Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
4th June 1999
- Weekly news from around the world-

The Accordions Worldwide team have returned from the Australian International Accordion Competitions in Sydney. We had a great time in Australia and you can read the report in this week’s news.

All of us are also involved this weekend in the New Zealand Accordion Championships and Festival. We have guests from China and Australia attending the event with around 400 entries plus several festival orchestras. The weekend finishes with a great farewell party of dancing and music provided by well known New Zealand accordionists.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

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Celebration Parade - Belgium

Contributed by Carla Maceroni Bosio Big Band

Italian group the "Bosio Big Band" have just returned from a trip to Belgium where they attended the official opening of the Anthony Van Dyck 400 year celebrations. This event included over 1200 musicians. The band performed music from a new show 'Il fischio della papera" ("The duck's whistle") which is a musical tale composed by Ambrogio Sparagna.

On May 15th forty bands (including over 1,000 musicians) paraded for several hours along the banks of the river Schelde. The band (representing Italy) paraded together with the Brazilian Samba school, Caribbean metal drum bands, a group from Nepal, one from Togo and many others. The following day twelve of these bands gave a concert in front of the major city Museum.

The Bosio Big band will present the same show in an open-air theatre in Roman Summer, Villa Glori, Italy from June 16th to the end of July. For further information email:


Conlon Regains Australian International Championship Title

Bernadette ConlonContributed by Christine Adams

The Australian Accordion Teachers Association International Competitions were held from May 28th to 30th in Sydney. On Friday (28th) a concert in honor of John MacDonald included performances by Tania Lukic-Marx (AATA President), The North Shore Accordion Orchestra (New Zealand) conducted by Heather Masefield and Lionel Reekie, Peter Grivic (Australia), Bane Milutinovic (Yugoslavia), ACE (Australian Concert Ensemble), Ross Maio (MIDI accordion), Elizabeth Jones and John MacDonald.

The competition included entrants from Australia, China, and New Zealand. Bernadette Conlon won the Australian International Piano Accordion Solo Championship class, regaining the title she won in 1997.

The event concluded with a testimonial dinner in honor of John MacDonald on Sunday (30th). Entertainment was provided by Maurice Jones and Lionel Reekie, with many other accordionists playing dance music to the enthusiastic diners.

Winners of the Australian International Accordion Solo Competition Classes:

  • Solo Championship: Bernadette Conlon (Australia)
  • 15 years and under: Nicola Herbert (New Zealand)
  • 12 years and under: Kristina Panzic (New Zealand)

Accordion Week Celebrations - Finland

Contributed by Sinikka Jutila

The 14th Toholampi Accordion Week will be held from July 4th to 10th in Toholampi, Finland. Concerts will be held every evening. Masterclasses will be held by teachers including Mie Miki, Matti Rantanen (Sibelius Academy, Finland), Lars Holm (Sweden) & famous Finnish teachers. For further information email:


Summer Jazz Workshop in the Swiss Alps

Contributed by Jean-Claude Pouly

Located in the Bern Alps, the village of Lenk will hold their annual traditional jazz festival combined with a jazz workshop for amateur musicians from July 11th to 18th. Accordionists are welcome to participate in the jazz workshop given by music teacher Joseph Bachmann.

For further information phone : +41 33 733 40 30


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Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival - USA

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center's "Eighteenth Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival" was held from May 11th to 16th in San Antonia. This is believed to be the largest festival of its kind in the world, featuring over 42 hours of live performances and over 30 musical groups playing traditional and popular music. The event included an accordion students recital, games and dancing. Performers included accordionists Flaco Jimenez, Mingo Saldivar and Los Gatos de Japon.


