Accordions Worldwide The Squeeze

27th February 1998
- Weekly Accordion News from around the world -

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Editors note:

The orchestra I am the Musical Director of, gets back into rehearsals this week in preparation for the 1998 New Zealand Championships in the last weekend of May. We will be there defending our title of New Zealand Champions! Competitions are an exciting time for accordionists, and it's interesting to see how they affect the competitors in different ways. For a really great article on accordion competitions, read Chiz Bishop's article from the 1950 World Accordion Review!

Wayne Knights

This weeks news:

South African Accordionist to Musikmesse
Thames Accordion Festival - England
Accordion Concert in Montebelluna - Italy
Orchestra Performs in Winterthur
Famous Artists in International Accordion Seminar - Norway
Theatre Opening Features Accordionist - New Zealand
Trophée Mondial National Qualifying Rounds - France
Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration - USA
"Meishi-Jianyi" Cup International Accordion Championship - China
Accordion King Celebrates 90th Birthday - UK
CD Release Full of Surprises - France
Owen Murray Plays Injured - Scotland
Music Fair at Porte de Versailles, France
International Accordion Festival - England
Concert in Utrecht, Holland
Franco Donatoni Accordion Premiere - Italy
Accordion in Cartoon Magazine - Japan


Contributed by Jenny Rauner

South African accordionist Jenny Rauner has been actively teaching the accordion for 40 years, as well as performing at gigs. She also owns "Specialised Music Distributors" which is the largest supplier of accordion music in South Africa. Jenny is currently planning a trip to attend the upcoming Frankfurt Musikmesse.


Contributed by Gary Blair

The Thames Accordion Festival was held on Saturday February 21st in the ''All Saints Parish Hall'', Harrow, England. Organised by Mr Raymond Bodell, the festival began at 9.30am and finished at 7.45pm with a prizegiving ceremony compered by Mr Cyril Pasby ABCA(TD) LBCA.

There were approximately 100 entries ranging in age from 7 to 17 years of age, including sections such as Entertainer, Late Starters, Traditional Scottish, Musette, Duets, Polkas and orchestras. Gary Blair was an adjudicator and the guest performer at the Saturday evening Ceilidh Dance.

This competition was the Thames Area qualifying heat for the UK Championships due to be held from May 1st to 3rd at Scarborough, England. Gary Blair will also be adjudicating and performing at the Saturday night gala evening.


Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On Sunday February 22nd at 5:30 pm the ATMA duo (Patrizia Angeloni on accordion and Maria Laura Deoponte on flute) held a concert in Montebelluna, Italy. The programme consisted of contemporary pieces including Tsunamis, Sonarc, La Follia, Sette Duo and Oblivion.

Patrizia Angeloni studied the accordion with Salvatore di Gesualdo, graduating from the "G. Rossini" Conservatory in Pesaro. She obtained remarkable results in both national and international competitions from an early age and is an acclaimed solo concert performer and as part of chamber music ensembles.


Contributed by Martin Frey

On February 18th at 8pm an accordion concert was held by students of the conservatory in Wintherthur, Switzerland which was organised by Professor Mrs Yolanda Schibli. The conservatory orchestra (conducted by Mr Beat Blättler) performed a varied program including Pastorale - Variations, Irische Suite, Hotze Jelsma Fjouwer Bylden, Suite a colori, and Chappell - Evergreens.

The enthusiastic audience in the full house enjoyed conductor, Beat Blättler's great personality and showed their appreciation with much applause.


Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

The Third International Accordion and Folkmusic Seminar of Norway was held at the Documentation Center and Academy for Music Instruments in Moss from February 8th to 12th. Jon Faukstad, Professor at the Musikhochschule in Oslo, was the artistic director of the event which consisted of lectures concerning construction, repairing and tuning of instruments, accordion literature, instruments and folkmusic in Lithuania and Litva, concerts and an instrument exhibition.

Friedrich Lips lectured on the art of transcriptions in classical music. One of the highlights was the lecture by Sofia Gubaidulina and Friedrich Lips regarding the cooperation between composer and artist when creating a new work. Matti Rantanen (Finland), Joseph Macerollo (Canada), Friedrich Lips (Russia), Jon Faukstad (Norway) gave master-classes for students from 8 different countries. Evening concerts were presented by Lena Rist Larsen, Friedrich Lips, Joseph Macerollo, Matti Rantanen and Reijo Ahonen.


