Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
5th May 2000
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Strasser Harmonikas

Congratulations to Christine Stiller of Germany, winner of a Silvio De Pra CD. Keep sending in your Articles and be in to win another CD.

In this week's news, there is an announcement about the International Piano Accordion Competition to be held at the Coupe Mondiale in London, October 2001. It is excellent to see the rising number of international competitions for piano accordion and other types of bellows instruments; the concertina has an international competition held by the Austrian Accordion Association every two years.

This trend of recognizing the differences in instruments with appropriate competition classes, as well as to recognize different types of music requires different skills (such as the Virtuoso Entertainment type classes) is a positive development by international accordion competitions in recent years. It is good to see international competition organizers making such efforts to include players of more types of our loved bellows instruments - their efforts are to be applauded. Now we will see if these events are supported by good numbers of contestants.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

USA National Accordion News
Music with a Smile Productions
Accordion Championships and Millennium Celebrations - England

Contributed by Raymond Bodell

Nearly 400 entrants participated in the National Accordion Organisation (NAO) Accordion Championships and Millennium Celebrations in Scarborough from April 28th to 30th. Jury members included Dr Djorge Gajic (Yugoslavia), who also gave master classes, Ivan Black (Northern Ireland), Raymond Bodell (CIA Vice President), Gina Branelli, Gary Blair, Angelina Brittain, Raymond Jones & Alistair Gillespie as well as numerous notable members from the world of music (including brass bandsman Derek Broadbent). Derek has offered to compose a new work for Advanced Orchestra to be premiered at the Coupe Mondiale (London) in 2001.

The opening night featured host Gina Branelli introducing performances by Nina Suscenko (Ukraine), Romany Rye, Larysa Bodell & Stefan Andrusyschyn, Andy Anderson, Belinda Treble, Andrew Figg & Harry Hussey. A "Gala" was held the following night featuring Gary Blair and his band and the Keith Dickson Accordion Showband.

Thirty-seven orchestras competed, with The St Johns Dumcree Orchestra gaining the high mark of 96. They were selected to represent the NAO and the accordion at the British Federation of Festivals Millennium celebrations to be held in November.

Winners were: Lyndsey Ann Allan (Virtuoso), Johnny Lee Leslie (Senior Recital) and Sarah Curry (Junior Recital).

The event also included the AGM (Annual General Meeting) of the NAO, where the new Executive committee was elected with Raymond Bodell returning to the post of Chairman.

AAPA New President - Puerto Rico

Contributed by Jane Berkovitz

The Association of Accordionists of Puerto Rico (AAPR) held their annual meeting recently. President Esther Eugenia Bertieaux opened with a review of the purpose of the non-profit organization (established in 1995). They were to promote study, familiarize Puerto Rican youths with an instrumental alternative, to develop musical ability and provide them with healthy entertainment. The association also wants to give the public the opportunity to know and enjoy the variety of music that this versatile instrument delivers.

Newly elected president, Rosa Flores, reviewed the events of the past year and plans for the future. The highlight of the past season was a tour of Italy where the orchestra gave concerts in Rome, Parma, Castelfidardo, Florence and Verona. Their aim for the future is to hold an international accordion fiesta in Puerto Rico!

After the business meeting the children's orchestra entertained, giving members great hope for the future of the accordion and the AAPR!!

Strasser Harmonikas
Vestegnens Harmonikaklub "Matiné 2000" - Denmark

VestegnensOn April 16th the Vestegnens Harmonikaklub held their "Matiné 2000" event in Glostrup, Copenhagen. Over 130 people attended the Matiné, which was dedicated to the club's end of season and the 60th anniversary of Danish Queen Margrethe, which was celebrated throughout Denmark.

Vladimir UshakovPerformances were given by groups "Five from Taastrup", "Monikaerne", "Addi's gruppe" and "Nodeknækkerne". Special guest Vladimir Ushakov (soloist with the St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble in Russia), performed his own medley of well-known traditional Danish tunes as well as compositions by Piazzolla, Pizzigoni and Vossen. Vladimir also announced a future performance by the St. Petersburg Musette Ensemble during their tour of Denmark in May.

2001 International Piano Accordion Competition - England

First Prize, Concert Tour to Australia and New Zealand.

