Accordions Worldwide
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The Squeeze
5th December 1997

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Past news in English

Editors note:

This week I completed and put online the Preissler catalogue in English (previously only available in German). You may select and purchase online from a huge range of music of all types and levels. They have an excellent service and are very friendly to deal with!

Wayne Knights

This weeks titles:

  • Accordions on TV in San Francisco Bay Area - USA
  • Great Christmas Ball, France
  • Success for the "Milonga Quintet" in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Famous quartet "Skif" in Austria
  • Leyland Accordion Club Opening Night - England
  • "Sound of Health" Concert - China
  • Accordion Orchestra Dresden celebrates 60th Anniversary - Germany
  • Celtic Christmas Concerts with "Aengus" - USA
  • Accordionist performs at Benefit Concert - New Zealand
  • International Accordion School in St Petersburg, Russia
  • Accordion Concert in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Special Performance in Chengdu School for Handicapped Children - China
  • Concert of the Harmonika-Club Inzlingen 55 e.V. - Germany
  • Accordionist featured in News Magazine - Japan
  • New Accordion Composition Performed in USA
  • Hibiscus Coast Orchestra Concert - New Zealand


    Contributed by Bob Berta

    On Thursday, December 4th from 6:00pm to 11:00pm the San Francisco Bay Area Accordion Club appeared on the public TV station KQED (channel 9 locally). Between 45 to 65 members of the club manned the phones during a pledge night. These pledge nights are held to raise funds from the listening audience to help keep the public station going as they are not supported by advertising. Some members provided accordion music in the background, accordion history tidbits and talked a little bit about the club during programming breaks.

    San Francisco has adopted the accordion as its official instrument and this was a great opportunity to increase public awareness of the accordion. The public TV station KQED is seen throughout the US and hopefully other stations will take the cue and try to do similar things in their area.


    Contributed by Cavagnolo Accordions

    On Saturday December 6th a Christmas Ball will be held in the Party Room, Pontoise, Val d'Oise, France. Music will be provided by Alain Musichini and his orchestra. For details and reservations contact Pontoise Accordion Club, Mrs Le Goff phone: + 33 1 30389403


    Contributed by Ladislav Horak

    Thanks to the joint efforts of the Prague Conservatory and the Argentinean Embassy in the Czech Republic, Piazzolla's music had its day of glory in Prague, one of Europe's cultural capitals. On November 28th Professor Ladislav Horak (teacher and Director of the Conservatory's Accordion Department), in association with the Argentinean Embassy, promoted a Seminar on Astor Piazzolla and his works held by Paolo Picchio (musicologist and Artistic Director of the "Astor Piazzolla" International Prize).

    Afterwards the Milonga Quintet performed a selection of Piazzolla's repertoire in a very successful concert to the most prominent members of the Conservatory (as many as eight foreign Ambassadors) and a full audience. Earlier the same day the public had the chance of visiting the stalls of the Horovice Accordion Service and the Zero Sette Company.

    Two days earlier, Paolo Picchio and the Milonga Quintet appeared as special guests in a ten minute television special on Piazzolla's "Nuevo Tango". The show was broadcast by the Czech Republic's main television channel, "Televize Nova". The event organiser firmly believes that the beautiful Concert Hall of Prague's Conservatory (where both the Seminar and the Concert took place) will be the starting point of a great diffusion of Piazzola's music in the Czech Republic.


    Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

    The accordion orchestra Accordeana of Graz (Styria) recently invited the famous quartet "Skif" (bayan, balalaika, domra) to Austria for some concerts to celebrate their annual autumn concert.

    In the life of the musicians A. Mostykanov, A. Babushkin, S. Sokolov and I. Kalina, 1992 became a turning point when these teachers and graduates of Astrakhan State Conservatoire formed the quartet. The great potential of the artists culminated in their victory at the all Russia competition of Russian Folk Instrument ensembles in Astrakhan (1992). The "Skif " ensemble appeared as laureates of the 30th International contest of chamber ensembles in Klingenthal (Germany 1993), thus presenting themselves convincingly on the international stage. The quartet has since performed in many of Moscow's great concert halls and has performed in many cities around Russia.

    Their repertoire consists of both classics and folk music. All music is arranged by the players themselves and includes pieces by Daquin, Couperin, Rameau, Paganini, Sarasate, Kreisler, Mendelsohn, Brahms and Schnittke.


    Contributed by David Batty

    The Leyland Accordion Club opening night on Friday November 14th was a great success with 45 people in attendance, 22 of them accordionists. Guest artist was Steve Roxton from Jersey (President of Les amis de l'Accordeon de Jersey and leader of the Jersey Accordion Band). The evening began with an introduction from David Batty about the club and the reasons for setting it up. David then performed Plasir D'amour in F followed by Steve Roxton who played a variety of popular pieces on MIDI accordion.