Contributed by Alan Norman

In Wellington, New Zealand recently, the opening of the Te Papa theatre featured accordionist Alan Norman performing the song "Big Sky" with Nick Brown (violin). After this performance, Norman traveled to Christchurch where his group performed at the Christchurch Arts Centre for the Festival of Romance to an audience of 300. They played mainly songs from their new CD "Magnetic South", which is scheduled for release in early April. Group members are Alan Norman (accordion and piano), Barry Saunders (singer/songwriter) and Caroline Easther (percussion and backing vocals).


Contributed by Frederic Deschamps

Trophée Mondial Qualifying rounds will take place on Monday June 15th in the "Salle Rossini", Mairie du 9ème, 6 rue Drouot, 75009 Paris, France. Qualifying rounds are open to the public at no charge.

Classical categories:
Junior (under 18 yrs) - 15 minute maximum program
Senior (under 30 yrs) - 20 minute maximum program

Both must include 1 Scarlatti sonata followed by an own choice programme which must be varied and include at least one original piece for the accordion.

Variety category:
Under 30 years old, 15 minutes maximum program of own choice music

The finals of the Trophee Mondial D'accordeon will take place from September 30th to October 5th in Smedorovo, Yugoslavia. For further information contact: Christophe Rebours, Conservatoire du IXème Arrondissement de Paris Phone: + 33 1 48 74 69 04 or Frédéric Deschamps email:


Contributed by Geoff Levear

The 5th annual Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration will be held from August 6th to 9th in Leavenworth, Washington, USA. The accordion celebration includes competitions and concerts for the accordion. Leavenworth is a small Bavarian style town, 2 1/2 hours drive from Seattle, in the heart of the Cascade mountains.

For further information contact Anne Koenig, PO Box 327, Leavenworth WA 98826 USA or email:


Contributed by Wu Jie

The first "Meishi-Jianyi" Cup International Accordion Championship will be held in Chengdu, China next year sponsored by Mr Ma Jianyi, President of ABB Meishi Power Group. Ma Jianyi will donate 120,000 Yuan to the Championship Committee. Winners will be presented with gold trophies at a value of over 6,000 Yuan each. The winner will also receive 200,000 Gold VCD's (Video Compact Discs) of their program.

After the International Championship, Ma Jianyi plans to set up a scholarship fund for accordion students.


The Scottish Daily Record featured an article on Jimmy Shand, the father of Scottish accordion music, on his 90th birthday. His son, Jimmy Shand Jnr, had arranged for friends and fans from around the world to come along to a celebration party. Speaking from his Auchtermuchty home the previous day, Jimmy said: "I am very pleased to have made it to 90. I haven't been keeping well for years now and it has been quite an achievement for me."

BBC 1 featured a special birthday tribute the same day which included Jimmie Macgregor, Bill McCue and Robbie Shepherd, all contributing their musical memories. There were many funny stories about Jimmy's legendary taciturnity including "When he played for the Queen at her Silver Jubilee, the dancers finished first, causing HRH to remark that they'd won the race. Jimmy's reply? "I played whit I wis telt." (I played what I was told)!


Contributed by Frédéric Deschamps

Members of the Rouffach Accordion Orchestra (1938), meet weekly, directed by Pascal Remtschek (APH teacher in Haut-Rhin). The orchestra's first CD release which aims to prove that the accordion is not reserved for "popular" music, involves all members of the club to motivate young musicians. The CD is original and eclectic, with remarkably precise interpretation and a liveliness brilliantly supported by Jérôme Lehmann and Jean-François Rieflé on percussion.

Included on the CD are original works for accordion such as Slavonska Rhapsodija (A. Götz), Irish Rhapsody (I. Black), Memory (from the musical Cats), medley of songs from Piaf, concert for two accordions (C. Mahr), Rock and Roll Baby, a transcription of Symphony K.V 201 (W.A. Mozart) and Music by John Miles, arranged by Hans-Günter Kölz.


The Herald, UK recently featured an article on Owen Murray's accordion performance at Hutchesons' Hall, Glasgow. Owen Murray is recognised as the leading figure in establishing the accordion as a legitimate classical instrument in the UK, both through his virtuoso performances and in his unique teaching position at the Royal Academy of Music.

