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21st March 2003 This weeks news | Past News | Send news

Editors Note

This week we have updated the "Accordion Events Held on a Regular Basis" section of the Yellow Pages. This section includes a list of national and international competitions and festivals held on a regular basis. They are listed alphabetically by country, then by festival name. If you would like an event added to this list please email:

Wayne Knights Webmaster


Ranco Accordions

This Weeks News


Frankfurt Musikmesse 2003 - Germany

Contributed by Benjamino Bugiolacchi and Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Click here for Music Fair photos

The 24th annual Frankfurt International Musikmesse finished on March 9th in Frankfurt, Germany. The fair, spanning over a surface of over 122,000 square metres, showcased musical instruments, hardware and software, sheet music and accessories from all over the world. 1465 exhibitors from 49 countries (including 116 Italian firms) presented their products to wholesalers and retailers, producers and musicians under the slogan "The sound of music improves with you".

The press office reported that the international presence at the event increased to 62%, indicating that the Musikmesse has successfully become "the" point of reference for the whole of the musical world. This is further testimonied by the 80,000 visitors (down, however, on 2002) from every continent. The current environment of global uncertainty produced a slight decrease in the number of exhibitors (-0.4%) who are compelled (like all other commercial enterprises) to reflect seriously on the future of the industry. Germany, in light of the decrease of internal consumption (-3.5%) has pushed its exports towards growing markets such as Russia, Australia and China (as testimonied by the fact that the Musikmesse directly organises exhibitions in St Petersburg and Shanghai) so as to be able to maintain its levels of production.

Once again the organisation machine was near perfect. The halls were well-equipped and interconnected, with excellent logistic support and a very interesting area called "music4kids" dedicated to music making for children between 5 and 12 years of age. The fair ticket was combined with a free pass for the public transport of the Rhein/Main area, which enabled visitors to avoid expensive city accommodation in favour of those of Wiesbaden, Mainz or Darmstad; the only motive for complaint by the exhibitors was the one-hour extension of the opening hours.

Italy was the third most represented country following Germany and the United States. Almost all accordion makers had their stands in hall 3.1, face to face with the factories of Trossingen, Klingenthal and China. Unfortunately the accordion world has become a smaller place with reduced production. The schools, which had driven a significant rise in production during the last century, are diminishing in number, and wholesalers and retailers are more and more reluctant to invest in a context where door to door sales are beginning to prevail. The search for new enthusiasts should be encouraged through personalities with greater appeal to younger audiences and better investments in the media image of the instruments (two good examples from last year are the latest hit by Shakira with several MTV big names and Yann Tiersen's soundtrack for "Amelie").

I.C.E., in collaboration with ACISA, set up the successful "Padiglione Italia" (Italian Hall) with the cream of the Italian string instruments industry. The Italian offer could benefit from a more accurate selection of the participants and the inclusion of more historical important brands, leading perhaps to a presence in the halls dedicated to non-traditional instruments.

The 2003 edition of the Musikmesse was an interlocutory one. Our market is currently undergoing the same stagnation suffered by other commercial sectors. The situation calls for patience, investments in advanced technology and a more aggressive competition with the other forces that are trying to conquer the "free time" of the young people of today.

A final note: on March 5th, at the very beginning of the event, the prestigious "Steinway & Sons" company celebrated its 150th anniversary at the Frankfurt Hof Hotel with the presentation of two pianos (from a limited production of 150 instruments). One of them reproduced the classic grand piano played by Ignaz Paderewski, whose original can be seen at the National Museum of History in Washington; the other was an ultra-modern instrument conceived by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Happy anniversary!

Contributed by Edmund Schwarz

The International Frankfurt Music Fair was once again an interesting exhibition, attracting many accordionists and enthusiasts. In addition to musical instruments, displays included many new devices and equipment, electronics and software.

Displays of traditional instruments, such as the accordion were presented by companies from China, Germany, Italy and Austria, which created much interest. A variety of professional music lectures were held plus many accordionists demonstrated the versatility of their instrument.

Contributed by Jon Hammond

The International Musikmesse 2003 included exhibitors from 49 different countries. With 27,000 attendees from other countries in addition to those from Germany the musikmesse attracted 80,000 visitors this year. This is a very respectable figure considering the current world situation.

This year there were more accordions than ever before! Many of the accordion manufacturers voiced a desire to bring the accordion more into rock, jazz and other contemporary music styles in addition to the traditional styles most commonly associated with the instrument.

