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21 May 2004 This weeks news | Past News  | Send news

This Weeks News

  • 41st Kligenthal International Accordion Competition - Germany
  • Finding a Region's Soul in an Accordion's Wail - Colombia
  • Accordion Educational Program TV Show - China
  • Yuri Is First Accordionist at Moscow Arts Center - Russia
  • 4th International "Fisarmonica d' Oro" Competition - Italy
  • International Montreux Accordion Camp - Switzerland
  • Farmers Market Live - Japan, Norway
  • Accordion Players Take Top Honours - Ireland
  • Macedonia Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra - Macedonia
  • Traditional Accordion Concerts - France
  • Integral execution of "Arte della Fuga" of J.S. Bach - Italy
  • 2004 Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival in Ikaalinen - Finland
  • Stolen Accordion - USA
  • Singer's Accordion Debut - Taiwan
  • Star Ways Winners - Serbia
  • Australian International Accordion Championships - Australia
  • Tango Lorca NY Debut - USA
  • Quote of the Week
  • CD Review
  • Site Updates
  • SilvioDePra

    41st Kligenthal International Accordion Competition - Germany
    Contributed by Dr. Herbert Scheibenreif, Manager Friedrich Lips Productions

    The 41st International Accordion Competition was held in Klingenthal from 7th to 13th May with a jury made up of famous teachers and performers, including Bärbel Claus (Germany), Claudio Jacomucci (Italy), Fritz Dobler (Germany), Friedrich Lips (Russia), Georg Reidys, Gudrun Wall, Ivan Kjoval, Jan Meisl (Czech Republic), Jürgen Ganzer (Germany), Lech Puchnowski (Poland), Max Bonnay (France), Mika Väyrynen (Finland), Ricardas Sviackevicius (Lithuania), Stefan Fraas, Tibor Racz (Slovakia), Tobias Morgenstern, Ulf Seifert, Yu Ping Wang (China), Elsbeth Moser (Germany) and Voin Vasovic (Yugoslavia).

    The highlights of the event included
    - a concert by the Lithuanian Accordion Quintet "Concertino", conducted by Ricardas Sviackevicius on opening night;
    - a performance by Claudio Jacomucci depicting the possibilities of mixing accordion with electronic sounds;
    - the Trio Fratres from Finland played music from the classics;
    - Friedrich Lips conducted a workshop titled "Music for Accordion and Symphony Orchestra";
    - a workshop titled "Alexandertechnik" by Claudio Jacomucci.

    The next (42nd) International Accordion Competition in Klingenthal will be held from 6th to 13th May, 2005.

    Competition Results:
    Category I (Soloists up to 12 years old):
    1st - Milos Avramovic (Serbia and Montenegro)
    2nd - Nikolas Lazic (Austria)
    3rd - Elena Ioshko (Russia)
    Category II (Soloists up to 15 years old):
    1st - Pavel Zyabko (Russia)
    2nd - Klavdya Tarabrina (Russia)
    3rd - Maciej Zimka (Poland)
    Category III (Soloists up to 18 years old):
    1st - Miulena Stojanovic (Serbia and Montenegro)
    2nd - Vladislav Pligovka (Bielorussia)
    3rd - Josif Puritz (Russia)
    Category IV (Soloists without age limit):
    1st - Alexander Selivanov (Russia)
    2nd - Dragan Vasiljevic (Serbia and Montenegro)
    3rd - Igor Kvashevitch (Belarus)
    Category VA:
    1st - Duo "MM"(Bosnia-Herzegovina/Croatia)
    2nd - Duo Toporovski (Poland)
    3rd - Duo Bajanistov (Russia)
    Category VB:
    1st - Russkije akzent - Dimitrenko (Russia)
    2nd - Duo con Abbandono - Iserloh/Müller (Germany)
    3rd - Krzanovski / Misiak (Poland)
    Category VI (Virtuoso light music for soloists)
    1st - Jeremy Lafon (France)
    2nd - Guy Giuliano (France)
    3rd - Camille Privat (France)

    Finding a Region's Soul in an Accordion's Wail - Colombia

    A boy is playing the accordion hard in Valledupar, and Andrés Gil's (pictured) ears perk up. The maestro, as he is known in this honky-tonk town, bends forward. His eyes narrow as he carefully studies spindly fingers furiously thumping. "Just look at those keystrokes," Gil says proudly, shaking his head as the star pupil, Carlos Ramírez, 11, works his Hohner accordion. "It is amazing how hard he plays, like an adult. Just listen to the technique." Even in a world of techno, pop and hip-hop, the wheezy drone of the accordion sets Andrés Gil's blood pumping.

