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7th February 2003 This weeks news | Past News | Send news
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Editors Note

The Accordions Worldwide History section contains information on the history of the accordion in many countries, plus some general accordion history information. We are very interested in keeping this section up to date. Please check out the history of your country and if you have any further information you would like to add please email:

Wayne Knights Webmaster


Paolo Soprani Accordions

This Weeks News

Texas Accordion Association

56th Annual Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships - Slovakia & Hungary

CIA LogoContributed by Kevin Friedrich

The 56th Annual Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships will be held in two cities this year, Sturovo Slovakia and Esztergom Hungary from October 20th to 25th. These cities were once one city connected by a bridge across the Danube River until 1944 when it was torn down during war times. Finally in 2001 the Maria - Valeria Bridge was rebuilt allowing Sturovo, Slovakia and Esztergom Hungary to be reunited by a quick trip across the Danube. The focus of the Coupe Mondiale will be reuniting the two cities with music with some classes being held in Hungary and some across the River in Slovakia.

The World Accordion Championships will be held in six categories including: Coupe Mondiale, Junior Coupe Mondiale, International Piano Accordion Competition, Virtuoso Entertainment Music Competition, Junior Virtuoso Entertainment Music Competition and International Chamber Music Competition.

For further competition details see the CIA site.


Ranco Accordions

Accordion and Cello Concert - Switzerland

Sergej TchirkovAccordionist Sergej Tchirkov will perform a concert in duo with cellist Annina Voelmmy in Liestal on February 9th, organized by the KulturScheune organization. Their program will include works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Sergej Berisnki, Cesaer Franc, Max Bruch and Antonio Vivaldi.

In January 2002, Sergej presented the thesis "John Palmer's "Drang": A Methodic Analysis of Performance Techniques with Commentary" at the State St. Petersburg Conservatory. The thesis
covers different questions on new music performance and has been recommended as a methodic treatise for secondary and high schools of music. The work will be available in the English language soon. For further information email:


Claudio Jacomucci Plays in Rovereto - Italy

Claudio JacomucciContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Accordionist Claudio Jacomucci held a concert of both popular and critical acclaim on January 18th, when he appeared as a guest during the concert season of the Philharmonic Association of Rovereto (province of Trento), which has included so far prestigious artists such as the Tokyo String Quartet, the Brodsky Quartet and Zoltan Kocsis. Jacomucci presented a program of pieces by Luciano Berio, Franco Donatoni, Gyorgy Kurtag, Luis De Pablo, Lucio Garau, John Zorn and Astor Piazzolla. His performance was applauded both by the younger members of the audience and by those of more traditional taste.


Scandalli Accordions

"The Devil's Accordion" - USA

USA DirecTV aired a show entitled "The Devil's Accordion" last week. The show featured Columbian accordionist Pacho Rada, who is known as the King of Vallenato. Pacho played a variety of exciting music on a 3 row accordion.



New Bandoneon Bellows Available - Germany

Carsten Heveling has put some dedicated time into producing a new type of bellows for bandoneons which he believes gives the player softness and freedom and is completely airtight. The bellows are produced in a similar style to Alfred Arnold.

On February 1st he demonstrated the new bellows at an "Open Day" at the Rotterdams
Conservatorium. For further information email:


Master Sound

"The Accordion of Yesterday and Today" Display - France

Pascal ContetContributed by Frédéric Harranger and Holda Paoletti-Kampll

A collection of about 60 accordions, documents, photographs and contemporary music scores from the whole of Europe are now on display at the Médiathèque d'Issy-Les-Moulineaux in Issy-Les-Moulineaux until February 24th.

The display entitled "The Accordion of Yesterday and Today" includes a mixture of tradition with modern trends such as rock 'n' roll, and shows the amazing history of the evolution of the accordion. Included in the display are the beautiful collection of old instruments belonging to Pascal Contet plus photographs and exceptional documents from the collection of Marcel Azzola. Thirteen illustrated panels recall the history of the accordion from 1830 - the time of French aristocracy up to modern day popular culture.

A variety of educational and musical workshops will be held in conjunction with the exhibition including a conference and concert "Rebuilding an Accordion" (by Pascal Le Pennec) and solo performance by Marc Perrone.

The exhibition will revolve around three main themes:
1. The accordion, its different forms - concertina, bandoneon, cecilium - various design features and its principal systems.
2. Works and master pieces for accordions from classical formations to unusual new formations plus information on composers such as Tchaikovsky, Prokoviev, Berg, Berio, Kagel, Francaix, Rebotier and Cavanna.
3. Geography of the instrument in France and around the world (musical academies and centers where the accordion is featured).

The display was instigated by Pascal Contet in collaboration with the Town of Metz, the Ministry of Culture, the DRAC of Lorraine and the ADDAM 57. For further display information email:


On Line Shop

"Strum & Squeeze" Workshop - Italy

Contributed by Hagen Hofmann

A "Strum & Squeeze" workshop which includes international folk music such as klezmer, Irish folk and Italian folk will be held in Tuscany (Italy) for accordionists (and other instruments) from July 12th to 19th. The course will give an overview of the characteristics, playing styles and development of this music and is suitable for beginners as well as advanced players. Tutors are Veronika Schroeren (accordion) and Hagen Hofmann (guitar). For details email:


Ranco Accordions

Guest Artist with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra - USA

American concert accordionist Henry Doktorski will perform as guest artist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in four concerts of Kurt Weill's "Music from the Threepenny Opera," directed by guest conductor Günther Herbig.