    This was followed by a coffee break before further accordion entertainment that included many well known tunes and ended with a German Medley.

    The next club night will be on December 10th with entertainment provided by local players. For further information phone David Batty: + 44 1772-454328


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    On December 7th at 2:30 pm, a "Sound of Health" Concert will be held in the Ren-Ming Hall of Xian, China. This has been organised to promote the public health campaign by 14 hospitals of Xian City. Over 150 doctors and nurses from these hospitals will participate.

    Among the performers 12 accordionists will play solos, accompany other singers and play in orchestras. Mr Wen Ming, (a hospital surgeon) will play two solos of Chinese accordion music to an audience which will include doctors, nurses and patients of the hospitals. It is estimated that there will be over 15,000 people attending.


    Contributed by Andrea Rautenberg

    60 years ago on November 13th 1937, the "Hohner-Handharmonika-Club Dresden-Leuben" had its first performance. To mark this occasion the "Dresdner Akkordeonorchester e.V." organised a gala concert in the Congress Hall of the Hygienemuseum Dresden performing to nearly 600 guests.

    With a program of mainly classic original accordion compositions, the ensemble, under the artistic direction of Anita Heinze (President of the Deutscher Harmonikaverband Sachsen) showed their high technical level with an enthusiastic performance. The thrilled audience demanded three encores and rewarded the orchestra with long applause and many many flowers.

    To further celebrate this occasion the orchestra has edited a commemorative publication and arranged an exhibition about the history of the ensemble. Among the more than thirty musicians are many young people.

    Next year the orchestra will participate in the International Accordion Festival Insbruck again, where they have already twice reached "Excellent" (1992 and 1995).


    Contributed by Jimmy Keane

    Popular group "Aengus" are performing in a series of December Celtic Christmas Concerts. The group consisting of Jimmy Keane (accordion and vocals), Robbie O'Connell (vocals and guitar) and Kathleen Keane (fiddle, flute, whistle and vocals) play music and songs from Ireland, England, Scotland, Brittany, Wales and the United States.

    They will be performing from December 4th to 21st in New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

    Accordionist Jimmy Keane has created a unique approach to the playing of Irish music and was the first Irish-American to win five consecutive All-Ireland titles on the accordion.

    He has recently finished producing the Aengus' Celtic Christmas recording "All on a Christmas Morning" which will be available in 1998, and is busy at work recording his long-awaited solo album with the brilliant guitarist, Dennis Cahill of Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill fame.

    For further performance details see Future Events


    Contributed by Christine Adams

    On Monday December 2nd, Lionel Reekie performed a varied program of instrumental and vocal numbers to an audience of several hundred who attended a benefit concert for Andrea Proud at the Whangaparaoa Golf Club, Whangaparaoa, New Zealand.

    Andrea Proud is a "budding young opera singer" with potential for international success. The concert was organised by Rotary New Zealand to assist Andrea to continue studies overseas. She is currently studying with Eliano Mattiossi Petralia. In addition to Lionel's performance, Andrea sang two brackets of songs with a 50 voice choir. It was a great night's entertainment and a chance for New Zealander's to assist Andrea to launch an international career.


    Contributed by Vladimir A. Ushakov

    From November 25th to 28th the Autumn session of the International Accordion School was held in St Petersburg. This event was organised by the Culture Department of St Petersburg - Institute of Culture programs, Institute of France and State Academy of Culture.

    The leader of the school is Nikolai Kravtsov - professor of Academy of Culture. The main idea of this event is to develop accordion activity in Russia. During the four days all interested people were invited to visit the master classes, seminars and concerts by world famous accordionists. The host of this event is the Academy of Culture, where the workshops were run in its halls and rooms.

    Many people from different parts of Russia came this year to visit the event including accordion teachers and students of schools, colleges, conservatories and institutes. The interest was high because the teachers are well known people throughout the accordion world.

    There were workshops by Friedrich Lips, Jack Mornet (French pedagogist and teacher of famous French accordionists like Alain Musichini and Christine Rossi) and Nikolai Kravtsov (the head person in piano accordion pedagogy in St Petersburg, accordionist and professor of Academy of Culture).

    On November 25th in the Concert Hall of St Petersburg Capella, a concert was held called "Accordion on the threshold of XXI century". The first half included a performance by Friedrich Lips who played compositions by Berinsky, Gubaydulina, Lekuona and Albenis. He completed his performance with his version of popular Sakkijarven Polka.

    The second half featured students from the Academy of Culture - Oleg Bychkov and Dmitry Gvozdkov, who played duets by Galliano and Peshkov. Following this the "Pavel Smirnow accordion orchestra" performed. They are very popular in Europe where they have just completed a successful tour. They performed music by Cati, Sarasate, Sen-Sans, some swing compositions with violin solo and violin and alto duo, ending with "Sabre Dance". 600 people made up the audience who enjoyed a great concert.