Duo Performances - UK

Contributed by Jan Lucas

The duo of Andy Cutting (accordion) and Chris Wood will tour the UK from June 10th to 30th performing concerts in Wyeside, South Molton, Bracknell, London, Colchester, Cambridge, Goole, Eye and Bristol. Andy is also a member of popular group "The Poozies" who perform regularly in Great Britain. For further information see Future Events


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Master Classes in Portugal

Contributed by Carlos Semedo

From May 13th to 15th, Vladimir Zubitzky held a Master class for teachers and students of conservatories in Portugal, organized by V. Matono (Instituto de musica). Over 45 participants discussed subjects such as "The possibilities of contemporary accordion, repertoire, classical transcription, original music, jazz and Piazzolla music".

On May 16th and 17th Vladimir held a second Master class at the Conservatory of Castel Branco. Fourteen participants aged from 7 to 19 years studied the physical preparations of accordionists, respiration during performing, art of bellows such as bellow shake etc.

Course participants joined Vladimir in a concert at the Museum of Francisco Tavares in Portugal which was dedicated to the "International Day of Museums". Over 120 people attended the concert which included music from a variety of styles and genres, from Bach and Tchaikovsky to country and jazz. Works included an orchestral performance of "Oblivion" (Piazzolla) arranged and conducted by Zubitsky.


Peter Soave appointed to Wayne State Faculty - USA

Peter SoaveContributed by Kevin Friedrich

Former World Champion accordionist/bandoneon player Peter Soave has just been appointed Director of Bandoneon studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan beginning this school year. This enables any concert minded accordionist, bayanist, or bandoneonist the opportunity to obtain a performance degree in any of those instruments.

Peter recently completed successful concert appearances with the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and the Florida Philharmonic. Their program included numerous Argentine tangos by Gardel, Cobain, and of course Astor Piazzolla.


St Petersburg Musette Ensemble Radio Broadcasts - Russia

Recently the St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble has been featured on radio stations in St. Petersburg almost every week. Large numbers of St. Petersburg listeners have been able to hear compositions played by the ensemble in prime time morning and evening broadcasts.

On May 7th a 1 hour live radio program "Russian Radio Nostalgie" included performances by the ensemble and soloists Vladimir Ushakov and Serguei Likhachev answered questions about the history of the ensemble, their concert tours and future plans. Their program included compositions from the ensemble CD such as "Boulevards of Paris" and "La Plaza de Granada".


Accordion Exam Demonstration Video Recorded - China

Contributed by Li Cong

In order to assist students sitting national accordion examinations in China the Beijing Teenager Sound Publishing Company recorded "The Album of Exam Music of Accordion" video.

These three video tapes include 115 pieces of music and demonstrations by Yang Yi, former champion of the China Professional Accordion Competition, well known entertainer and member of the Chinese Exam Board.

More further information phone: + 86-10-65389282


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Gypsy Music - Switzerland

Contributed by Marc Hänsenberger

Swiss group "Musique Simili" (consisting of accordion, violin, piano, doublebass, percussion and vocals) will perform a concert on June 10th in Buchmann-Druck, Zürich. The group play a mix of gypsy music, music from the south of France called "musique occitane" and their own compositions including "Accordéon" (Serge Gainsbourg), "Goia Puri Weliona", "Tuw Tuw", "Fatima" and "Pelhas Romana".

Following this the group will perform at the Kleinkunst-Festival in Germany on July 25th. For further information email:


Spanish Accordionist Performs in London - England

Contributed by Raquel Ruiz

On June 1st Spanish accordionist Angel Luis Castaño performed a concert at the Institut Cervantes in London. His program included works by Ligeti, Soler, Laborda, Olavide, Igoa and Piazzolla.


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21st Annual Button Box Jamboree - USA

Contributed by Frank Vidergar

The 21st Annual Button Box Jamboree was held from May 28th to 30th in Fontana, California. The event ran from 12 midday to 12 midnight each day and included competitions, concerts and dancing on two dance floors.

Accordionists were invited to perform throughout the weekend.


Celebrity Interviews

Massimo PiginiThe Celebrity Interview with Massimo Pigini (Manager of the Pigini Accordion Factory) will be published on 15 June. Please send your questions for this interview to Wallace Liggett by June 9th.


