Accordions Worldwide
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The Squeeze
24th October 1997

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Editors note:
I have just completed a new site on Accordions Worldwide for Cagnoni. This Italian company manufactures high quality accordion reeds, as used by many of the major accordion companies. I have also changed the submit forms, so that if you would like to change any information to a current listing, simply tick the box "Update to current listing" and fill in the appropriate details.

It's amazing what a week's holiday can do! When I wasn't working, lying on the beach on the Gold Coast of Australia in 30°C is certainly my idea of a holiday!

Wayne Knights

This weeks titles:

  • 1997 "Città Di Castelfidardo" International Competition and Prize - Italy
  • Accordionist Performs With Pavarotti - Sweden
  • Blackpool Accordion Club News – England
  • Blind Busker Among First to Seek Licence – Singapore
  • 5th International Accordion Festival in Daugavpils, Latvia
  • Takashi Hirayama Accordion Ensemble Concert – Japan
  • Educational weekends in Holland
  • Shanghai Accordion Association Examinations – China
  • Friedrich Lips in the Netherlands
  • Renzo Ruggieri in Concert in Canada
  • Russian Musical Centre "Rifei"
  • Australian Accordionist's Wedding
  • New Orleans Band Funkifies Jewish Dance Music - USA
  • Scottish Dance Band - Ayrshire, Scotland
  • A Book "History of Bayan" from Russia
  • 1997 Accordion Camp - New Zealand
  • Information Wanted on Hungarian Accordion Player
  • The Actual Situation at Hohner, Trossingen, Germany
  • "Accordion Crimes" on Australia's bestsellers list
  • "Cishui River Valley" Festival - China


    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    The 22nd "Città di Castelfidardo" International Competition and Prize was held in Castelfidardo with many soloist and ensemble competitors coming from Russia, Poland, Italy, Slovenia, China, Sweden, Czech Republic, France, Yugoslavia, Slovakia, Belarus, Finland, Lithuania Ukraine, Estonia, Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, Brazil, Spain, USA.

    The people that made up the prestigious jury were:

    Marco Renzi, Davide Anzaghi, Luciano Biondini, Cesare Chiacchiaretta, Dario Flammini, Ernesto Gordini and Adriano Mazzoletti (Italy)
    Thomas Assmus (Germany)
    Mario Balestra and Peter Soave (USA)
    Ladislav Horak (Czech Republic)
    Jean-Marie Geiser (Switzerland)
    Jean-Marc Fabiano and Frederic Deschamps (France)
    Damir Buzleta (Croatia)
    Anibal Manuel Leao Freire (Portugal)
    Alexander Dmitriev (Russia)

    There were also great nights of classical music with the duo of Paulo Jorge Ferreira and Pedro Miguel Santos, Jean-Marx Fabiano, and the "GM Synthesis 4" orchestra, rock music by Yasuhiro Kobayashi's "Coba" and Amarcord, pop music with the famous Italian musician Pierangelo Bertoli (who often uses the accordion in his songs) and jazz with one of the most famous accordionists of all times, Art Van Damme.

    The winners of the competition were:

    12 years soloists:
    15 years soloists:
    18 years soloists:
    Chamber Music:
    Accordion Junior:
    Accordion Orchestras:
    18 years Soloists:
    Jazz Soloists:
    Amadej Herzog (Slovenia)
    Eneasz Kubit, Poland
    Borut Zagoranski, Slovenia
    Vladimir Blagojevic, Yugoslavia
    Maestro Accordion Duo, Russia
    Aosta Akkordeon Ensemble, Italy
    Baran-Banas Duo, Russia
    Gruppo Russici, Russia
    Glazbena V. Lisinkog Orchestra, Croatia
    Not awarded
    Raffaele Crusco, Italy
    Julien Labro, France
    Nakkilan Seudun Sextet, Finland
    Not awarded

    The winner of the "Città di Castelfidardo" prize was Cao Xiao-Qing (China), who also won the "Accordions Worldwide" special prize of a web site for one year.


    Contributed by Ari Haatainen

    Swedish accordionist Ari Haatainen has been playing for 26 years. During this time he has performed with Opera star Pavarotti in Sweden in 1989 and 1996, Verona, Italy 1992, and the USA in 1994. This year he has played in Canada with accordionists Iona Reed and Karl Pukara.

    On November 15th Ari will once again play with Pavarotti in Helsinki, Finland, performing Neapolitan songs with him as part of the symphony orchestra. Songs include "Non Di Scordar Di Me" and "Mamma".


