28 March 2008
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Fisitalia Blue

Prestigious Achievement by Milos Milivojevic - UK
MusicForAccordion.com (MFA) Celebrates 1,000th eSheet Publication
NAO UK Championships 2008, Blackpool - UK
Yueming Xu Ertl wins Fidelio Scholarship, Vienna - Austria
Reports of Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals etc
Italian Accordion Academy, Rimini - Italy
Student Concert Successes, Kozani andPtolemaida - Greece
Future Events
André Loppe Performances, Aiseau-Presles - Belgium
Karen Street Gigs, Somerset - UK
Mika Väyrynen performs Kusiakov World Premiere - UK
Minnesota State Polka Festival, Minnesota - USA
Rapalje in 'Vurige Kelten' Tour - Netherlands
Primavera Del Tango Concert, Essen - Germany
Kroke Tour Dates - Poland, Germany, Switzerland

CD Review
New and Updated Sites

An A to Z of the Accordion
Prestigious Achievement by Milos Milivojevic - UK
Contributed by Owen Murray

Milos Milivojevic won the prestigious Derek Butler London Prize competition in a packed Wigmore Hall, London on March 24th. The four finalists each represented one of the four leading London conservatories: cellist Bartholomew LaFollette (Guildhall School of Music and Drama), violinist Dunja Lavrova (Royal College of Music), accordionist Milos Milivojevic (Royal Academy of Music) and pianist Alissa Tavdidishvili (Trinity College of Music).

The distinguished jury, chaired by pianist Piers Lane, were unanimous in their praise of Milos' performance of Mendelssohn's 'Chorale and Variations from Sonata no 6' and Magnus Lindeberg's 'Jeux d' Anches', and expressed their enthusiasm for the accordion, its great possibilities and future.

Such successes by accordionists are very important with this success by Milos being another important step forward in the integration and acceptance of the accordion in serious music circles in the UK.

For further information email: murray@mail.dk

Review of Derek Butler Prize, Wigmore Hall, London

Classical music has always benefited from the largesse of those who have made their money in non-musical ways, but for young musicians, such sources are now more crucial than ever. The late Derek Butler, who made his fortune manufacturing Nigerian headdresses, is posthumously supporting a huge array of ventures, including the musical prize that bears his name. Now in its second year, it goes to the best postgrad candidate fielded by London's four conservatoires, with a Wigmore Hall concert as the play-off.

If one of this year's four has some way to go, the other three, on the basis of these performances, should each make a debut disc forthwith. The 24-year-old Alissa Tavdidishvili Turgeneva hails from that cradle of great pianism, Tbilisi, and she produced a muscular cantabile in the old Soviet style. But by applying it in turn to works by Scarlatti, Chopin, Rachmaninov, and Scriabin, her strange achievement was to make them all inhabit the same sound-world, a limitation she must urgently address.

No praise can be too high, however, for the American cellist Bartholomew LaFollette, the Russian violinist Dunja Lavrova, and the extraordinary Serbian accordionist Milos Milivojevic, who finally scooped the pool.

LaFollette opened with pellucid Fauré, followed by a toweringly authoritative unaccompanied Bach prelude. His rendering of Tchaikovsky's Pezzo capriccioso moved from a quintessentially Russian expressiveness to an assured virtuosity few top-flight cellists could have matched.

Lavrova opened with a much-played Brahms movement whose Romanticism demands power and control - the very qualities she brought to it. Her second piece was a pseudo-baroque pastiche by Huw Watkins, and her last was Ravel's Tzigane, in which she proved herself on a level with the great fiddlers of the past.

But Milivojevic's artistry on the humble button accordion took the breath away - indeed, his coruscating transcription of an organ chorale by Mendelssohn made one almost wonder whether we actually need those thundering giants. I'd put money on this brilliant young performer opening a whole range of new musical worlds.
Accordion Repairs Made Easy

(MFA) Celebrates 1,000th eSheet Publication
Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

The e-sheet music publication section of MusicForAccordion.com (MFA) is celebrating a major milestone this week, when it publishes its 1,000th piece of music.