The 2001 International Piano Accordion Competition (to be held at the time of the Coupe Mondiale, London, October 2001) rules are as follows:

There is no limit of numbers of candidates from each country. Candidates up to 32 years of age are allowed to enter the competition. (Year of birth: born in 1969 or later) Entries Close: 15 August, 2001

Required Program:

  • Own choice program consisting of at least three pieces of different styles and character and composer.
  • Competitors must present themselves as artists to an audience; presentation, dress and stage-craft all being important.
  • Playing time: 15 minutes minimum and 20 minutes maximum

Prizes and Awards:

  • International Concert Tour. All travel and accommodation expenses from anywhere in the world to perform as Guest Artist at the South Pacific Accordion Championships in Auckland, New Zealand and at the Australian International Accordion Championships in Sydney, May 2002. Other sponsored concerts to be announced.
  • All candidates shall receive a Diploma of participation.
  • National member associations are requested to offer concerts or a tour for the 1st Prize Winners.
  • All winners must be present in person at the awards ceremony. In case of absence, their prize may be accepted by a delegate of their country.
  • The diploma can only be mailed by the CIA Secretary General.
USA National Accordion News
Accordionist Passes Away Tragically - Czech Republic

Michael GanianContributed by Vahan Harutyunyan

Well known accordionist and composer Michael Ganian lost his life tragically on April 13th, when he was killed in Brno, Czech Republic, one day before he was due to leave for the USA. Exact circumstances of the artist's murder are unknown at this stage.

After the release of his latest CD "Ici Paris" in the USA, by the JPMC company in March this year, Ganian planned and intended to issue a series of new CDs and video clips. The latest of Ganian's works will be recorded and issued by his friends and relatives, thus honoring his memory.

Austin Arts Festival - USA

CentzontlePopular band "Centzontle" (including accordionist Mike Maddux) performed "Amor Sensible", "La Mucura" and "Juarez" at the recent Austin Arts Festival to over 100 people. The event was held to benefit the city's art museums.

Centzontle plays accordion and percussion fueled rhythms from all over Latin America, including Cumbia and Vallenato from Colombia, Cuban Son, Milonga, Bolero, Forro and many others. Last year they were voted one of the top five Latin bands in the Austin Chronicle's Music Poll. Every Saturday they can be heard at Austin's Latin hot-spot "El Sol y La Luna". For further details email:

Music With a Smile
Daniele Ravaglia at the Goldoni Theatre - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Three extraordinary musicians - Giorgio Farina (piano), Marco Gerboni (sax) and Daniele Ravaglia (accordion) dazzled the audience at a recent concert in the Goldoni Theatre, Bagnacavallo (RA). Their program featured music by P. M. Dubois, B. Marcello, J. S. Bach and G. Kramer as well as a "Homage to Astor Piazzolla".

Accordion Exam Music VCD Released - China

Contributed by Li Cong

The Beijing Teenagers Publishing Company has released an Accordion Exam Test Music VCD, which includes music officially approved by the Chinese Instrument Examination Board.

Yang Yi, National Accordion Competition champion performed all 103 pieces and exercises on this VCD, which will be of great assistance to Chinese accordion enthusiasts and examination students. For further information phone Fu Dan: + 86 10 63018811-3331

Strasser Harmonikas
Russian Accordionist Performs in Ireland

Contributed by Enda Kelly

The Heritage town of Kells in Co. Meath, Ireland was the venue for an exciting evening of accordion music on April 30th. Guest Alexander Korbakov gave a recital of classical and Russian folk music, delighting the audience with his free bass repertoire and interpretation of Russian folk tunes. The concert also included performances by the Oristown Intermediate Accordion Orchestra and the Castletown Senior and Preparatory Accordion Orchestras.

The Oristown Accordion OrchestraThe Oristown AO performed a popular program including "Irish Suite", "West Side Story" and "Time to say Goodbye". The orchestra will give a recital in their hometown of Kells on July 2nd, prior to their trip to the UK where they will take part in the European Concert Band Competition as part of the Midsomer Norton Mardi Gras Festival.