    Contributed by Hillebrand van der Veen

    On November 30th at 1.30pm the Amsterdam Accordion Club Forzando organised a concert coming in De Rietwijker, Parlevinker 9, Amsterdam Noord.

    The concert program included Opus I (conductor Erik Vermaak) who performed Melody (Dvorak), Medieval dances (Van Beurden), Suite Gothique (Boellmann) and Drei Widmungen (Kalke). This was followed by Forzando (conductor Piet Verzijde) performing Partita Piccola (Boll), Andersen's Marchen (Feld) and Bretonische Aquarelle (Kneip). The third group was Vita Nova (conductor Piet De Groot) who performed Adios Nonino (Piazzolla), Concerto for piano and accordion orchestra (Brandse) and Danse Gitane (Lochter). Finally all of the accordionists joined together to perform Emotions (Verzijde).


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    On December 10th at 3pm, students of The Middle School Attached to Sichuan Conservatory will present a special performance for handicapped students at the "Chengdu School for Handicapped".

    Ms Guo Xiaozhou (a student of Sichuan Conservatory) will perform some children's music with a special band that includes some of the handicapped students. Ms Xiao Ying, (a mute student of the school and a lover of the accordion) will play in duo with Ms Guo Xiaozhou. The two girls are excited as this is their first performance together.

    Over 400 will be in attendance for this special performance.


    Contributed by Eliane Baumgarten

    On November 8th the Harmonika-Club Inzlingen 55 e.V. (HCI) were invited into the Erstelhalle in Inzlingen to perform. The opening performance of "Schottische Skizzen" of Schneider was followed by a short welcome speech by the President, Josef Karle. The concert then continued with "Henry Mancini in Konzert" (Bui), "Sinfonia in B-Dur" (Bach) and "Fantasio", composed by their former conductor V. Menweg. Finally the HCI presented the haunting tune of "Time To Say Goodbye". After two encores - "Hoch Badnerland" and "A Sentimental Reflection", the curtain was dropped for an interval.

    After the break the popular Hohner-Akkordeon-Orchester 1927 e.V., led by Johannes Baumann, performed works like The Barber of Seville and Variations on a Russian Folksong to a spellbound audience. After five encores the curtain dropped for the Trossingers too, after they were presented the local speciality "Apfelwaie" by Josef Karle. The concert came to an end at 10:30pm.


    Contributed by Toru Katou

    One of Japan's newest monthly magazines "Sanpo no Tatsujin" (or "Skilled Tokyo-Walkers") carried a large photo of an accordionist on its front page. His name is Daikichi Hirakawa and he is pictured with his Tombo piano accordion. Mr Hirakawa is one of the "Nagashi" players (free guitarists and accordionists who wander from pub to pub). The Nagashi's were often seen in Japanese cities in the 1960's, but now they are very rare because of the popularity of Karaoke.

    According to the magazine, when you enjoy singing 2 or 3 old songs at the pub with the accompaniment of a Nagashi, you are supposed to pay 1,000yen (US $8) and give a cup of liquor to him or her.


    Contributed by Toby Hanson

    On Wednesday, December 3rd at 8pm a concert was held at Cornish College that featured a new piece for accordion and chamber ensemble called "Amour, Rire, et Douleur" that was written by Toby Hanson. This piece was inspired by French music of the mid to late 19th century and is specifically influenced by Emile Waldteufel, a popular late 19th Century French composer of concert and ballroom waltzes.

    "Amour, Rire, et Douleur" was performed by the Cornish Millennium Players under the baton of Vincent Plush with Toby Hanson as accordionist and was written this semester while Toby was working with the Millennium Players. Also on the program were new pieces by Bern Herbolsheimer which uses the accordion and Fujio Matayoshi.


    Contributed by Christine Adams

    On Sunday November 22nd, the Hibiscus Coast Orchestra performed their final concert for 1997 at the Northhaven Hospital, Red Beach, New Zealand. The orchestra performed a variety of popular tunes and orchestra members performed solos and Christmas songs for the hospital patients and staff.

    The orchestra held their Christmas prizegiving on Monday December 1st in Red Beach, about 30 minutes north of Auckland.


    Subject: Edmonton Polkafest

    Just a quick note re: the story about the Edmonton Polkafest.

    Edmonton (and Kimberly) are both in CANADA.

    Robert Ingves

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for alerting me to this. I'm terribly embarrassed, because I feel just the same way when people confuse New Zealand with Australia, which happens a lot. I have now made the correction and can ensure this will not happen in the future!!

    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

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