enemble Section
Junior: Anastasia and Lekaterina Strokove
Senior: Nadiejda Gousieva and Alexandre ShIrounov

Selected students gave most of the evening concerts, and the audiences were treated to high-grade programs of music that demonstrated how standards of playing in Russia are continuing to rise. One of the concerts featured a program of French and Russian music performed by Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov, the 'Paris-Moscow Duo'. Domi and Emorine commented that the accordion develops differently according to a country's culture and national attitudes, and that Russia has made a huge step forward in recent years.

1st International Accordion Meeting, Abruzzi - Italy
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On March 19th to 21st, the Association of Promotion Art in Roseto, Abruzzi, organized the 1st International Accordion Meeting. The artistic director was Renzo Ruggieri who met a delegation of 20 musicians from Iceland who were celebrating the fiftieth year of their group's scholastic activity. Amongst the participants were the accordionist Gudmundur Samuelson and the headmasters of schools: Edda Borg and Sgridur Arnadottir.

Numerous initiatives were carried out such as: tourist excursions within Italy, meetings with local political delegations, an accordion concert with the artistes Mirco Patarini, the young Mario D'Amario and the jazz accordionist Renzo Ruggieri. The event concluded with a guided visit to the Scandalli / Paolo Soprani / SEM accordions factory and the Accordion Museum of Castelfidardo.
A to Z of the Accordion

2005 Frankfurt Festival Report, Frankfurt - Germany
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The world of music met in the German Metropole, Frankfurt, this year for the international Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound. The accordion from around the world was well represented - please see our photogallery.- A perfect setting for excellent commercial opportunities - please read the final report from the Messe:

Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound, April 6th to 9th, set new exhibitor records and attracted more visitors than ever before. Over the four days of the fairs, 92,720 trade visitors and members of the music-loving public from around 100 countries (2004: 91,963) attended the two leading international trade fairs. The additional visitors came from outside Germany. The majority of visitors travelled to Frankfurt from the neighbouring European countries of The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. The list of overseas visitor nations was headed by the USA, South Korea, Japan and Israel. East Europe was also better represented than ever before.

There were also a new record number of 2,250 companies from 53 countries listed as exhibitors. The dates for next year's event are March 29th to April 1st 2006. The next event is the Music China / Prolight + Sound Shanghai, from October 19th to 22nd 2005.
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CD Review

A new CD Review Title: 'Mantici e Tastiere'
by Complesso Fisarmonicisti 'Città di Varese'.
Review by
Paolo Picchio.

New & Updated Sites

Yehuda Oppenheimer - accordionist, performing artist, composer, arranger and well known teacher. This CD proves the wide range the accordion has to offer in the hands of the master. The playback effect used in some of the pieces, enriches the performance to duo, trio and quartet playing.

Gary Darven

Vassily Glubochenko - composer, arranger, performer and scientist. releases 3 new works for accordion available for purchase online. 'From the First Sight' (original solo), 'Radionuklid' (original solo), 'Sauka and Grishka' (original solo). Samples of this music are available on the site. The music is in Esheet format, able to be emailed to your computer. Purchase with credit card.

James O' Brien - composer, arranger and performer, releases 6 new works for accordion available for purchase online. 'Ushti, Ushti, Baba' (traditional), 'Jerakina' (traditional), 'Early One Morning' (traditional), 'Dance' (traditional), 'Adiós' (traditional), 'Russian Melody' (traditional). Samples of this music are available on the site. The music is in Esheet format, able to be emailed to your computer. Purchase with credit card.

Douglas Ward - accordionist teacher, adjudicator, composer, arranger. A new site selling his compositions and arrangements, esheet format, able to be emailed to your computer. Purchase with credit card. Samples of the music are on the site
A to Z of the Accordion

United States National Accordion News site is updated with the April publication. Site contains national news, listings of clubs and associations from around the United States and an article entitled: 'The Accordionist as Accompanist', by Henry Doktorski.
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