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20 February 2004This weeks news | Past News | Send news

Editors Note

In the true tradition of our finest accordion performers working to the benefit and improvement of the accordion, we welcome Angel Luis Castaño,
Accordion Professor at the Superior Conservatorium of Music in Zaragoza, Spain as our new sponsor and translator of the Accordions Worldwide Spanish Weekly News.

It is no accident, that the musical career of Castano is full of past successes due to his efforts and great talent. We thank Castano and all those like him, who do so much for our instrument.

Harley Jones
Acccordions Worldwide Director 
Texas Accordion Association

This Weeks News

Galla-Rini Birthday - USA

Contributed by Norman and Sharon Seaton

Anthony Galla-Rini was honored with a star-studded 100th birthday celebration on January 24, 2004. The gala event was held in Los Angeles at the Radisson hotel at LAX Airport. A crowd of 240 plus well-wishers joined Galla-Rini in this birthday party at a gala banquet. At a pre-dinner social gathering, guests were serenaded by the Bonnie Birch duo and by Gordon Kohl.

After dinner, a fabulous line-up of accordion stars provided a memorable show for him, his family, and his hundreds of friends in attendance. Myron Floren served as master of ceremonies. Guest accordion artists included Nick Ballarini, Johnny La Padula, Amy Jo Sawyer, Gordon Kohl, Frank Marrocco, and Jorgen Sundequist. The Martin Accordion Orchestra also performed. Jorgen Sundequist presented a birthday proclamation to Galla-Rini from the government of Sweden, Sundequist's home country.

The highlight of the evening was the performance of a 80 member accordion orchestra, composed of accordionists from all over the USA plus some from Europe. These musicians came together for the express purpose of performing under the direction of Anthony Galla-Rini on the occasion of his 100th birthday. The Maestro was in top form as he conducted this group of accordionists who will always remember the honor of performing under his direction on this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. As a surprise to him, the group ended their performance with "God Bless America," directed by Joan Sommers. As Sommers stated to the orchestra in one of its rehearsals, "We are ALL indebted to Galla-Rini. What we have learned about playing the accordion has come from him, either directly through personally studying music with him, or indirectly because someone else learned from him and then passed it on to us."

The birthday celebration will continue in Texas during March of 2004 at the Texas Accordion Association which have planned their annual convention around Galla-Rini and the accordion history involved.

Shanghai Accordion Association (AGM) - China

Contributed by Li Cong and Lian Jones of Accordion House

Over 100 members attended the Shanghai Accordion Association's Annual General Meeting at the Shanghai Music Conservatory on the 18th January.

Fan Yang Cheng made the general report to the members and suggested the work plan for 2004. Mr Yu Zheng, Vice President of the association and Zhu Zhongtang, Vice President of the Shanghai Music Conservatory also attended the meeting. President Li Cong, told the members about the upcoming major international and national accordion events.

During the AGM, the committee also set up the lucky draws. The prizes included sheet music and CDs and a 120 bass accordion which was presented to the lucky winner. After a buffet lunch, the members heard the Shanghai Examination Board, Merit Accordion Performer exams. This is new to the program of examinations for 2003. The Merit Accordion Performer exam is only available to those who have already passed the Grade 10 examination. Each entrant must perform a program of 3 pieces, up to 25 minutes playing time.

Xia Huan, bayan accordion graduate from Russia, was invited to play a concert in the Shanghai Music Conservatory hall that evening.



Pioneer Composer Dies - Australia

Contributed by Bernadette Conlon

Michael Easton has died suddenly at the age of 49. London born, Easton was a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying under Lenox Berkley. Travelling to Australia in the early '80s, Easton with his unusual talent in composition soon made an impact. His was a style with a distinctive French influence, beautiful, lush "big themes", as he would call them, interspersed with comical, witty passages.

Under Easton's direction, the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, was one of the first classical festivals in Australia to feature accordion when Bernadette Conlon was invited to perform. Later, Bernadette commissioned Easton to write a concerto for accordion, which she premiered at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival in 1996. This work titled Concerto for Bernadette has since been recorded by Bernadette on a CD of Easton compositions that was released by the Naxos label.

Michael Easton's fascination with the accordion meant that his concerto was a most interesting blend of musical styles and techniques highlighting the accordion very effectively. Another solo work for accordion was underway but never completed.