    Valledupar is a traditional town, where men wear wide straw hats, the women dress in layered, flowery skirts and people seem content to let life unfurl with the winds that blow off the Sierra Nevada. Nothing here is more traditional than Vallenato (pronounced vah-yeh-NAH-toe) music, the accordion driven folk style whose ribald ballads about women and love, vendettas and horses, serve as a testimonial to a hard-bitten life.

    And perhaps no one is doing more to preserve authentic Vallenato, with its sometimes corny, endearing lyrics and steady beat, than Gil of the André's Gil Musical Academy who teaches 400 students, almost all of them children. No one is turned away; Gil waives tuition fees for those who cannot pay.

    Many of the students are poor, some of them refugees from Colombia's long civil war. Others are the children of Valledupar's high society, their parents as eager to get them into the academy as American parents might be about Juilliard. The idea, Gil said, "is to teach a new generation of musicians about the beauty and mystery of a musical form whose roots reach back hundreds of years. The accordion is crucial in Vallenato and Vallenato is the voice of the region and its people."

    Story by Juan Forero, NY Times


    Accordion Educational Program TV Show - China

    A TV program named "Accordion, My Best Friend" was aired on Shanghai Education TV recently showing viewers the basics about the accordion. The show made accordion playing seem very easy for beginners with specialists and tutors explaining and demonstrating to accordion enthusiasts. The show also included some exciting performances by ensembles.

    Yuri Is First Accordionist at Moscow Arts Center - Russia

    Yuri Medianik, winner of several International Competitions and the student of Professor W. Semionov, continued his tour through Russia last week introducing the bayan and violin together in concert. Yuri's concert was the first performance by an accordionist at the 400 seat Moscow Performing Arts Center (chamber hall) built in 2002. His bayan program included composers Rameau, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov, Chosson etc. and his violin program included composers Kreizler, Sarasate and Saint-Saens amongst others.
    Ángel Luis Castaño

    4th International "Fisarmonica d' Oro" Competition - Italy

    The 4th International "Fisarmonica d' Oro" Competition will be held in Benevento from 19th to 20th July under the direction and guidance of founder Peppino Principe, Coordinator Luigi Febbraro and Artistic Director Renzo Rugierri. The competition, which was founded way back in 1977 by Peppino Principe has drawn an increasing number of international participants and professionals.

    This year, international jazz accordionist Renzo Rugierri has been appointed Artistic Director. He has integrated new ideas into the event, one of which is the introduction of new categories ie the Student (boys under 13 years), the Junior (up to 16 years) and Senior (over 16 years) categories. There will be many prizes during the two-day festival, the most important being the "Fisarmonica d' Oro" (an artistic trophy plus €2,000 cash prize) to be awarded to the most distinguished performance of the whole event.

    For further information, email

    International Montreux Accordion Camp - Switzerland

    The International Montreux Accordion Camp, usually held in Grimenx will be held in Les Avants (5 miles from Montreux) from 20th to 27th August as the event celebrates its 5th year. Organized and tutored by international artists, Jean-Louis Noton, Peter Soave and Madeleine Soave, the IMAC offers 7 days of workshops, lectures, master-classes and private instructions at the Maison de Jeunes, Chemin de Peccaux, providing a professional setting that harmonizes nature and learning.

    Subjects taught include:
    - Classical, tango, musette, jazz, improvisation, world-music;
    - Midi programing and performance;
    - Standard & chromatic bass, piano & chromatic keyboard, accordina, bandonéon;
    - Articulation, fingering, phrasing, bellow techniques;
    - Preparation for performance and international competitions;
    - Solo and chamber music;
    - History of the accordion;
    - Sight reading and How to "play by ear" or How to play at jam sessions.

    The IMC usually draws professional and amateur participants of all ages from around the world to perform, train, and share their knowledge of accordion.