The Orchestra would like to contact other accordion orchestras in Europe who may be interested in an exchange or twinning program. For further details email:

Concert Tour with Orchestra - France

Bruno MauriceAccordionist Bruno Maurice toured France with the "Pays de Loire" Philharmonic Orchestra (directed by Hubert Soudan) in April performing six concerts. Their program included Concerto for Violin by well known French composer Bernard Cavanna, who was awarded the "Victory of Music" prize last month. Cavanna likes to use the accordion in his symphonic pieces.

"Appassionata" CD coverBruno also performed a concert of contemporary music by Isabel Rasines (Spain) in Paris, as well as a duo with alto saxophonist Marie-Bernadette Charrier.

This week Bruno presented his new CD "Appassionata" at the "Salon de la Musique" in Paris, where he was filmed by Television TF1.

USA National Accordion News
Concertina Player Performs with Columbia Orchestra - USA

Concertina player David Barnert will perform with the Columbia Festival Orchestra in Chatham, New York on May 13th. Their program will include Kurt Weill's suite from Threepenny Opera ("Kleine Dreigroschenmusik"). For further details see Future Events

"Tango Seis" Performs with Massimiliano Pitocco - Italy

Massimiliano Pitocco & MilvaContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Massimiliano Pitocco has a busy concert schedule this month beginning on May 6th with a concert at the Candela Cathedral in Foggia Province, followed by concerts in Montesilvano (Perugia Province), Castellana Grotte (Bari Province) and at the "Bandoneòn a Cordenons" event in Pordenone Province.

On May 25th and 30th Massimiliano will perform with famous Italian vocalist Milva and the group "Tango Seis" in Cremona and Arezzo. The band includes Vichy Scaetzinger (piano), Mauro De Federicis (guitar), Franco Finocchiaro (double bass), Massimo Caroldi (flute) and Mauro Rossi (violin). For further concert details see Future Events.

Music with a Smile Productions
Finalist in "Search for the Hottest Accordionist" on Tour - USA

Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of American Accordionists' Association

Jason Stephen, who was an impressive finalist at the American Accordionists' Association's "Search for the Hottest Accordionist" in March 1999 will feature in a Texas concert tour during May.

A Winning AAA's National Jazz Champion titles for 1998 and 1999, Jason represented the U.S., sponsored by both the American Accordionists' Association and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, in the Virtuoso section of the 1999 Coupe Mondiale held in Trossingen, Germany.

The schedule for Jason's May Texas concert tour is available from the Texas Accordion Association which organized the event. Booking dates from May 13th to 1th5 are still available for groups in Texas who wish to sponsor a concert featuring this ascending accordion star.

Jason began his accordion studies with the Rosita Lee Music Center in Nashua, New Hampshire. He is now a student of Joan Cochran Sommers at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

CD Release - Sweden
"La Vie en Musette" CD cover

The ACRA Musette ensemble which includes accordionists Rolf Eriksson, Andrej Pietrzak and Conny Osterlund and Arne Petterson (contrabass) recently released their CD entitled "La Vie en Musette". The CD was recorded live in a studio specially designed for optimal acoustic recordings with "Linear transient response" modified equipment. Tracks include "La Vie en Rose", "La Petite Valse", "Flick-Flack" and "Cou Cou".

For further information email:

Strasser Harmonikas
Musette Night - Canada

Jacques DumontContributed by Mario Bruneau

A "Musette Night" with Jacques Dumont will be held in Montréal, Québec on May 19th. The evening will include Parisian musette music and typical French chanson with Jacques Dumont's orchestra and singer Suzy Étienne. For further information see Future Events.

Viking Fest 2000 - USA

The Viking Fest 2000 was held on April 29th and 30th in Georgetown, Texas, to celebrate over 150 years of Scandinavian immigration to America. Events included a parade and opening ceremony, folk music, dancing, lectures, demonstrations, arts and crafts and entertainers from Denmark, Sweden and Texas.

Performers included the Vasterfarnebo Accordion Club from Sweden (directed by Lennart Westling) and the Texas Cardamoms (including accordionist Eileen Stangeland) who played Nordic folk tunes, polkas and waltzes.

USA National Accordion News
New Accordion Newspaper Published - China

Contributed by Li Cong

"The Beijing Accordion Newspaper" is now being published by the China Music Society Accordion Association (Beijing Office) with editors Ren Shi Rong and Wang Xiao Ping.