Kansas City based Paul Rudy's new work for accordion solo 'Bennachíe', written for Joan C. Sommers, is the 1,000th piece of music published, with his work for accordion orchestra and accordion soloist 'Out of Crooked Timber' the 1,001st piece.

A well known composer, Paul Rudy has received awards from the Fulbright and Wurlitzer Foundations, Sounds Electric '07 Competition (1st Prize), Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition, EMS (Sweden), SEAMUS, Meet the Composer, the American Composer's Forum, SCI, National Music Teacher's Association and the Missouri Music Teacher's Association.

MusicForAccordion.com has developed into an extensive and popular online store containing accordion music of all levels and styles available as downloadable .pdf files, or sent as originals from the various publishers represented. Additionally, MFA has an extensive and diverse array of recordings available.

Those wishing to have their music and recordings published or distributed by MFA, should contact harleyaccordion@yahoo.com for further information.

NAO UK Championships 2008, Blackpool - UK

The NAO has received a record of over 450 entries for the 2008 UK Championships, to be held in Blackpool on the North West Coast of England, April 25th to 27th. As organisers of this year's CIA Coupe Mondiale in Glasgow in October - is this a message of what is to come later in the year?

A feature of the 2008 UK Accordion Championships is the newly established International Category, which has an own choice only program and is very suitable for international amateur competitors with a program requirement aligned with the Coupe Mondiale Piano Accordion category. Several international entries have already been received.

With international members of the Jury including CIA President, Kevin Friedrich (USA), CMA President Frédéric Deschamps (France), Mirco Patarini (Italy), Gunther Zeilinger (Germany - DHV International Representative), and four times world champion Julien 'Speedy' Gonzales (France) - the event also features the traditional Trade display in the Metropole hotel, the opening gala concert, competition throughout the Saturday and on Sunday am, including over 50 ensemble entries, the International Category as well as the Traditional Ceilidh on Saturday evening with Gary Blair and his band.

For further information email the Secretary: naouk@btinternet.com
Gary Dahl esheet
Yueming Xu Ertl wins Fidelio Scholarship, Vienna - Austria

During the presentation of the Fidelio competition 2008, Yueming Xu Ertl was chosen winner of the large Fidelio scholarship. All the winners of the 'Interpretation' section of the seventh Fidelio competition of the Hugo Breitner society for the promotion of young artists of the conservatory did not only present their programs: as in previous years a main prize also was assigned among all students.

After saxophonist Konstanze Ackermann's victory in 2007, the exceptional talent of accordionist Yueming Xu Ertl was generally recognised this year so that she was conferred the large Fidelio scholarship of €5,400. She performed three movements from 'Musica Ricercata' (version for accordion: Max Bonnay) by Gyoergy Ligeti.

Yueming Xu Ertl was born in Heilongjiang, China, in 1983. At the age of five years she received her first accordion instruction. Between 1995 and 2000 she visited the Music High School in Shenyang, where she achieved numerous prizes and was chosen "best accordionist of the city" several times.

In 2000, at the age of 17 years, she came to Austria where she studied first at Vienna's Prayner conservatory and later at the Johann Joseph Fux conservatory in Graz. Since 2006 she has been studying accordion at the private university of Vienna in the class of Grzegorz Stopa.

Their current repertoire covers contemporary original compositions for the classical accordion as well as transcriptions of works of different styles. Yueming Xu Ertl is prizewinner of international accordion competitions in Castelfidardo, Italy and Vienna.

For further information email: herbert@accordion-cd.co.at
The Ins and Outs of the Accordion

Italian Accordion Academy, Rimini - Italy
Contributed by Claudio Jacomucci

The Italian Accordion Academy is born. The IAA is a school of high musical studies directed by the Italian accordionist Claudio Jacomucci, and is a research centre that will promote the culture of the concert-accordion.