Written in 1928 by German composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) in collaboration with lyricist Bert Brecht, The "Threepenny Opera" opened in Berlin to rave reviews. Utilizing the jazz and cabaret idioms of the time, the opera ran for 5 consecutive years and spawned a major motion picture. It finally came to the United States in 1954 where it had an astounding run in Greenwich Village, N.Y. of over 2,600 performances.

Although the score calls for a bandoneon, an accordion is often used in its place. The PSO will perform the suite from the opera which was arranged by Weill himself.

The first performance will take place on February 7th at Newcastle, Pennsylvania, followed by three more performances at the Heinz Center for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh on the 8th and 9th. For tickets email:


Texas Accordion Association

9th Acco Land Accordion Seminar in San Sebastian - Spain

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

An accordion seminar will be held from July 14th to 20th in San Sebastián, Basque Country. Guest professor this time will be Stefan Hussong. At the same time the 3rd Alexander Technique seminar will be held for San Sebastian musicians, tutored by accordionist Anne Landa. For further details email:


Performances by Renzo Ruggieri - Italy

Renzo RuggieriTrio NamasteThe last few months have been busy with concerts for accordionist Renzo Ruggieri who performed alongside several different artists.

In December he played with accomplished cellist Enrico Melozzi during an event on "Contemporary Music and Social Communications" at the University of Teramo. The duo presented a program ranging from light music to Piazzolla and contemporary jazz. A few days later he performed with the Trio Namaste in the beautiful Villa Benzi Smania in Stra' (province of Padua). The following week, Ruggieri took part in a Christmas concert at the "Vanvitelli Stracca Angelini" high school of Ancona organized by artistic director Prof. Giulietta Breccia (formerly Mayor of Castelfidardo).

Prior to this, Ruggieri played at the "La Collina degli Elfi" cultural centre in Atri, where he presented a contemporary jazz program with his group "Solo Accordion Project", with which he has just begun recording his next CD.


Master Sound

Accordions at Witney - England

The Hands On Music Weekend "Accordions at Witney" will be held at the Henry Box School in Witney on February 15th and 16th. Tutors include Colette O'leary (Introduction to Irish Music and Developing an Irish Style for the Piano Accordion), David Oliver (Northumbrian Tunes and Airs and The Accordion in the Dance Band), Sam Pirt (Scandinavian Music and The Instant Arrangement Kit), and Course Director Dave Townsend (Melodeon Traditions for Piano Accordion and Early Dance Music for the Piano Accordion). For further information email:



Dellarole Appointed at the Messina Conservatory - Italy

Giorgio DellaroleContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Giorgio Dellarole was chosen this year as the teacher of the first accordion class of the "A. Corelli" Conservatory in Messina, where he has started tutoring 10 students ranging from 10 to 20 years of age. This is the first accordion chair ever in Sicily and follows other new entries this year at the conservatories of Milan, Foggia and Vibo Valentia. The Messina Institute, directed by Angelo Anastasi, employs around a hundred teachers and imparts disciplines such as music teaching, jazz and saxophone, alongside the instruments usually taught at conservatories.


Ranco Accordions

Mexican Restaurant Performance - USA

The Cantina Kings will perform live at Jovita's Mexican Restaurant in Austin, Texas on February 7th. The group includes Chris Clark (accordion, saxophone & vocals), Lee Davila (guitar & vocals) "Doppler" Bob Schmidt (steel guitar & vocals) and John Stansell (bull fiddle & vocals). For further details phone: +1 512 447-7825


Duo Syrinx Concert - France

Duo Syrinx, which includes David Aubret (accordion) and Catherine Lefaix (flute) will perform at Eglise de Sainte-Marie-sur-Ouche on February 14th. Their program will include works by Bach, Koussiakov, Urbano, "Prélude, Fugue & Variations" (Franck), "Oblivion" (Piazzolla) and "Tango pour Claude" (Galliano).

The duo was formed in 2001 and have performed successfully in Russia, Italy and the Ukraine.
For concert details email:


Texas Accordion Association

Music and Beer - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Classical music is not the only passion of Daniele Venturi, but also traditional brewed beer. Together with his brother they have created a very special atmosphere in their "Brewer Inn - Il Bovaro" an ancient building with vaults from the 14th century. They believe they are the first traditional brewer in Florence in Porta San Frediano, Via Pisana 1/3. The brothers provide their popular beer with food such as Pork Shin bone with beer sauce. Phone: +39 055 2207057


Master Sound

Concert Evening - Austria

A Concert Evening will be held in Vienna on February 19th. The event will include performances by Heinrich Biegenzahn (accordion, clarinet & saxophone), Zsuzsa Varga (piano), Sebastian Novak (accordion), Michael Minarik (saxophone) and Alfred Hertel (oboe). The program will include works by Bach plus performer's own compositions. For details email:


On Line Shop

Accordionist Performs Valentino Dances - USA

Dr. William Schimmel will perform as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra playing Domenic Argento's Valentino Dances. This is a ten minute mini-concerto which Dr Schimmel has performed on numerous occasions with the Minnesota Orchestra including a United States tour in 1997. He has also recorded the piece with the orchestra on Reference Records.

