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The Squeeze
14th November 1997

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Past news in English

Editors note:
From now until Christmas, I'm sure there will be many festive events that have accordionists performing at them. If you know of any, we'd really like to hear about it. You may send all information on these to us via the submit form and if you'd like to have a news item included also, please email 2 or 3 paragraphs to

Wayne Knights

This weeks titles:

  • 47th International Competition for Accordion Soloists - Andorra
  • "Astor Piazzolla" Award in Castelfidardo, Italy
  • Accordion Featured on BBC Radio - United Kingdom
  • Accordion Vallenato Music Songwriter on Murder Charge - Colombia
  • Annual Fireworks Display Features Accordion - Glasgow
  • Friedrich Lips in Finland and France
  • Accordion Features at Stock Exchange Launch in France
  • Popular Music Show in Chongqing - China
  • Federal Service Cross for Accordionist - Germany
  • Accordion Concert in Kiev, Ukraine
  • Accordion In Australia
  • Concert tour in Spain
  • 1997 Folk Music Workshops - France
  • Accordion Big Squeeze meet - USA
  • Accordion Concert Change of Date in Trieste, Italy
  • Accordion Competition in Primary School - China


    Contributed by Hartmut Lange from the Newspaper Intermusik

    The 47th International Competition "Trophée Mondiale" for accordion soloists of the C.M.A. (Confédération Mondiale de l'Accordéon), were held during the first week of October. The French accordionists (who officially appeared representing Belgium and Luxembourg) ensured the category "Virtuoso Light Music" was very exciting. The Mayor of Engordany announced the winners this year. Roser Palomero Vendrell led the organisation committee and the leader of the international jury was Bio Boccosi.


    Senior Category:

    • 1st Roman Zbanov (Russia)
    • 2nd Dragan Vasilievic (Yugoslavia)
    • 3rd Gianluca Pica (Italy)
    • 4th Vaclan Soubusta (Czech Republic)
    • 5th Thierry Accard (Luxembourg)
    • 6th Josef Hrebik (Czech Republic)
    • 7th Elisabeth Millard (France)
    • 8th Cedrin Carouy (Belgium)
    • 9th José Ignacio Ortiz (Spain)
    • 10th Olimpia Greco (Italy)

    Junior Category:

    • 1st Wladimir Blagojevic (Yugoslavia)
    • 2nd Petra Bancovic (Croatia)
    • 3rd Jana Bezpalkova (Czech Republic)
    • 4th Claude Sauvage (Luxembourg)
    • 5th Guillaume Hodeau (France)
    • 6th Michal Polak (Czech Republic)
    • 7th Melanie Bregant (Switzerland)
    • 8th Magali Boissier (France)
    • 9th Anselmo de Sousa (Portugal)
    • 10th Goncalo Pescada (Portugal)
    • 11th Daniela Hudecova (Slowakia)
    • 12th Katia Milosevic (Yugoslavia)
    • 13th Christel Sautaux (Switzerland)
    • 14th Daniela Trappetti (Italy)
    • 15th Miren Gabirondo (Spain)
    • 16th Jasone Camara (Spain)
    • 17th Daniel Rodriguez (Spain).

    Variété Category:

    • 1st Dominique Emorine (France)
    • 2nd Julien Labro and Aurelien Noel (both France)
    • 3rd Stephanie Methot (France)
    • 4th Jérôme Richard (France)
    • 5th Frédéric Baldo (Belgium)
    • 6th Alexandre Leauthaud (France)
    • 7th Joào Carlos Frade (Portugal)
    • 8th Raffaele Crusco (Italy)
    • 9th Carolie Minder (Switzerland)
    • 10th Nicola Pascolo (Italy)
    • 11th Jonathan Fontan (Andorra)


    Contributed by Paolo Picchio

    The fourth International Award "Astor Piazzolla" will take place in Castelfidardo (Ancona, Italy) from November 13th to 15th. The Chairman of the Jury will be Mr Aldo Pagani (Astor Piazzolla's producer and editor), and will include Jacques Grimbert (France), Alex Busanel (Belgium), Arnaldo Ciato (Italy) and Eugenia Marini (Italy). There will be twenty-four groups participating from countries like Italy, Finland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic.