A heavily bandaged left hand necessitated by an elbow injury led him to change his scheduled programme, omitting Bach and Mozart in favour of two brief sonatas by Scarlatti, and a suite of miniatures from Russia which had a distinct folk flavour. Murray's command of the accordion was consistently impressive.

He gave the same recital at Jordanhill Campus the next day, followed by a public workshop and demonstration.


Contributed by Frédéric Deschamps

A Music Fair will be held at Porte de Versailles, France on Friday April 23rd. The accordion will be featured at a Hohner stand with musicians in attendance from 1pm including Jacques Bolognesi and Francis Varis. They will introduce their newest 2 albums, with a team of young musicians such as Alexandre Léauthaud, Vincent Peirani, Frédéric Baldo, Arnaud Guimard and Marielle Roy. Thierry Shvan (from the group Pigalle) and Viviane Arnoux (MAM Trio and Michel Fugain) will also be present.

Frédéric Deschamps will introduce the new standard and chromatic bass models from Hohner, along with "Accordions Worldwide", the largest accordion Internet site in the world. All these artists will be available to answer questions and sign posters and CD's.


Contributed by Gary Blair

The International Accordion festival will take place from March 26th to 30th at the Pontin's Holiday Club, Pontins, Lytham St. Annes, Blackpool, England. This event is organised by Tom Duncan, editor of the Accordion Profile Magazine.

Guest performers include:
  • Barbara Ann Martindale (Canada)
  • The Alexander Brothers (Scotland)
  • Alexander Korbakov (Russia)
  • Gary Blair Ceilidh Band (Scotland)
  • Roberto Enzo (Italy)
  • George Gajic (Yugoslavia)
  • David Farmer (Scotland, Coupe Mondiale runner-up)
  • Johnny Lee Leslie (UK Junior Champion)
  • Steve Roxton (Jersey)
  • Ken Hartley (England)
  • Johnny Duncan (England)

There will be workshops for orchestras, beginners, buskers, Scottish Dance Music and Jazz as well as an accordion auction and Trade stands. Gary Blair will be playing for Scottish Ceilidh dancing every evening. For further information contact Tom Duncan phone: + 44 1253-852648


Contributed by Eddy de Goede

Two concerts that were recently held for accordion and keyboard on February 17th and 19th in The Center for Arts, Utrecht, Holland were a great success.

The February 17th concert included 25 children performing to an enthusiastic audience of 100 parents and relatives who encouraged them with very loud applause. Highlights included an accordion duo who performed a special arrangement of Hungarian music.

The February 19th concert was more serious with 22 children performing to an audience of 80. Highlights include a quartet performing an arrangement for accordion and computer and a 14 year old boy who performed a slow blues piece.

There are plans to hold these concerts again in 1999. For further information email:


Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On February 20th and 21st, at the Pecci Museum for contemporary arts of Prato, Italy, Claudio Jacomucci presented a work dedicated to him by the famous Italian composer Franco Donatoni. In the suggestive visual installation of the artist Lucia Romualdi "Pas a Deux", Antonio Ballista performed "Black & White", (by Donatoni) followed by the premiere of Feria IV, a virtuoso accordion solo. The collaboration between Claudio Jacomucci and Franco Donatoni is not new. Feria III (for organ) that was adapted and played by the Acco Land duo, showed the versatility of the accordion. For further information email: or


Contributed by Toru Katou

A weekly cartoon magazine in Japan "Big Comic Spirits" this week included an unusual illustration in which a diatonic concertina with three row buttons was played by a man whose head was a tomato and who was sitting on top of a chimney below shining stars!

Email of the week

Subject: Accordion in Poland

Thank you for your email, it was a nice to hear from you. What a great idea and wonderful site you have, congratulations! My band plays every Friday in Warsaw's Old City Irish Pub, if you are ever in Warsaw, you are very welcome.

Jaroslaw Grodowski

Thanks Jaroslaw for your kind email. We look forward to hearing more about your accordion performances in the near future. Of course, if I am ever there I will certainly come to see you. Also, if you are ever in New Zealand, please let me know before you arrive!

Wayne Knights

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