Italian accordion stars Silvia Pagni and Renzo Ruggeri gave mini-concerts daily as well as impromptu performances and jam sessions in Hall 3.1, the massive new hall which opened at the Frankfurt Messe fair grounds last year.

This was the 17th consecutive year Jon had participated in the Musikmesse event and the 5th consecutive year he had hosted 2 evenings of live music at Jazzkeller Hofheim (March 7th & 8th). This year his special surprise guest was well known harmonica player Lee Oskar from the group "WAR".

Next year's Musikmesse event will take place from March 31st to April 4th, 2004. Messe Frankfurt GmbH the organizers of Musikmesse and Music China will also hold a bi-annual trade fair in St. Petersburg Russia from June 18th to 20th, 2003.


Accordion Tuition Week - England

John Leslie & Paulo BrandoniSt Audries BayContributed by Ron Bennett

International accordion adjudicator and music teacher John Leslie (London, England) will hold another of his popular "Accordion Tuition Week's" at the beautifully located St Audries Bay Holiday Club in Somerset. This will be an Easter event held from April 21st to 26th. For further details email Mary Randle at:



Ars Harmonica Trio Performance - Austria

Ars HarmonicaContributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

Invited by the newly founded Accordion Association of Carinthia, Polish accordion trio Ars Harmonica had a well acclaimed concert in Lavamünd (Austria) recently. All three musicians, Jakub Mietla, Piotr Chololowicz and Piotr Biazik were educated at the Karol Szymanowski-Music Academy in Katowice (class of Professor Pichura). Their program ranged from transcriptions of J.S. Bach, unusual arrangements of ethno-folk to Piazzolla tangos.


Master Sound

New Finnish Accordion Composition Released

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

The new work by Olli Kortekangas entitled "Gatecrasher" has just been released by the Finnish Accordion Institute.

Commissioned by Mika Väyrynen, the work was premiered by Mika last year in Castelfidardo, Italy during the Citta di Castelfidardo International Competition for accordionists.

This newly published work is available from the Finnish Accordion Institute by contacting Kimmo Mattlia at:


Ranco Accordions

Ten Days on the Island Festival - Australia

USA accordionist Guy Klucevsek has been invited to perform at the "Ten Days on the Island Festival" in Tasmania from March 27th to 30th. Klucevsek will perform with puppet master Dan Hurlin, in their Bessie-Award-winning collaboration, "The Heart of the Andes," followed by a solo concert tour of the island from April 2nd to 6th. Concerts will be held in Queenstown, St. Mary's, Evandale, and Ross. For details email:


Art Italia

Menghini Artist in Scotland

Nicol McLarenContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Menghini (SEM, Paolo Soprani, Scandalli) srl are delighted to announce the appointment of Nicol McLaren as a Menghini artist in Scotland. Nicol, who lives and works in Scotland, has been playing since the age of 9 and is an active promoter of the accordion both at home and abroad.

A regular adjudicator and workshop leader at festivals and competitions, Nicol has composed a number of Scottish dance tunes which have been published. His current publishing project is the compilation of the third volume of the works of Angus Fitchet (1910 - 1998). The first 2 volumes are already in print. Nicol is Chairman of the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs.

Alongside his solo projects, Nicol is the leader of the Glencraig Scottish Dance Band (formed in 1984) who are featured regularly on the club circuit. Notable performances abroad in 2002 included The Robert Burns Ball in Bahrain, The St.Andrews Ball in Moscow, Tutti in Piazza and in Corsica. The band are regular performers on BBC radio and television and have produced 4 CDs'. For concert information contact Fausto Fabi:


Balkanfolk 2003 - Bulgaria

Contributed by Emil Genov

The Balkanfolk 2003 seminar will be held at the Pamporovo resort in the heart of Rhodopes Mountain from July 18th to 31st. The event, which specializes in Balkan folklore and culture includes a practical seminar for Balkan music for traditional instruments including the accordion. The class is suitable for beginners and advanced study, tutored by Plamen Eftimov, a very popular Bulgarian musician and a specialist at this area. For details email:


Master Sound

Storchi Theatre Concert - Italy

Massimiliano Pitocco will perform at the Storchi Theatre in Modena on March 22nd with the group "Tristango" (includes piano and double bass). The same group will also perform in Marostica (province of Vicenza) on March 27th.