    All evening performances will be held at the Centro Spettacoli "Green" starting from Friday November 14th at 9.30pm, when the Amortango Ensemble will perform, followed by the famous drummer Tullio De Piscopo who will play with his band. Tullio De Piscopo, amongst all his great successes, also boasts seven LP recordings with Piazzolla. During the closing ceremony, on Saturday the 15th, the award ceremony will be held, followed by performances by the competition winners and Arnaldo Ciato (a well known composer and pianist who has worked during the course of his career Piazzolla, Milva, Tullio De Piscopo and Iva Zanicchi).


    Contributed by Len Killick

    On Friday November 7th, BBC Radio 4 (The UK "Home Service") broadcast on the "Today" program, an article of several minutes in length reporting on the rising popularity of the accordion in Europe. There were interviews with both French and English accordionists and the English representative, Professor Owen Murray, described his top-of-the-range instrument, talked of the growing interest and amount of material now being written for the accordion. He also stated that his accordion courses were now oversubscribed and that he believed the next century to be "the century of the accordion". The broadcast was repeated around the world on BBC's World Service.


    Contributed by Reuters News Service

    Singer-songwriter Diomedes Diaz, the reigning king of Colombia's highly popular "Vallenato" music, was ordered held without bail recently for his alleged role in the murder of a young admirer. A statement from the chief prosecutor's office said the judicial order applied to Diaz and six other people, most of them his bodyguards. All were detained on October 4th for questioning about the death five months earlier of Doris Adriana Nino.

    Vallenato music features intricate accordion playing of songs of love and loss played against a thumping rhythm of bass and congas. It is highly lyrical and often described as Colombia's most popular art form. Diaz, whose arrest has been protested by fans in Bogota and Valledupar, the so called Vallenato music capital of Colombia, has been awarded the status of a national icon despite run-ins with the law in the past.

    Diaz, who is the top-selling recording artist within Colombia, has been considered the living king of Vallenato music for the past decade. He has acknowledged knowing Nino but denied any responsibility for her death, which was apparently caused by a drug overdose.


    Contributed by Gary Blair

    At Glasgow Green (a large park area in the Centre of Glasgow) an "Annual Fireworks Spectacular" was recently held. Included was a band called ''Cutting Edge'' from Dundee (featuring the accordion), who performed to an audience of around 5,000 people. The accordionist was George Carmichael, performing with Derryk Mitchelson (keyboards) and other band members on guitar, bass guitar and drums. They performed for an hour and their material was varied but had a ''Celtic Rock'' influence.


    Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

    At the end of October Russian bayanist Friedrich Lips was invited to Kuhmo, Finland and Plouay, France where he gave not only very successful master classes, but also well acclaimed concerts. His program included works by E. Derbenko, S. Gubaidulina, J. Ganzer, E. Denissow, W. Solotarjov, V. Rjabov, E. Lecuona, I. Albeniz, A. Piazzolla, A. Chatschaturjan, G. Rossini, G. Shenderjov and others.


    Contributed by Reuters News Service

    France Telecom's initial launch on the New York Stock Exchange featured a celebration with Can Can dancers performing on the exchange's floor. French accordion players serenaded passersby outside the exchange as croissants were handed out.

    France Telecom is seen as the world's fourth-largest telecommunications company in terms of sales.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    From November 13th to 16th, Chongqing's Popular Music Show sponsored by the Chongqing Culture Bureau, will be held in the Square of Chaping Park, Chongqing, China.

    Over 100 singers and 200 musical instrument players will participate in this event, including an accordion band consisting of 9 children. They will play Chinese pieces each day, including The Sun & The Moon, The Cavalrymen's Song and My Motherland. An electronic organ player will accompany them.


    Contributed by Hartmut Lange from the Newspaper Intermusik

    Internationally renowned accordionist Elsbeth Moser (Professor at the Hannover Conservatory), was awarded the Federal Service Cross in October. Roman Herzog (Bundes President) presented the Order of Merit at a ceremonial act at the Schloss Bellevue, Berlin, on October 3rd, the German National reunification holiday.

    In the laudatio he said that Elsbeth Moser, who celebrated her 25th year of service this year (2 years in Trossingen and 23 years in Hannover), played a major role in bringing accordion works closer to the musically interested public. She also works for the competition "Jugend musiziert" and in the Deutsche Musikrat (German musical society).


    Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov.

