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  20 January 2006 This weeks news | Past News  | Send news
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Editor's Note

Anthony Galla-Rini's long-term contribution to the international development of the accordion as a performer, composer, arranger, teacher, and in numerous other capacities is truly without parallel. All connected with Accordions Worldwide salute the Maestro as he celebrates his 102nd birthday, and pay due homage his lifelong contributions to the accordion world.

Rob Howard
Frankfurt Music Fair


Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini Celebrates his 102nd Birthday, California - USA
Angel Luis Castaño's Canary Islands Concert Tour and New Website, Zaragoza - Spain
'Hyper-Accordion' Unveiled at the NAMM Winter Show, California - USA
Marco Lo Russo's New CD, - Italy
Renzo Ruggieri's Jazz Award, Castefidardo - Italy


William Schimmel and Project Vienna, New York - USA

  Starways 2006, Kragujevac - Serbia and Montenegro
Andrzej Krzanowski Accordion Competition, Czechowice-Dziedzice - Poland
Mardi Gras Ball, Rhode Island - USA
Blackpool Accordion Festival, Lancashire - UK
Galla-Rini Tribute Concert, Donostia - Spain

Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini Celebrates his 102nd Birthday, California - USA
Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini celebrated his 102nd birthday on January 18th at his residence in Corona, California. In October, Accordionists and Teachers Guild (ATG) Board of Directors Kevin Friedrich and Liz Finch visited Maestro Galla-Rini and reported that he was in good spirits. Mr Galla-Rini joked that he supposed now, he would have to live another 100 years!

Throughout his career - his performances, his compositions, his recordings, his arrangements, his musical direction, his teaching, his leadership role in the worldwide accordion community, his inspiration and in general his love for the accordion has touched us all.

Over 60 years ago, Anthony Galla-Rini was one of the 29 founding members of the ATG, which he now serves as President Emeritus. In 1951 he travelled to the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) General Assembly in Paris, France where he successfully petitioned the ATG's membership into the CIA.

To this day, the ATG and American Accordionists' Association, of whom he was also a founding member, take an active and valuable role in CIA activities as they endeavor to promote the accordion in the international arena, including hosting the 2007 Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships in the United States.

Anthony Galla-Rini's efforts on behalf of the ATG laid the groundwork for them to work on a global level with fellow national accordion organizations from around the world as well as establish affiliation to the International Music Council, the largest non-governmental sector of UNESCO.

In 1984 the CIA proudly acknowledged Galla-Rini's outstanding contributions to the international accordion movement by awarding him the 'CIA Merit Award' at the General Assembly in Folkestone, England. Galla-Rini's profound impact on the accordion movement continues to this day, and will last forever. Anthony Galla-Rini spent his 102nd birthday surrounded by your family and friends at his residence in California.

A to Z of the Accordion
Angel Luis Castaño's Canary Islands Concert Tour - Spain
Contributed by Raquel Ruiz

Angel Luis Castaño, Spanish concert accordionist and Professor of Accordion in the Superior Conservatory of Music in Zaragoza (Spain), will make a concert tour in the Canary Islands, from January 25th until 30th.

He will visit five islands including Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Hierro, La Palma and Gomera. This tour presents Ananda Sukarland (piano), the Aragón String Quartet and Angel Luis Castaño (accordion). Their program includes 'Fantasía' for accordion by David del Puerto (National Music Award for composers 2005) - dedicated to Angel Luis Castaño, 'El Gran Tango', and 'Five Tango Sensations', by Astor Piazzolla, and also music by Ravel and Schumann. More information about other concerts is on the website of Angel Luis Castaño.

Recently Angel Luis Castaño has created a website for Classical Accordion: www.acco-music.com In this new website we will find new pieces for classical Accordion and others. It is very high quality music and the prices are really competitive. Composers as Jesús Rueda, Patrick Busseuil, Joseph Soler, César Camarero, Jorge Taramasco and Viatcheslav Semionov are or will soon be available. Angel Luis Castaño is the Artistic Director of Acco- Music. Spanish accordionist Raquel Ruiz and Javier Ramos collaborate also in this new website.
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'Hyper-Accordion' Unveiled at the NAMM Winter Show, California - USA
Contributed by Rob Howard

The annual NAMM Winter Show is taking place from January 19th to 22nd in the Convention Center, Anaheim, California. This large-scale trade exhibition of musical instruments and products, including Gabbanelli Accordions, also features a demonstration of a new type of accordion known as the 'hyper-accordion.'

The 'hyper-accordion' has been designed and developed by accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman (left picture). This accordion allegedly transcends the traditional instrument, bringing this naturally stereo instrument into what is claimed to be 'a new sonic realm' with the help of the Eventide Eclipse® stereo effects processor.

"When I developed the hyper-accordion, my goal was to stretch the boundaries of what the traditional instrument could do," said Ward-Bergeman. "Paramount to this goal from the beginning was effects processing. The accordion is one of the world's only true stereo instruments, which gave me a tremendous amount of room to explore new sounds with my customized stereo miking configuration".

Ward-Bergeman enhances each tone with a multitude of effects, enabling the instrument in concert with the Eclipse to produce a wide variety of sounds. Michael Ward-Bergeman has recently performed on the on the film score for 'North Country' and the recent Grammy-nominated Deutsche Grammophone recording of Osvaldo Golijov's 'Ayre.'

For further information email: info-q@eventide.com

Marco Lo Russo's New CD, - Italy
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Accordionist and composer Marco Lo Russo has released a new CD 'Tarabuk'. The publicity for this recording states that the accordion "is enriched with enormous harmonic and polyphonic possibilities."