Since 2005, Claudio Jacomucci holds a post-graduation course with the presence of guest teachers such as Viatcheslav Semionov, Matti Rantanen, Friederich Lips, Geir Draugsvoll, Yuri Shishkin, Luciano Biondini, Egbert Spelde, Paolo Picchio.

Beside the postgraduate studies, the Academy organizes course for pedagogy, Alexander Technique, master classes, workshops and concerts.

Now, the teaching activities extend to several towns (Treviso, Bologna, Pescara, Campobasso, Cosenza) in collaboration with the students who graduated from 'Accordion High School': Luca Piovesan, Alisia Fragassi, Mario Muccitto, David Sarnelli, Walter Di Girolamo, Giuseppe Scigliano.

For further information: info@accademiafisarmonicistica.com
Finland Recordings
Student Concert Successes, Kozani and Ptolemaida - Greece
Contributed by Alexander Tchuev

Two accordion concerts took place in the northern Greek cities of Kozani and Ptolemaida in March 2008 with great success. The concerts involved 22 students of Alexander Tchuev's accordion classes.

For further information email: alexandertchuev@yahoo.gr

André Loppe Performances, Aiseau-Presles - Belgium
Contributed by Rob Howard

Leading Belgian accordionist André Loppe, best known for playing musette dance music, has performed in many countries. He has produced numerous recordings, his latest being a DVD titled: 'Nos Régions au Son de l'Accordéon'.

André Loppe's future dates include:

March 29th, 6pm - Velaine-Sur-Sambre, Belgium
30th, 3.30pm - l'Accordeon-Club de Mormal, Englefontaine, France
April 12th, 9pm - Salle l'Espérance, Solre-Saint-Gery, Belgium
17th, 2.30pm - Salle Bourvil, Franqueville Saint Pierre, France

For further information email: Andreloppe@skynet.be
The International Trio - CD
Karen Street Gigs, Somerset - UK
Contributed by Rob Howard

Accordionist Karen Street performs as follows:

April 24th - Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Taunton, Devon - Karen Street Trio - Andy Tweed - saxophone, and Andrew Barrett - guitar
May 2nd, 8pm - Batcombe Jubilee Hall, Shepton Mallet, Somerset -Karen Street Trio
May 10th, 8.30pm - Westonzoyland Community Centre, nr Bridgewater, Somerset - Karen Street Trio
May 16th, 2.30pm - St Clement Dane's Church, The Strand, London; Contemporary Church Music Festival - a performance of newly arranged hymns for jazz quartet and children's choir. St Clement Dane's C of E school choir plus London College of Music Chamber Choir, with Karen Street - accordion, Paul Clarvis - percussion, Mark Hodgson - bass, and John Paricelli - guitar
June 15th, 8pm - Meeting House Arts Centre, Illminster, Somerset - Karen Street Trio
July 10th, 7.30pm - Frome Festival, Frome, Somerset - Karen Street, with Fred Baker - guitar, and Andy Tweed - percussion
August 22nd - Caryford Community Hall, Ansford, Somerset - Karen Street Trio

For further information email: karen@karenstreet.com
Aww Recordings
Mika Väyrynen performs Kusiakov World Premiere - UK
Contributed by Rob Howard

Finland's leading virtuoso Mika Väyrynen makes his UK debut in a concert at the David Josefowitz Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, on Monday April 14th, 7.30pm. Väyrynen's performance will include a historical world premiere of 'Sonata No. 7 Misterium', by Anatoli Kusiakov who recently passed away. RAM accordion students will also perform during the concert.