    Contributed by David Batty

    The Blackpool Accordion Club held their club night on Wednesday October 15th and a good selection of accordionists played to about 30 people. There was the usual raffle and a welcoming Hotpot supper. Their next club night will be on November 19th and features special guest Roberto Enzo from Italy playing two 45 minute spots. Tickets are UK£5 on the night with a selection of sandwiches included.


    Southeast Asian newspaper "Straits Times" featured an article in early October on a blind busker Leo Lim Peng Hor, 38, who has performed illegally for 11 years and was among the first to apply for his busking licence. "I have three accordions and many harmonicas in the police station," he said of the times he was caught busking unlawfully in the Orchard Road underpass near the MRT station "Each time they only chased me away, but my instruments were confiscated. He added: "I have been giving my feedback to the authorities since 1986 that busking should be legalised. I am glad they have finally acted."

    "This is especially good news for me, as I am disabled." He thinks it a good idea that licences will be given to buskers linked with arts organisations and that what they collect has to go to the arts. He said he had, in any case, been donating about S$15,000 a year to various charities such as the NAC, the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, and the Bishan Home for Intellectually Disabled.

    He also runs an entertainment company, Extra Touch Live Entertainment and Productions, which employs disabled performers.


    Contributed by Vladimir A. Ushakov

    From October 16th to 19th, the 5th International Accordion Festival was held in Daugavpils, the second largest city in Latvia and a well known accordion centre. The festival is a bi-annual event with participants from USA, Russia, Lithuania, Finland and Latvia.

    Boris Veksler, who has been living in New York for the last 18 years came back especially for this festival and gave a great solo concert. He was known as the "Star of Accordion" in the former Soviet Union.

    Finnish accordionist Jukka-Pekka Kuusela who plays modern academic music, gave a master class and the accordion quintett "Concertino", with leader Richardas Svjackjavichus from Lithuania gave performances.

    In addition, there were also performances by accordion composers such as Yuri Peshkov (well-known Latvian composer of popular light music for accordion), Viktor Novikov (popular Russian composer of arrangements for bayan in light style), and Anatoli Sukhanov (Russian composer, conductor and teacher).

    Other soloists include Server Abkerimov (Moscow) and Ljudmila Shljakonite (Lithuania). Accordion duets were performed by Lithuanians Eduard Gabnis and Genadij Savkov.

    The St Petersburg Musette ensemble (Russia) performed light popular music from musette to swing and jazz. A new ensemble called "Milonga" (Daugavpils) comprising of Svetlana Stavitskaja (accordion), Jelena Margevich (violin) and Aljona Birina (piano) played music by Astor Piazzolla.

    The host of the festival was the Daugavpils Accordion Orchestra. This well known orchestra, conducted by Valery Khodukin (who is the main festival organiser) performed light music with elements of swing and jazz.

    The final concert on the main stage of the festival was triumphantly performed by the orchestra with soloists Boris Veksler, Server Abkerimov, Ljudmila Shljakonite, Viktor Novikov, Svetlana Stavitskaja, Vladimir Ushakov and Sergei Likhachov, Eduard Gabnis and Genadij Savkov.

    There were many concerts given in three days, with many people having met their friends and favourite accordionists again. Everyone is looking forward to Daugavpils '99.


    Contributed by Takashi Hirayama

    On October 18th the Takashi Hirayama Accordion Ensemble performed at a concert from 1.30 to 4pm at the Takasaka School Auditorium, Uraga City, Japan. The ensemble comprises of nine accordionists and has a concert planned with Chorale Azalea in Yokohama, Japan.


    Contributed by Frans de Bie

    In 1975 NOVAM took the initiative to start educational weekends for young accordionists. As these were a great success, weekends for people 20 years and over soon followed. In 1997, the total of these popular weekends now exceeds 180.

    The goal is to encourage young musicians to meet and play together in groups which rehearse for about 15 hours. During these rehearsal attention is given to attitude, registration, dynamics etc., with the music being entirely new for every participant, which improves their ability to read music. They also play with more than one conductor, which will make them familiar with personal interpretation.

    Although making music is most important, attention is also given to recreation such as sports, walking and so on. On Saturday afternoon some interesting subjects have been covered like folk dancing, history of the instrument, other ways of writing music, guest performances and accordion repair.

    Every weekend closes with a "finale-concert" on Sunday afternoon. With friends and relatives present, the orchestra plays all the music they studied so hard during the weekend.

    For further information contact Frans de Bie email:


    Contributed by Shien Joe

    The Shanghai Accordion Association has just closed off registration for their practical examinations which are due to be held in December. There are over 2,500 entries and they plan to have 10 venues operating at the same time. The examinations are expected to take three days.

    Shanghai city is one of the 4 largest cities in China. From these there are about 10,000 accordionists and 300 accordion teachers, so the ratio of teachers to students is incredible, with teachers rarely giving individual lessons.