Arts Festival - Scotland

On June 6th "Burach" (including accordionist Sandy Brechin) will play in the "Riverside" Nightclub, Newton Stewart, Scotland as part of the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival. The festival will include events all around the Dumfries and Galloway area. Burach will perform their usual driving brand of Celtic powerhouse pop to a capacity audience.


Accordion Night in Montreal - Canada

Contributed by Mario Bruneau

On May 23rd the Accordion Night "Le Grand Bal de L'Accordéon" was held at the Lion d'Or in Montreal, Quebec organised by Didier Dumoutier. This successful event included over 400 accordion enthusiasts enjoying performances by a number of performers including the duo "Dumoutier-Covan" playing "Spain" (Chick Corea) and "Libertango" (Piazzolla) and the duo "Dumoutier-Bruneau" playing "Le carrefour de la voix des anges" (composed by Mario Bruneau for last year's Le Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon of Montmagny, held in Quebec).

The audience, who were welcomed with a glass of "cidre mousseux", danced and sang French chansonnette and musette songs. The event was so successful that it is hoped it will become a tradition every spring in Montreal.


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7th International Accordion Week - Germany

Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

The 7th International Accordion Week will take place at the Academy for Musical Cultural Education in Ottweiler, Saarland from July 26th to August 1st. Teachers will be Professor Hugo Noth (Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen), Stefan Hussong (Conservatory of Würzburg), Prof. Mie Miki (Folkwang Hochschule Essen, Abteilung Duisburg), Eugen Tschanun (Musikschule Sulzbach-Fischbachtal) and Stian Carstensen (jazz musician from Norway).

Courses will be held on contemporary accordion literature, transcriptions for accordion solo and chamber music, stylistic questions and modern techniques of playing as well as new theories dealing with education in groups (pedagogics of Suzuki and Montessori, open learning, etc). A jazz workshop will also be held. The event finale will include an "Accordion-Night" concert with performances by the teachers.

For further information please contact:


"Città di Latina" National Competition - Italy

The "Città di Latina" National Competition was held on May 16th in Latina. The event, organised by Roberto Rogato, featured students on a variety of musical instruments (classical accordion, variety accordion, vocals, modern keyboards and drums). The jury of the accordion section included Paolo Picchio, Cesare Chiacchiaretta, Gianluca Pica and Renzo Ruggieri.


  • cat. A - Jacopo Sabbatinelli
  • cat. B - Emanuela Lombardozzi
  • cat. E - Cristian Giorgi / Daniele Ingiosi
  • cat. F - Antonio Mancini
  • cat. H - Moreno Straccialini
  • cat. I - Danilo Ciccolone
  • cat. O - Duo Guercio

These winners took part in a gala concert for an audience that cheered them enthusiastically.


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Gypsy Strings in Washington - USA

"Gypsy Strings" performed a successful concert at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage in Washington D.C. on May 27th. Gypsy Strings members Zoltan Racz (accordion), Bruno Nasta (violin), Jon Nazdin (bass) and Vladimir Fridman (guitar) play a mix of swing and "Big Band" music, selections from Broadway and the Beatles, as well as music from Eastern and Western Europe, North and South America and the Middle East.


D'Acht Ensemble CD Release - Netherlands

Contributed by J. van Schuppen

The D'Acht ensemble recently released their first CD "GeD'Achten". The CD includes compositions by Dutch composers such as Ad Wammes, Wim de Ruiter and Bernard van Beurden as well as the Ballet Tango (Piazzolla) and a new composition called "Hunter" which was especially written for this CD. The ensemble is made up of nine players.

For further information email:


Annual Workshop and Concert Day - Belgium

On April 24th over 60 amateur accordionists were ready on the podium to form AFPA's "Eendagsorkest" - a "one day orchestra". The "Eendagsorkest" is an annual event, which includes a one day workshop concluding with a concert, organized by the federation of accordion groups in the province of Antwerp.