Chinese musician Li Yu Qiu wrote the article "The New Millennium's Wishes" for the paper which encourages Chinese accordionists to work together and to challenge themselves. He has suggested a Ten Year Accordion Development Plan, designing a program for 2, 3 and 5 years.

Accordion tutor Zhang Zi Qiang included a column in the paper wishing Chinese accordionists all the best for the future and criticized sharply some poor accordion organizations in China, and said he hoped those associations can help the accordion develop in China by upgrading their appearance. For further information phone Chen Shi Huan: + 86 10-63261847

Nikolas Fehr Nominated Academic All-Star - USA

One more in a growing list of awards given to accordionist Nik Fehr was an Academic scholarship from the Multnomah Education District (Portland, Oregon) On April 24th. This scholarship was determined by a competition in the area of Performing Arts. First Place included an inscribed gold star, a plaque, and US$1,100. One of the requirements of the competition was the compilation of a book of Nik's accomplishments in the performing arts. Sixteen year old Nik was first selected as the top competitor at Lincoln High School and was then pitted against the top students from all high schools in Multnomah County.

Music With a Smile
New CD Release - Australia

CD coverAustralian accordionist Bernadette Conlon has released her first CD entitled "Accordion Popular Classical Masterpieces Vol 1". Tracks include "Radetsky March" (Strauss), "Hungarian Dance No 5" (Brahms) and "Pizzicato Polka" (Strauss). For buying information see CD Recordings for Sale.

"Le Printemps des Bretelles" - Canada

Le Printemps desd Bretelles FestivalContributed by Mario Bruneau

"Le Printemps des Bretelles" festival will be held at the Lion d'Or in Montréal, Québec on May 25th and 26th with accordionist Didier Dumoutier and others organized by Soufflemuse Productions. The event aims to show accordion lovers a desire to share a party moment, when they meet in an atmosphere of true diversity. Tangos, javas, waltzes, "manouche" jazz, street songs, goualantes and Latin rhythms will follow one another on the illuminated stage. The event name, which humorously translates as "Pianists with shoulder straps" invites you to let your hair down, and to "lose your soul to the musette". For further details email:

Strasser Harmonikas
Piazzolla Concert - USA

Dee Langley performed "Concerto for Bandoneon/Accordion and Orchestra" with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra (under the direction of James Touchi-Peters) at an Astor Piazzolla concert in Bloomington, Minnesota last month to a standing-room only audience!

Touchi-Peters interviewed Dee at the Concert Preview where she had the opportunity to talk about the accordion to the audience and they had an opportunity to hear her play alone. The audience clapped in time with the music and enjoyed Dee's informal conversational style with the conductor.

After the performance of the Piazzolla, the audience wouldn't let Dee leave the stage calling her back for encores. Dee (who caused a minor sensation by playing in bare feet) performed solos, demonstrating the range of music the accordion can play.

On May 6th Dee will play at a May Fair hosted by the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. The Squeezers Accordion Orchestra (conducted by Dee) will perform a new arrangement of "Starshine Bright" written and arranged by Dee especially for the event.

New Sites Information on the Civic Accordion Museum "Mariano Dallape" in Stradella, Italy. Updated information on Italian accordionist Paolo Picchio Updated information on the FisaOrchestra Elio Bertolini from Italy

USA National Accordion News
Accordion Information Required

Portuguese accordionist Carlos Marques is currently compiling accordion information as part of his school music course. He has translation difficulties with some technical accordion names. If you can help with Portuguese technical information please email:

Diego Roncalli (Milano) is currently searching for accordionist Massimo Pitzianti, who owns an Argentine bandoneon, which is for sale. If you can help please email:

Antique Accordion Information

Original A. Jacobs No. 1, Chatham N. Y,Walt Sommers would like some information on an "Original A. Jacobs No. 1, Chatham N.Y." accordion, believed to be manufactured between 1850 and 1870 in America. This instrument may also have been manufactured in France in the 1860's by the "Busson" company. Please email:

Alden Parker would like some details on a Marrazza chromatic button accordion including where the instrument was manufactured, any information on its age, if it is still sold today and an instruction manual on how to play the instrument. Please email:

Janma Carmody would like some information on an Altimoro Baleani accordion made in Castelfidardo, which is at least 40 years old. Please email:

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