Beyond the Pale Performs in Toronto - Canada

oronto based band Beyond the Pale featuring accordionist Milos Popovic made a live CD recording in Toronto on January 24 and 25. Since their formation in 1998, Beyond the Pale has emerged as one of the most exciting ensembles in the Canadian Klezmer and folk scene. The band has performed at music festivals, concert theatres, community and private events across Canada and also parts of the USA. The group is frequently joined by guest vocalists.

Milos Popovic with his masterful technique and eclectic tastes, fluent in styles ranging from contemporary classical to jazz and folk, brings high energy and expert musicianship to the group. Milos has won several contemporary new music competitions and has performed as a member of various musical groups in the last few years. Other Beyond the Pale group members are: Eric Stein (mandolin, cimbalom), Martin van de Ven (clarinet), Bogdan Djukic (violin) and Bret Higgins (bass). The newly recorded CD will be released soon.

For further details e-mail

The Party of Kunming Accordion Association - China

Contributed by Li Cong and Lian Jones of Accordion House

The 2004 Kunming Accordion Association Party was held in Chen Zhong Art Training School on the 18th January in Kunming, Yunnan Province. The new and old members exchanged their stories of activities during the past year. Chen Zhong, the President of Kunming Accordion Association, Wu Ming, the Vice President, and Chen Yong, the Secretary made speeches about the association's work in 2003 and outlined plans for 2004. The association also awarded the “Excellent Member of 2003” awards and some other special awards to its members at the party.

70th Anniversary of the Deffner Legacy - USA

Ernest Deffner, Inc. and its affiliates, Pancordion, Inc. and The Titano Accordion Company, International, will celebrate the firm's 70th anniversary throughout 2004," according to an announcement made by Faithe Deffner, who heads the firms.

The company is known worldwide for its professional instruments in the Pancordion and Titano accordion brands.As Ernest Deffner Publications,the company offers an extensive catalog of accordion music and books.

Carillon Studios New Accordion Festival - UK

Carillon Studios will be organizing a new accordion festival in Southern England from the 20th to 23rd February. Well known performers such as: Harry Hussey, George Syrett, Gennaro Fiondella, John Romero, Trevani, Charlie Watkins, David Keen, David Batty, Stan Mayhew and others will all be attending this event. The Albany Lions Hotel in Eastbourne will be hosting the festival for which there is still a limited number of rooms and weekend passes available.

For further details email:

Victor Romanko Seminar - Russia

Professor Viktor Romanko conducted a seminar in Permian City, 9th to 11th January. More than 70 accordion teachers plus pupils from the schools of music, technical schools and institute for music, art and culture participated.

Prof. Romanko played a solo concert which included works by Franck, Liszt, Semionov and Tschernikov. With the orchestra of the music technical school (conductor W. Fetisov), Romanko played two works of V. Gridin. Two television stations broadcast the concert and the whole event was a resounding success.



Maria Kalaniemi and Tribe Performing at the Viennese Accordion Festival - Austria

Maria Kalaniemi, Finland's "Queen of the Accordion" is one of the world's gifted accordion performers and composers. She will be performing at the Viennese Accordion Festival on the 21st February. An important part of this performance is “Tribe” including Guy Klucevsek (USA), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia), Lars Hollmer (Sweden) and Otto Lechner (Austria). Each of these players is world recognized in classical, jazz, folk or avant-garde music circles as being not only technically skilled but having a profound compositional ability and an unquenchable thirst for adventure.Their program features solos and combinations, compositions and collaborations from individual and collective group members.
The full presentation is a major event in accordion creativity, a turning point for the accordion as a contemporary instrument. The concert should be a powerful, thrilling experience for all modern music enthusiasts lucky enough to witness it.

For further information:

21st Annual Champlain Valley Folk Festival - North America

The 21st Annual Champlain Valley Folk Festival will be held at Kingsland Bay State Park on Lake Champlain, Vermont, July 30th to August 1st. The event will feature the swinging bluesing and jazzing, Gypsy Wranglers. Their music is a special blend of Gypsy Jazz, French Musette, Cowboy Swing and Ragtime, drawing from the traditions of such jazz greats as Django Rienhardt, Bob Wills, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman. The group includes accordion, fiddle, guitar, trombone, bass and drums.

