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News from 6th December 1996

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Contributed by Malcolm Gee, Editor of "The Accordion News"

This year's event at Caister (near Great Yarmouth, on the east coast) was yet another overwhelming success. The undisputed stars were The St Petersburg Musette Ensemble with Vladimir Ouchakov (piano accordion), Serguei Likhatchev (chromatic accordion), Vladimir Kourganov (bass guitar) and Victor Chafranov (percussion). The Accordion Orchestra of Flandres were the visiting artists from France, and Britain's own Colchester Accordion Showband, just home from their tour of USA, also starred at the Gala Concert.

Workshops and lectures fill the daytime at this major annual festival and there was Scottish, Ballroom and Line dancing in abundance to the accordion music of the Gary Blair Scottish Accordion Band and The Ron Hawkins Trio.

This annual event is organised by The Accordion News, and already everything is virtually prepared for next years festival (including overseas guest artists) which will be held from 13th to 16th November. Regular updated information will continue to appear in the pages of the Accordion News.


Contributed by Gary Blair, Scotland

Between 14th and 17th November, the Autumn Accordion Festival was held at the Caister Holiday Centre, in Caister, Great Yarmouth, England. This International Accordion Festival has been running for quite a number of years now. The Guest artists were as follows:

  • The St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble ( Russia)
  • Gary Blair (Scotland)
  • Club De L'Accordeon Orchestra De Flanders (France)
  • The Ron Hawkins Quartet (England)
  • The Thames Valley Accordion Band (England)
  • The Colchester Accordion Show Band ( England)
  • Kenny Hopkins (Northern Ireland)
This festival had everything, from an accordion auction, trade stands, accordion mart, vintage accordion displays, workshops to concerts, sing-alongs, dancing and general fun. What makes this festival so good is the fact that everyone is so friendly. I have never made so many friends in such a short time.

The stars of the show were undoubtedly ''The St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble'' who had a brilliant, variety of tunes at their disposal and their standard of musicianship had to be seen to be believed!!


Contributed by Andrei Ledenoev (Dean of the Accordion and Bayan Dept at Moscow Music College) & Tatiana Lanchtchikova

Sergei Voitenko is one of the best developing bayanists of Russia with brilliant technique and musicianship. This year, at 23 years of age, he completed training with his teacher Alla Kats at the Samara Music-Teacher Institute, Russia. He won the All-Union Accordion Competition in 1994 (held in Voronezh, Russia) and many other International Accordion Competitions, including the 1993 Klingenthal International Competition, 1995 Grand Prix in Spain and the 1995 International Award "Astor Piazzolla" in Castelfidardo, Italy.

On 29th November Voitenko performed a very successful recital which was held in the Concert Hall of Moscow Music College. His programme included classical and Russian compositions like "Pastoral" (Frank), "Sonata" (Scarlatti), "Hungarian Dance No 5" (Brahms), "Karpatskaya Suite" (Zubitsky), "Fantasy 8/4" (Ganter), Two Transcriptions on the Themes of Dunaevsky: "Vara" and "Granada" (Na Youn Kin) and Russian folk song "U Vorot, Vorot" (arr Timoshenko).

The Concert Hall was full, and all who were there marvelled at the talent of this young musician, who showed an exceptionally high level of technique, musicianship and understanding of the music he was playing. He is now one of the best young Russian bayanists with every chance to further his career as a professional bayanist. Now Voitenko is doing a post-graduating programme in Samara Music-Teacher Institute and he has busy concert schedule ahead of him.


Contributed by Henry Doktorski

American Accordionist Henry Doktorski will be recording with violinist Itzhak Perlman and the Pittsburgh Symphony at Heinz Hall on 8th & 9th December, with composer John Williams conducting. John Williams, the composer of many great movie themes, such as Star Wars, Superman and Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the resident conductor for the Boston Pops Orchestra. He comes to Pittsburgh usually once each year to conduct the PSO.

This year he will be recording an album of movie music. Two of the pieces on the program include accordion: 'Scent of a Woman' and 'Il Postino', (William Schimmel performed on both the movie soundtracks). Doktorski has performed with the PSO several times during the last year, on accordion for "Music for Violoncello and Orchestra" by Lorin Maazel which featured cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.


Contributed by Rennie Guenther

Wurstfest celebrated Myron Floren's birthday on 3rd November in the Grosse Zelt (Big Tent) at Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Texas. There were 50 to 60 accordionists who played in a band to celebrate the occasion, which has now become an annual celebration that the festival gives Myron every year.

Next years festival will begin on 31st October, with Myron's birthday celebrations on the 2nd November. To receive free passes to come and play your accordion with Myron Floren next year, call 1-800-221-4369 for more information.

Myron Floren will also be performing for the Winter Texans down in Heildalgo, Texas, 7th-9th March 1997. He will be backed by Rennie Guenther's Village Band (The Happy Travelers).


Contributed by Zinaida Aloeshina & Tatiana Lanchtchikova

On 30th November at the Palace of Youth, Ekaterinburg, Ural, a concert took place in honour of Leonid Bolkovski's 60th birthday. Forty years ago, he was a founder and the first conductor of the accordion orchestra "Bayanists of Ekaterinburg", which under his direction has participated in many Russian and International competitions and festivals, as well as performing many concerts in Russia and touring internationally to Greece, Italy, China and Germany.