Marco Lo Russo's accordion is in duet with Tiziano Zanotti (double bass), and the publicity says: "The double bass, which in popular tradition is seen as an accompaniment pizzicato instrument, in 'Tarabuk' is played with the bow to make melodies in a XIX centuries' classical music style".

The music is described: "It is difficult to classify this music: original pieces, improvisations, Mediterranean atmospheres, tango, Eastern European impressions, classical and contemporary sounds create a concert of pure music".

For further information email: lorussofisa@yahoo.com
Renzo Ruggieri's Jazz Award - Italy
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Renzo Ruggieri recently won an award as the best jazz accordionist following a readers' referendum called New Talents by the Italian magazine Music Jazz. Renzo has released a several CD's during the past two years and ther is a Celebrity Interview of Renzo Ruggieri online too. Congratulations to Renzo Ruggieri on this jazz music success.
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William Schimmel and Project Vienna, New York - USA
Contributed by Rob Howard

William Schimmel and his trio, Project Vienna, performed for Jann Wenner's 60th birthday party at Le Bernardin (one of the world's famous four star restaurants) in New York. Mr. Wenner is the publisher and editor of Rolling Stone Magazine.

Schimmel was personally invited by Paul Shaffer (musical director of the David Letterman Show) with the knowledge that Dr. Schimmel would supply the Cafehaus 'Seantic' ambiance to an event that was centred around Rock and Roll as well as literary figures - in other words, the ultimate cafe in everyone's imagination.

The 250 invited guests included Bruce Springsteen (who later performed), Robin Williams, Yoko Ono - who recited new words to her late husband John Lennon's 'Imagine' just for the occasion - Tom Wolfe, Bette Midler, Jimmy Webb, Richard Gere, and former US Vice President Al Gore - just to name a few. The members of Project Vienna are Jeff Carney (bass), Laura Seaton (violin) and William Schimmel (accordion).

For further information email: billschimmel@billschimmel.com

Starways 2006, Kragujevac - Serbia and Montenegro

The Kragujevac Music School and Music Center Ad Libitum are to organize the 3rd international competition for young accordionists STAR WAYS 2006. The competition will be held in Kragujevac between March 27th and 31st. Full details are available, and the closing date for entries is February 15th.

For further information email: tomic@ia.kg.ac.yu

Gary Dahl
NAO Regional Festivals - UK
Contributed by Raymond Bodell of Charnwood Music

During January a number of NAO regional festivals will be held. On the 22nd the Midland's Area held in Leicester will be hosted by Pauline Noon, NAO General Secretary while on Saturday 28th January festivals in Glasgow Scotland hosted by Brian and Graham Laurie and Northern Ireland hosted by Clyde Johnston will be held. Adjudicators at these festivals include Ivan Black, Larysa Bodell, Karolyn Broadhead, John Carmichael and Graham Laurie. These festivals, part of the series of 10 regional festivals form the qualification for the NAO UK National Competitions to be in Scarborough from 5th - 7th May.

Andrzej Krzanowski Accordion Competition - Poland
Contributed by Christine Adams

The 2nd International Andrzej Krzanowski Accordion Competition, takes place in Czechowice-Dziedzice (near Bielsko-Biala), Slaskie, Poland, from September 27th to 30th. The competition is for accordionists of all nations who are born after 27th September 1976.

For further information email: biuro@alkagran.pl

Mardi Gras Ball, Rhode Island - USA
Contributed by Rob Howard

The 14th annual Mardi Gras Ball is a celebration of Cajun and Zydeco music and culture held on February 25th at Rhodes On The Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston, Rhode Island, New England. (Left picture from the 2005 13th Annual Mardi Gras Ball.)

The 2006 artistes include Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie, and Balfa Toujours. The event opens with a Zydeco dance on the evening of February 24th featuring accordionist CJ Chenier and the Red Louisiana Band at The German Club, 78 Carter Ave, Pawtucket.

For further information email: Chukwent@cox.net
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Blackpool Accordion Festival, Lancashire - UK
Contributed by Rob Howard

The Blackpool Accordion Festival takes place from April 28th to May 1st at the Norbreck Castle Hotel. The guest artistes include Jean-Louis Noton (France), Ivar Dagenborg, Geir Aage and Ottar Johansen (Norway), Rosemary Wright (England) and Ian Cruikshanks (Scotland). Activities include a trade show, an auction, orchestras, workshops, concerts and dancing.

For further information email: thomasduncan@compuserve.com
Gary Dahl
Galla-Rini Tribute Concert, Donostia - Spain
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On January 22nd a special concert will be given in honor of Anthony Galla-Rini, by the Donostiako Akordeoi Orkestra Sinfonikoa and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Acordeones de San Sebastien. Mikel Bikondoa will conduct both orchestras. The program features the works of Galla-Rini - Sonata No 1, Concerto No1 and Concerto No 2. The concert begins at 12 noon and takes place at the Gran Salón de Plenos del Excmo, Ayuntamiento, Donostia.
Faithe Deffner
  A new CD Review:

Jean Louis Noton.

Review by
Paolo Picchio.

Pascal Contet's website has been recently updated, with a new page of his repertoire as well as all index pages and concert dates.

Paul Chanmberlain
James O' Brien - composer, arranger and performer, releases another 6 new works for accordion available for purchase online. 'A Bushman’s Song'(traditional), 'As I Went Out' (traditional), 'Bagpiper’s Carol' (traditional), 'Bielbie’s Hornpipe' (traditional), 'Björnborgarnes Marsch' (traditional), 'Carnival of Venice' (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.

Sandy Brechin
Peter Piccini releases 2 new compositions of 'Canadian Rag' and 'Tonight's Waltz'. Samples of the music are available online. The music is in eSheet format, able to be emailed to your computer. Purchase with credit card.
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