Pitocco will then team up with the Four for Tango quartet for a series of concerts in Naples on March 28th, at the University of Boston on April 4th, in Rome (April 8th), Sondrio (12th) and Brescia (14th). For further details email:



French Accordionist Holds Course in Valladolid - Spain

Contributed by Raul Alvarez

French accordionist Jean-Luc Manca will tutor an accordion course at the Professional Conservatory of Music in Valladolid from May 1st to 4th.

Jean-Luc will also hold a concert in the Salón de Actos de Caja España with violinist Jean Marc Philipps Varjabedian. For further details email:


Ranco Accordions

Accordionist Honoured - England

Accordionist Ian Watson received notification last week from the Royal Academy of Music advising that the board have elected him an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM). This honour is only offered to past students who have achieved distinction in the profession.

The award is to recognise the work Ian has done with "The Czardas Duo" (includes Matthew Forbes), commissioning new works, solo recitals, his new duo (with clarinetist Matt Hunt) "Icebreaker", teaching at Morley College, Kingston University, Guildford University, the Harwich Summer-school, educational work for Spitalfields Festival and free-lance work with the BBCSO, CBSO, BSO, Opera North, Tete a Tete Opera, Almeida Opera etc.

A ceremony will be held at the "David Josefowitz" Hall, a brand new recital hall at the Academy (which is part of the York Gate redevelopment) on May 6th. Ian believes this further underlines the Academy's commitment to the development of the accordion in the UK and backs up Professor Owen Murray's hard work there, for over two decades. For details email:


Peñas Musical Evenings - Argentina

Contributed by Angel Russo

Due to circumstances beyond their control, the Peñas Musical Evenings at the Popolo Bar in Capital Federal, Buenos Aires will be temporarily suspended until further notice. For further details email:


Art Italia

4th Week of the Vienna Accordion Festival - Austria

Mandys MischpocheKohelet 3Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif Manager of Friedrich Lips Productions

The festival continued into its 4th week with the second of three accordion trilogies (three concerts in different places during one day), which was dedicated to Jewish music. "Mandys Mischpoche", "Kohelet 3" and "Schnaftl Uftschik" made clear how close Jewish music is to other ethnic styles.

Dobrek BistroTranshistiria Ensemble"Dobrek Bistro" (Krzysztof Dobrek - accordion, Aliosha Biz - violin, Achim Tang - double bass & Luis Ribeiro - percussion and drums) are the only ensemble that have participated in all four festivals so far. This time their performance was recorded live for their first CD. A really memorable moment! In addition Tamara Obrovac & Transhistiria Ensemble had much fun when they charmed their public with Mediterranean ethno-jazz.


Master Sound

Mika Väyrynen Releases New CD - Finland

CD coverContributed by Kevin Friedrich

Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen has just released his 12th CD recording entitled "Transcriptions." Released on the NAXOS label (8.555910 FIN) the CD includes works by Mozart, Couperin, Rameau, Bach-Busoni, Franck, Mushel and Stravinsky.

The CD, which was recorded in the Siuntio Church near Helsinki is available from Intermusik, NAXOS and the Finnish Accordion Institute.



New CD "Paris Moscou"

CD coverThe new CD by the Paris-Moscou Duo entitled "Paris Moscou" was released recently on the 7 Music label. This is the first duo CD by accordionists Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov who perform a variety of French and Russian music on this CD including "Caprice Mazurka", "Ave Maria" and "Mishka". French composer, Franck Angelis especially composed the piece "Paris-Moscow" for the CD.

The CD cover was designed especially by French artist Cristian Larsonneur. The picture represent the union between Paris (French music), Moscow (Russian music) and the accordion, our instrument. For CD information email:


Art Italia

New Sites/Updated Sites Information on the Val Tidone International Music Competition held from June 9th to 15th in Italy Updated information on accordion concert artist Gianluca Pica New information on the Civic Accordion Museum Mariano Dallapè in Stradella, Italy including new entrance fees Updated information on future concerts by the Paris Moscou duo which includes Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov Information on the International Klingenthal Competition held from May 2nd to 9th in Klingenthal, Germany



Accordion Information Required

AccordionMichael Ekbladh would like information on a Corsaire piano accordion. Email:

Dan Porter would like information on the beautiful black & gold swirl finish, 120 bass piano accordion (pictured), made in Italy. Email:

Freda Adamson would like information on a 48 bass Firenze piano accordion. Email:



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