Mika Väyrynen's programme will include:
J.S. Bach - 'Prelude and Fugue BWV 893' and 'Chaconne in d minor BWV 1004'
Mendelssohn - 'Chorale and Variations from Sonata no.6 op.65'
Tchaikovsky - 'May from the Seasons'
Scriabin - 'Four Preludes from op.11'
Astor Piazzolla - 'Le Grand Tango'
Franck Angelis, Artum Vasilliev and Yuiji Takahashi - original works
Anatoli Kuzjakov - 'Sonata no. 7 Misterium'

For further information email: K.INGRAM@ram.ac.uk
Fisitalia Black
Minnesota State Polka Festival, Minnesota - USA
Contributed by Rob Howard

The annual Minnesota State Polka Festival takes place from March 28th to 30th, at the Withrow Ballroom and Event Center, 12169 Keystone Ave N, Hugo, Minnesota. The festival offers three days of polka music and dancing. People can listen to music and watch the Minnesota State Amateur Polka Dance Competition (Standard and Hop Polka) and Minnesota State Amateur Waltz Dance Competition.

Artistes performing at this year's festival include: Squeeze Box, Wendinger Band, Old School, Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones, The Dobosenski Brothers, the Dolina Polish Folk Dancers, and The Cavaliers.

For further information email: mossak@popp.net
Karthause Schmuelling Musik and Media
Rapalje in 'Vurige Kelten' Tour - Netherlands
Contributed by Rob Howard

The Dutch folk band Rapalje, who play Irish, Scottish and Dutch folk dance music, perform in a touring show with bagpiper David Myles titled 'Vurige Kelten', as follows:

March 28th, 8.30pm - De Treemter, Netherlands
29th, 8pm - CC van Beresteyn, Veendam
April 5th, 8.15pm - De Pooterij, Zaltbommel
11th, 8.30pm - Konigshof, Maasshluis
12th, 8pm - Theater Castellum, Alphen aan den Rijn
18th, 8.15pm - Theater de Nobelaer, Etten-Leur
19th, 8pm - Theater Gooiland, Hilversum
25th, 8pm - De Lawei, Burg, Drachten
26th, 8.15pm - Theater de Muzeval, Emmen

For further information email: info@rapalje.com
Viatcheslav Semionov CD's  for sale
Primavera Del Tango Concert, Essen - Germany
Contributed by Rob Howard

Primavera Del Tango are a German tango quintet who play the music of Astor Piazzolla, Rolf Donner and other tango Nuevo music on accordion. The quintet perform in concert on April 12th, 8pm, at katakomben, Theater im Giradet-Haus, Essen.

For further information email: philipp@primaveradeltango.de
Alexander Shirunov CD forsale
Kroke Tour Dates - Poland, Germany, Switzerland
Contributed by Rob Howard

The Polish Klezmer trio Kroke was formed in 1992 by Jerzy Bawol - accordion, Tomasz Lato - double bass and Tomasz Kukurba - violin and viola. Kroke perform as follows:

March 29th - Malbork, Poland
30th - Józefów
April 6th - Spizz, Leipzig, Germany
7th - Stubniz, Rostock
8th - Kasselhaus, Berlin
10th - Zurich, Switzerland
11th - Hamburg, Germany
13th - Kraków, Poland
27th - Kraków

For further information email: kroke@kroke.krakow.pl
Fisitalia Black

  Review by Joan C Sommers

Southern Impressions

by Jacek Grekow, classical accordion
eSheet Music

Charnwood Graded Music

The Celebrity Interview page of Accordions Worldwide has been updated to include an extremely interesting interview with the President of the Accordion Association of Chinese Musicians Association (CAA). The interview covers a lot of accordion history in China and the developments of the accordion in China over recent decades.

William Schimmel CD's
CD Reviews and DVD Reviews index page updated. See over 250 reviews of recordings since 1997 to 2008 by Renato Belardinelli, Tania Lukic-Marx, Alessandro Mugnoz, Paolo Picchio and Joan C. Sommers - a huge resource of information for those interested in accordion recordings.
Fisitalia Blue

Accordions World Wide over 50,000  visitors per week

Accordions World Wide over 50,000  visitors per week