The evening concert programme included various styles, from Russian folk music through to popular melodies written by contemporary composers. Most of the music was arranged by Leonid Bolkovski. Included were "Ural Wreath" (Rodigin/Bolkovski), "Russian Wreath" (Zainchukovski) "Angels Block Overture" (Teodorakis), "Russian Funnies Suite" (Bibergan), "Kankan" (Offenbach), "Braszilian Carnaval" (Abreu).

Zinaida Aloeshina, runner-up at the 1969 International Klingental Competition, Germany, and currently a Professor at the Ural State Conservatory of Music, performed "Rossyipukha" and " Gypsy Dance" by Gridin with the "Bayanists of Ekaterinburg" orchestra.


Contributed by Wayne Knights

The Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra, recently returned from their very successful 9th International Goodwill Concert Tour of Europe, will present three concerts around Auckland this coming weekend. The orchestra will present a variety musical programme, hence the name "Music For All". Supporting artists will include other North Shore Accordion Orchestras, the West Auckland Senior Accordion Orchestra and the Pakuranga Accordionaires.

On Saturday 7th at 7.00pm they will be at the St Michaels and All Angels Church, Henderson, Sunday 8th at 2.00pm at the new Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, and then at 7.00pm at Pakuranga Community Centre in Pakuranga. Admission is by donation. For further information phone Fay-ellen Schaw on +64 9-4109183


Contributed by Tom Collins, Montana, USA

At the recent November meeting of the Chicago Accordion Club, new officers were elected for the 1997/98 term. John Simkus was elected to another term as President, Jimmy Dee as Vice-President, Rolf Agner as the Secretary and Bill Reda was elected as the new Treasurer.

Special praise and gratitude were expressed to all members and guests for the tremendous attendance at the concert by Frederich Lips and Stas Venglevski, both famous Russian bayan performers. In spite of some inclement weather there was a record crowd which attended to see a wonderful display of talent.


Contributed by Wu Jie

On Thursday 6th February at 9:30am, a Chinese New Years Day Get-Together will be held in the Assembly Hall at the Chinese Air Force in Beijing. It will be a get-together of soldiers and civilians, and will be held by the PLA Song and Dance Ensemble. Accordionist Mr Zhang Tianyu will play accordion light music with a band. His programme will include "Spring" (Romanian dance music) and "Cochusa" (Russian local music)


Contributed by Tom Collins, Montana, USA

Al Monti, who lives in Tempe, Arizona has started a new accordion club in Pheonix, because he realised there wasn't an accordion club in his area. Al said "No problem, we will start one". Anyone who is interested can contact Al at: Arizona Accordion Club, c/- Ziggies Music, 3309 N. Third Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85012


Contributed by Tom Collins, Montana, USA

The 10th Anniversary concert for "Friends Of The Accordion" (FOTA) has been produced in cassette form and released with the title "The Global Accordion". It features music of Argentina, Russia, Peru, Slovakia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Romania, and American Jazz. Cassettes are 55 minutes in length and are available from ACCO-Music Publishing, PO Box 11120, Glendale, California 91206, Fax +1 213-5501060. Prices are $12.50 (in USA) or $15.50 US funds (overseas).


Contributed by Wu Jie

The committee of the Amateur Accordion Certificate Examination of China (AACEC) are in the process of changing the format of the Accordion Examinations in China. They have added a new higher level of grading and added some new and exciting pieces. They will be released within the next few weeks.


Contributed by Wu Jie

From 26th November to 2nd December, Mr. Yue Wei, Vice President of Chongqing Art College, visited some accordion organisations of other cities in China, including the Shanghai Accordion Association, Zhuhai Accordion Association and the Guangzhou Accordion Association. Mr Yue Wei and delegates of these organisations held workshops on teaching the accordion, and exchanged their experiences and ideas.


Contributed by Wu Jie

On 27th November, Mr. Wu Shouzhi, President of Chinese Accordion Society, received an invitation of the 4th International Musical Festival "Baltica-Harmonika" of Russia. This festival is organised by the committee of the festival, and will be held in the St Petersburg Conservatory from 26th April to 3rd May 1997. The President and the directors of Chinese Accordion Society are determined to send some students to participate in this festival, and will announce the Chinese participants shortly.


Contributed by George David Exoo

Accordionist Henry Doktorski presents "A Classical Christmas", with the Pittsburgh Chamber Orchestra and Huei-Sheng Kao (Violin) and Gretchen Van Hoesen (Harp).

Each piece exhibits a high degree of originality, cleverness and solid musical craft. Of the arrangements of familiar carols, "Jingle Bells" is particularly striking. Other arrangements will live in memory like the jazzy "Carol of the Bells". Doktorski's transcription of the Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria" evokes angelic feelings with a very expressive solo violin beautifully played by Huei-Sheng Kao. Most intriguing for listeners will be the album's inclusion of four Polish carols arranged for accordion and string quartet. Doktorski wrote this suite in tribute to his Polish heritage and as a Christmas gift to his parents.

A full review and sales of "A Classical Christmas" are available directly from Henry Doktorski, PO Box 95, Allison Park, PA 15101 USA. email:

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