    Fan Yan-Cheng is the Vice President of the Shanghai Accordion Association. On Saturday and Sunday, he usually takes 10 classes each day with 15-20 students.


    Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

    At the end of September Friedrich Lips was invited by Johan de With, to give a seminar at the Conservatory in Groningen, Netherlands. He had four master-classes of 20 students and played not only a solo programme of contemporary music but also a duo with Dutch accordionist Miny Dekkers ("Light-waves" by S. Berinsky) and Miny also performed chamber music with bass-clarinetist Henri Bok. Future plans have been made to hold this seminar annually.


    Contributed by Holda Paoletti Kampl

    Mr Renzo Ruggieri will play in concert in Montreal, Canada, on the 13th of November 1997. The concert has been organised by the local accordion association and in particular by Mr. Federico Cornelli. During the following week Ruggieri will be available for music lessons at the "Excelsior Supply", also in Montreal.

    Concert information, phone: +1 514-8959310
    Lesson information, phone: +1 514-7272922
    email Renzo Ruggieri on


    Contributed by Tatiana Lanchtchikova

    The Russian Musical Centre "Rifei" ("Ural") was organised in 1993 with the aim of promoting the Russian system of education overseas to give opportunities for Russian children to compete internationally. Since this time many talented young performers have participated in various International Accordion Competitions (solos and ensembles) and most of them have won prizes.

    Well-known accordionist and composer Professor Vladimir Bychkov, (who takes special training courses to prepare students for international competitions) directs the Centre "Rifei". The educational courses are available for players of all levels and take from 6 months to 2 years to complete.

    The Centre "Rifei" also has a post-graduating program for accordion and bayan performers. At the end of this program students gain a soloist diploma.

    All accordionists are welcome!!

    For further information contact Vladimir Bychkov fax: +7 3512-335322


    Contributed by Maurice Jones

    Earlier this month I was invited to attend the wedding of famous Melbourne accordionist, composer and teacher Zoran Rakocevic. Zoran is known throughout Australia as an authority on Balkan musicology and accordion techniques, and as an arranger and live performer. The accordion is the predominant "lead" instrument in Balkan music and the official national instrument of Yugoslavia, and Zoran has many times been the orchestra leader for visiting international acts from Europe.

    When I arrived in Melbourne to the Rakocevic family home I was introduced to the "star" accordionist for the wedding, Novica Negovanovic, who Zoran had "imported" from Chicago especially for the event. Novica is regarded as one of the world's great accordionists and myself and fellow kiwi guest David Vujanic were treated to a private concert at Zoran's home, with Zoran joining in for impromtu duets that were full of incredibly difficult trilling techniques and fast explosive runs, which were perfectly executed without any rehearsal. This was just the start of the weekend.

    The wedding on Sunday was an all day festival, starting at 9am with food, drink and music by Novica and an acoustic backing band. The music continued for most of the day and at the church in the afternoon, at the Rakocevic house and then at the wedding reception and dance.

    For the reception the band was an eight piece backing for Novica, playing for over 300 guests. The music and playing of Novica and the top line band selected by Zoran for the job was incredible, especially as they had never rehearsed or played together. At 1am it was time for Zoran and his new wife Ilijana to depart and the fantastic music was at an end. I will long remember the incredible bellows control, fingering techniques and speed of this famous accordionist Novica Negovanovic.


    Contributed by Reuters News Service

    The "New Orleans Klezmer All Stars" have been playing to a packed music hall in New Orleans. But this music is not jazz or rock or rhythm and blues. This music is Yiddish. "We're the New Orleans Klezmer All Stars, a funky Jewish experience," accordionist and pianist Glenn Hartman tells the crowd at a show.

    The All Stars (half of whom are Jewish) have made Klezmer the latest, most unlikely ingredient in New Orleans' unique musical stew. They march every year in the Mardi Gras parade and play at synagogues, Jewish retirement homes and a children's summer camp where they are received "like rock stars." They also play at bars, concert halls and regional tours.

    Group members are Glenn Hartman (accordion), Robert Wagner (clarinet), Ben Ellman (saxophone), Arthur Kastler (bass), and a drummer. The group have recently released their third record, "The Big Kibosh."


    Contributed by Derek Hamilton

    Popular dance band "The Ian Muir Sound" is based in Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland They perform for private functions such as Ceilidhs, Scottish Country Dances, Weddings and they even performed at a funeral recently.

    Members of the group are Ian Muir (accordion), Colin Bell (keyboards), Gordon Simpson (fiddle) and Derek Hamilton (drums accordion, keyboards and guitar). Ian is a full time musician and tutor for the accordion at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

    The group recently performed for a very interesting group mainly from Brazil. They like to include audience participation where they teach or demonstrate simple ceilidh type dances like the Gay Gordons and the Dashing White Sergeant.