Other festival performers include: April Verch, Tüq, Rodney Miller and Airdance, Susie Burke & Dave Surrette, Pete & Karen Sutherland, Norman Kennedy,Sandy & Caroline Paton, Margaret MacArthur and many others.

For further details email:

The Irish Traditional Accordion internet online discussion group - Yahoo.

The IrishTradAccord is offering an internet discussion group for those fans of traditional Irish music and accordion. Topics covered include technique, legends and masters, tunes, abc's, festivals, performances, and the history and culture surrounding Irish accordion music in Ireland and globally. This group also discusses the Irish diatonic button box and hopes to be the internet forum of choice for players of this instrument.

For further details, look for IrishTradAccord on Yahoo in the groups section.


Solan Tour Dates - England

Solan emerged as a band in July 1999 when Ef Wilkins (concertina), Richard Chaff (guitar and vocals) and Chris Henderson (fiddle) started playing together in Shetland.

They will be appearing in England soon:
- 27 February, at the Bollinton Folk Club, Nr. Macclesfield, Cheshire.
- 28 February, at the Chester Folk Club in Hoole Community Center,
- 13 March, at the Seaford Folk Club, The Wellington, Seaford

Ef Wilkins is currently at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. She also teaches concertina and occasionally plays as a concertina soloist. Sølan are the core members of The Wizard's Country Dance Band (with up to 7 members) which performs extensively at festivals and private functions.

For further details email:

“Moscow Nights” and “Golden Gates” Concert - USA

The “Moscow Nights” and “Golden Gates” from Russia successfully performed a tour of 10 concerts in Cleveland and Columbus areas from 20th January to 8th February. The " Golden Gates" group, ages 5 to 16 years, has taken part in many different cultural events, folk festivals and concerts in Russia as well as across Europe. Their program features songs, rituals, folk stories and games with movement and dance.

Moscow Nights is an exciting, versatile trio of world recognized, prize-winning musicians from Russia. Their lively program presents an authentic picture of Russian folk traditions and culture. Lilting Balalaikas, dynamic accordion, humorous dances, and superb vocals combine for an exhilarating performance! A musical experience that will not to be forgotten.

Texas Accordion Association

Concerts of Claudio Jacomucci – Italy, Finland and USA

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Claudio Jacomucci has opened 2004 with a solo concert in Cagliari for the "Friends of Music" where he has introduced the audicence to music of Bach, Garau, Zorn, Bonilauri and Kurtag.

Jacomucci performed twice at the Festival Free Dans Orvieto with Pierre Favre (percussion), Gabriel Mirabassi (clarinet) and Michel Godard (tuba). Other performances are:
- 19 February, for Winter Accordion Festival in Kokkola (Finland), in a concert both for accordion and a video commissioned by the festival organizers.
- 20 February for the Review of New Music in Macerata, in Red scene to the Theatre Lauro "Road Runner" - performance with Kathleen Delaney (dance) with video-projection. In the same evening, Jacomucci also performs with all the musicians of the festival.
- 28 February to 2 March touring to Bolzano, Trento and Rovereto performing the "Seven Words" by Sofia Gubadulina with Francisco Dillon (cello) and the Haydn Orchestra directed by Ola Rudner.
- 18 March, at the Ithaca University (New York), where Jacomucci introduces a concert of contemporary music for solo accordion and will hold a seminar for composers. He will also perform in concert with American Joel Rubin (clarinet).

 Quote of the Week

Did You Know? by Willoughby Walshe.
Accordion Society of Australia (ASA) instigated the acceptance of the accordion into the Australian Music Examinations Board in 1990 so that it is now on a part with other examinable instruments.

Find out more….. "Walshe Essential Guide to Accordion and Harmonica Events"


CD Review

CD Review -“Live” by the Ars Harmonica Trio (Piotr Chololowicz, Piotr Biazik and Jakub Mietla) formerly of Poland.


New and Updated Sites

New Sites: Accordion USA selling Accordions, Accessories MIDI & Electronics Amplification Angel Luis Castaño- Spanish Concertist and Accordions Worldwide Spanish News Sponsor.

Updated Sites has been updated with concert dates

Memorial Site for Wolmer Beltrami
A new obituary written by Antonio de Luca Picione has been added. In English and Italian.

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