The musicians studied seven pieces of music throughout the day. Three conductors were in charge of training the participants (from 10 different accordion clubs) for the final concert. Tutors were Josef Aerts, Josephina De Herdt and August Vingerhoets.

Then followed a special reception to celebrate the 20th birthday of the Accordion Federation AFPA. The concert began with a guest performance by the accordion group from Beerse "De Vrije Kunst", then the orchestra performed "Tango Sostara" (E. Van Laethem), "The Zoo Ball" (Keith Strachan) and "Sabeldans" (Kachaturian) and other selections.

Jean Rousseau, Chairman of VerVAF (Federation of Provincial Accordion Federations), praised the AFPA for this successful workshop and concert.


Help required for Concertina Band Weekend - UK

Contributed by Jenny Cox

Jenny and Peter Cox are currently organising the Concertina Band Weekend 2000 and need a suitable residential venue in the central England area. In the past, they have organised four special concertina band weekends at Witney. This time they would like to maximise playing time by going residential and also have a bit more time to socialise.

They need a venue from Friday evening January 28th to Sunday afternoon January 30th 2000.

If you can help please email:


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Concert for the Children of Kosovo - Italy

Emanuele RastelliContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Emanuele Rastelli played recently to a large and enthusiastic audience during a benefit concert for the children of Kosovo. The event was held at the Circolo Arci "Estense" in San Marino, Reggio Emilia (Italy).

Apple Blossom Performance - USA

The Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra played concerts at the Apple Blossom Festival in Bolling Green, and the Washington Playhouse in Virginia recently. Orchestra member Jim Vandelly (accordion) gave a solo performance of Variations on a Ukrainian Theme.

On May 22nd the orchestra held their annual concert in Fairfax, Virginia with guest conductor Vladimir Marunich of Kiev, Ukraine. Vladimir also performed a concerto on the bayan. The orchestra played several of his original music compositions at the event.


Beijing Accordion Newspaper - China

Contributed by Li Cong

The 4th Beijing Accordion Newspaper was issued in Beijing recently. The newspaper was set up in August 1996 and reports accordion activities in China.

The latest issue includes a report on the Beijing Cup Accordion Competition which was held in February this year, recent developments in accordion instruments, information on the 4th Beijing Accordion Summer Camp, the Accordions Worldwide Chinese language internet site and accordion thesis details.

For more information phone Xu Zhi Jie: + 86 10-68464485


Sylvia Pagni in Concert in Fermo - Italy

Sylvia PagniContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

On June 4th accordionist Sylvia Pagni, Peppino Principe and Euro Teodori performed a concert entitled "Accordion Story" in the Citizens Hall in Fermo, near Ascoli Piceno.

Sylvia recently released a new CD, "Myths". The album features her renditions of well-known pieces by Art Van Damme, Ernesto Lecuona, Gershwin, P. Principe, P. Deiro and C. Magnante, as well as some of her own compositions.

For further information email:


Russian Accordionist passes Away

Contributed by Viacheslav Semionov.

On May 24th after a long illness, Alexander Timoshenko (Professor at the Voronezh Institute of Culture) passed away. Alexander Timoshenko was born on February 23rd, 1942 in Khbarovsk. He graduated from the Gnessin Musical Academy as an accordion performer, teacher, composer and conductor. He taught at the Voronezh Institute of Culture and among his pedagogical achievements is the Lipezk Bayan Trio (laureat of All-Russian Performers Competition).

Alexander Timoshenko is well-known in Russia as an author of a series of popular concert works for bayan solo and bayan together with orchestra.


Antique Accordion Information

Dee Dee Alexander was given an old child's accordion with the brand name "Pinocchio" made in Italy. If you can help with some information on this instrument please email:


New Sites Information on accordionist Michael Ganian including CD releases information on the Frank Mucedola Sextette including details of their recordings Site on Monarch Accordions updated to include new stock available


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