    On November 11th an accordion concert was held in the Concert Hall of the Ukraine National Academy of Music, Kiev, Ukraine. The performers were students of the Academy, who won their respective categories at the "Grand Prix" International Accordion Competition, held in France.

    Miljan Beletic, Igor Osipenko, Sasha Vasic, Iosif Vazula and Bayan Duo (Bogdan and Ruslan Pirog) amazed the audience by the quality of their performance, which contained a high standard of technique with musical ideas of works such composers as Bach, Paganini, Rakhmaninov, Monti, Vlasov, Chernikov, Piazzolla and Gridin.


    On October 15th the Herald and Weekly Times Limited, Australia featured an article on the accordion by June Alexander after she was invited to attend the second annual Dinki Di Bush Ball. The idea behind the ball is to pay tribute to all those musicians who have brought life into isolated communities around Australia over the years.

    In particular (in the Bendigo region) the emphasis is on button accordionists. According to archivist Peter Ellis, the area is probably unique in Australia for its number of accordion-based bands. Peter, who lives in Bendigo, is an authority on traditional old-time dance music, the sort of music danced in bush halls around Australia. His input has been invaluable to the bands playing at the Ball where they play for free, and any profits are channelled back into traditional music in the Bendigo district.


    Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov

    From November 1st to 10th the "Duo Ukraine" had a concert tour of Spain. They gave ten concerts in the Asturias and Andalusia Provinces. Their program consisting of two halfs included classical and folk music.

    Members of the Duo, Yuri Fedorov and Ludmila Kohanskaja, are teachers of the National Musical Academy of Ukraine in Kiev. They play the bayan and bandura (a traditional Ukrainen folk string instrument).


    Contributed by Ad Kwakernaat, Diatonisch Nieuwsblad

    1997 folk music workshops have been organised by Ti Kendalc'h. A melodeon course will be available from December 26th to 30th and subscriptions are now being accepted. Patrick Bardoul will teach the beginners and Yann Dour will teach the advanced players. For further information please contact Roy Ti Kendalc'h, 56350 St. Vincent sur Oust Phone: + 33 02 99912855 or Fax: + 33 02 99913909.


    Contributed by "Jane the Cat"

    On November 13th at 8pm the Bay Area Beginners Accordion group will hold their next meeting in Berkeley, followed by a second meet this month on November 20th at 8pm in San Francisco.

    At their last meet, there were 6 members in attendance who had a great time squeezing for about two hours. If anyone knows of someone with some extra space in the 650 or 408 area codes (USA) that plays the accordion and would be interested in starting a Southbay group, please send an email to:


    Contributed by Marsell Marinsek

    There has been a change of date to a concert which was due to be held on Tuesday November 18th at the Antico Caffe San Marco, via Battisti 18, Trieste, Italy at 9pm. This concert will now be held on Tuesday December 9th at 9 pm at the same venue.

    If you require any further information please email Marsell Marinsek:


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    On November 18th, a small music competition will be held in Xanxijie Primary School, China. About 100 students will participate in this competition including 19 accordion students who will compete in the "Musical Instrument Section".

    Among the accordion contestants, Bai Tao (a 12 yr old boy) is regarded as a highlight of the competition as he participated in the 1997 Accordion Festival and Competition sponsored by the A.A.A. in Washington D.C. in July, winning a prize for his excellent performance.

    Bai Tao will play two pieces in the contest including a Chinese piece he played at the festival in Washington D.C. earlier this year. He thinks this music will bring him luck. "I can get the first prize, because I believe I am the best", said Bai Tao with confidence.


    Dear Sir:

    I'm new to accordions although I've played other instruments. To get started I picked up a Venuti accordion at an auction. It works well and sounds pretty good although it is heavy. I can't seem to find any information on the manufacturer and wonder if I'm playing a reasonably good or poor accordion. Do you know anything about the name?

    Mike Cross

    Hi Mike,

    I am unsure of this brand of accordion. From the name, it sounds as though it was probably manufactured in Italy (where the large majority are made).

    There have been many brands from Italy over the past century, with many having since gone. I believe this is might be the case with Venuti.

    In terms of whether it is a poor of good quality accordion, it is virtually impossible to tell without seeing it. I suggest you take it to a nearby accordion dealer for a valuation.

    Yours musically,

    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

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