The performances will take place on February 12th, 13th and 14th at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and Ordway Theatre in St Paul.

Valentino Dances is extracted from Argento's opera, The Dream of Valentino - about Rudolf Valentino, the great silent movie star and tango dancer of the 1920's. The music very much recalls the Hollywood movie orchestrations and Dr. Schimmel has expanded the accordion part through improvisation and realization. The accordion was composer Argento's first instrument as a child. Argento is Minnesota's foremost composer and was awarded the Pulitzer prize in 1977 for his Virginia Woolf songs. For further concert details email:



New CD "Arctic Paradise 2002" - Finland

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

A new CD "Arctic Paradise 2002" released by the Finnish Music Information Centre features (among others) well known Finish musicians Markku Lepistö (who has studied Folk Music at the Sibelius Academy), Maria Kalaniemi (also called Finland's Accordion Queen performing with many other groups throughout the world) and Kimmo Pohjonen (contemporary artist with a limitless array of sounds and emotions). For CD information email:


Texas Accordion Association

Argentinean Group Prepares for Accordion Festival in Italy

Amanecer CamperoContributed by F.L.M. Artistica Argentina

Antonio FigueoraAccordionist Miguel Figueroa and his group "Amanecer Campero" have enjoyed great success in Argentina, performing at a variety of dances, festivals and in theaters. Their style of music is called "Chamamé" a type of Argentinean folk music and this group has the highest sales of recordings for this type of music.

"Amanecer Campero", which includes Miguel on accordion, his son Antonio Figueroa (accordion), Marciál Herdt (vocals and guitar), Victor Figueroa (guitar) and Aldo Figueroa (guitar and bass) has released 19 CD's.

In October this year they plan to attend the International Accordion Festival in Italy. Their repertoire includes Argentinean tangos such as "La Cumparsita", "Caminito", as well as other pieces by Gardel. For concert details email:


Paolo Soprani Accordions

Stas Venglevski with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra - USA

Contributed by Faithe Deffner

"Doc" Severinsen, a favorite musical director of media entertainment productions, conducted his annual musical celebration, "Doc's Holiday" with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra featuring young accordionist Stas Venglevski, who accompanied tenor Joseph Wolverton on his Pigini accordion.

The concert series of six performances each attended by crowds exceeding 3,000, was held at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee. Stas was showcased when he was joined by "Doc" himself on trumpet and also the orchestra's brass section in an unplanned encore
which brought the audience to a frenzy of delight.

Venglevski is scheduled to appear as accordion soloist with "Doc" Severinsen and the Milwaukee Symphony next September. Two of his CDs are currently available.


Francesco Palazzo in Concert - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Accordionist Francesco Palazzo will perform on February 9th at the S. Michelino concert hall in Lucca. He will then move to Milan, where on February 11th he will play at the Palazzo Reale in a concert followed by an accordion exhibition organized by the Accordion Museum of Stradella. The program of both concerts includes music by Ciconia, Frescobaldi, Dowland, Bach, Gubaidulina, Ferrari-Trecate, Lattuada, Albeniz and Piazzolla. For concert details email:


Ranco Accordions

New CD "Sea of Reeds" - Austria

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

A new CD "Sea of Reeds" by the Accordion Tribe was recorded during their live performances. Performers include Guy Klucevsek, Bratko Bibic, Lars Hollmer, Otto Lechner and Maria Kalaniemi. CD tracks include "Tangocide", "Unikko" and "Chalk Dust". For information contact:


Texas Accordion Association

New Accordion USA National News Online

A new edition of the Accordion USA, United States National Accordion News is now online. If you would like to contribute an item for this news either send it via the online submit form or email Kevin Friedrich at:


Master Sound

New CD "Perle" - Italy

CD coverContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

The Ensemble di Musiche Possibili has just released a new CD entitled "Perle" which includes traditional Irish tunes and pieces by Hasse, Sting, Bach, Piazzolla, Moretti, Marais, Cavalieri, Martino and Metallica. The recording was engineered by Enrico Tartarola. For CD details email:


Scandalli Accordions

New Sites/Updated Sites Updated information on the 2003 Winter Congress in Finland, 2003 Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships in Slovakia and Hungary and the 3rd
International Competition for Diatonic Accordion Soloists in Austria Updated information on accordionist and Alexander Technique teacher, Anne Landa Updated information on future concerts by the Paris Moscou Duo which includes Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov



Accordion Information Required

Arden Phair would like the correct spelling for an accordion player from Norway. His name was something like "Ludulph Rafsnar". He was well known and during the Second World War managed to escape Norway by sailing across the North Sea. During the War, he was featured at least once on the BBC. Email:



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