    On New Years Eve (Hogmonay) which is a very big occasion in Scotland, they will be playing at Turnberry Hotel (the Championship Golf Course) at Maidens near Girvan in Ayrshire from 10pm December. This will be their third year at this venue and they are booked for this gig to the millenium.

    Next year's highlight for the "Ian Muir Sound" is a Scottish Theme Cruise on the cruise ship, P&O Victoria.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    Recently, I received a book from Russia sent to me by Russian accordion Professor and accordionist Mr Oleg Sharov, who teaches the accordion in St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. This book, "History of Accordion & Bayan" made me very excited as many Chinese accordionists are interested in the history of the Russian accordion and bayan, because Chinese professional accordionists are aware that Russian accordionists and bayanists are among the best in the world.

    Many professional accordionists are eager to introduce the history of the bayan to Chinese accordionists, but there are very few books available. Written by A. Mileg Margilovich in 1967, he gives a detailed description of the development of bayan, including the development of accordions and bayans in Russia.

    Over the next year I plan to translate the book into Mandarin so Chinese accordionists can learn about the history of the accordion and bayan in Russia.


    Contributed by Christine Adams

    The New Zealand Accordion Association is holding the 1997 Accordion Camp from October 31st to November 2nd at beautiful Camp Mahurangi, Snells Beach (1 hour North of Auckland). The camp is for NZAA members and parents/guardians are encouraged to attend. Tutors (some of the most experienced performers and teachers in New Zealand) will join camp participants in a fun-filled weekend.

    In a relaxed camp atmosphere, workshops will be held on:

    • Stage Presentation
    • General Music Knowledge
    • Modern Music and Improvisation
    • Sight Reading and Aural
    • Bellows and Technique
    • Types of accordion
    • How an accordion works

    Last year over 80 people attended a successful camp at Hunua, South Auckland, encouraging the NZAA committee to host another, 18 months later.


    Contributed by Janos Solyom

    Concert pianist Janos Solyom would like to find out some information about the Hungarian accordionist Lajos Bobula. He passed away 30 or 40 years ago, but was apparently a rather famous artist in his time.

    Janos says "His wife was my godmother and from her I inherited an oil portrait of him and diverse "bobuliana". Does anyone know anything more about him? Living relations for example?"

    If anyone can help with information please email Janos at:


    Contributed by Hartmut Lange

    The Matth. Hohner AG, traditional instrument manufacturer from Trossingen, has in the expired financial year (1996 to 1997) suffered a loss of 27,3 million DM Ulrich Heine (member of the executive board of the Matth. Hohner AG), reported at a balance sheet press conference of the enterprise in Stuttgart, that the main reasons for the fall are the "unchangedly slack interior demand and the further fall of retail prices because of hard competition conditions".

    The trade with Hohner shares at the Stuttgart stock exchange was interrupted for a day after this loss was announced. The number of the employees at the headquarters Trossingen will reduce from approximately 390 at present to 200 by the end of 1998 (the number of employees was almost 600 a year ago).

    Wage-intensive parts of the production shall be shifted to the Far East and a renovation wage agreement was set for the remaining employees in Trossingen with the labour union and a workers committee that together have planned the introduction of a 35 hour week and the cut of extra payments for Christmas and holidays.


    The Australian Nationwide News Proprietary Ltd, recently published a list of Australia's best selling books. At number seven on the list was Accordion Crimes by E. Annie Proulx. The list was compiled by independent booksellers Gleebooks.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    From October 15th to 18th the 8th "Cishui River Valley" Festival was held in Xuyun County (Sichuan Province). This festival has been held in October every year since 1990, for the purpose of promoting the Economy & Culture's developments of Cishui River Valley. As the Cishui River runs through three provinces (Shichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou Province) they all take turns at hosting the festival.

    Many folk and art performances were shown on the streets, such as a variety of open-air concerts, traditional dances, acrobatics and other performances.

    Many professional and non-professional musicians performed, including many accordion players who played solos or accompanied vocalists.

    Email to the Editor:

    Subject: Error in Music Publisher list

    Dear webmaster,

    I was very surprised to find my name in your list of Music Publishers on your web site. I am not a Music Publisher but a hobby accordion player. Thank you in advance for changing this and good luck for your very interesting and good web pages.

    Walter Fliesser

    Firstly, I apologise for the mistake. We will have your name off our list and on the list of "accordionists" (anyone who plays the accordion). Thanks for the nice comments on the site!

    Yours musically,

    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

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