    During the seminar all lectures, lessons, meals and room accommodations are hosted in a center that emphasizes camaraderie and progress in a friendly environment. Aside from music, there is the breathtaking panorama of the Swiss mountains to be enjoyed!

    For further information, email

    Farmers Market Live - Japan, Norway

    One of the more delightful consequences of our shrinking globe is the way music from one place takes root in another. Farmers Market, a quintet from Trondheim, Norway, were all students of jazz when they met in 1991, but they eventually gravitated to Bulgarian folk music, mainly because the form's odd meters and Oriental scales made it open to the kind of improvisations they like. Leader Stian Carstensen plays accordion and the other members play the usual complement of drums, bass guitar and double on various reeds, including one playing the euphonium.

    Because the group isn't so interested in purity and just likes playing music, they tend to play all styles. So between the jazz and the Bulgarian folk you get metal, boogie, punk and blues. The only consistency is the tempos, which invariably start out very fast and then accelerate. Speed accordion!
    Farmers Market play live on 22nd and 23rd May at Shibuya Eggman, Tokyo.

    Story by Philip Brasor, The Japan Times

    Accordion Players Take Top Honours - Ireland

    A Group of talented musicians from East Antrim, Larne have been celebrating since regaining a major championship title at the recent National Accordion Organisation (NAO) Festival and Championships in Scarborough.

    The East Antrim (Killyglen) Accordion Orchestra, held on to the Advanced Orchestra Championship playing 'Finlandia' by Sibelius. They finished two points clear of the second placed orchestra, Jenny's Accordionists from Colchester and four points clear of the third placed J R Brown Accordion Orchestra from Glasgow.

    Musical director Clyde Johnston said he was delighted with this and other results for the orchestra at the championships, adding that the musicians had worked very hard over the past few months. They had recently attracted a number of new players and Larne Mayor Bobby McKee paid tribute to their talent and musicianship. The Mayor had recently accompanied them to the Irish Accordion Championships in Moate, Co Westmeath, and was delighted with how the group had performed and conducted themselves.
    Las Vegas Convention

    Zorica Karakutovska and the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra - Macedonia

    On May 13th, the Macedonian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra performed "Le Carnaval des Animaux" by Camille Saint-Saens with guest accordionist Zorica Karakutovska at the Army Hall in Skopje. The Orchestra also performed other French works under the direction of French guest conductors.
    French Translators

    Traditional Accordion Concerts - France

    The group, "Original Music of Europe" (Musiques Originales de la Grande Europe) will be on tour in France for the next few months. Made up of accordionist, Eric Blin with Maryse Richard on the clarinet and Natalia Ermakova-Blin on the Violin, the trio were all members of the European Philharmonic Orchestra of Paris.

    Future concert dates:
    22 May 49 Gennes Eglise 8.30pm
    23 May 37 Langeais Eglise 4.00pm
    28 May 72 Le Mans Eglise de Ste-Jeanne D'arc 9.00pm
    29 May 72 Allonnes Eglise 8.45pm
    1 June 72 Guecelard Eglise 8.30pm
    3 June 72 Neuville S/Sarthe Eglise 8.30pm
    4 June 72 Sarge les Le Mans Eglise 8.45pm
    5 June 41 Oucques Eglise 8.30pm
    6 June 41 Vendôme Eglise la Madeleine 4.00pm
    11 June 72 Saint-Gervais en Belin Eglise 8.30pm
    12 June 28 Maintenon Eglise 8.30pm
    13 June 28 Sours Eglise 4.00pm
    20 June 72 Le Mans Eglise Sainte-Therese 5.00pm

    Integral Execution of "Arte della Fuga" of J.S. Bach - Italy

    The concert artist of classical accordion, Italian Salvatore di Gesualdo has executed the integrale "Die Kunst der Fuge" BWV 1080 of Johann Sebastian Bach in Bariu on the 18th and 19th May in the Vallisa Church. This performance was particularly important for various reasons. It was the first integral execution on one accordion of this magnificent work of the German Master, especially so, as Master Salvatore di Gesualdo has for the past 20 years dedicated studies to this work as well as arrangements for accordion. We remember "Consta of 19 parts", between "Counterpoints of 4 and 3 parts" and "Canoni of two voices".

    It also includes the "ultima Fuga" in three voices left uncompleted by Bach just as to the principle of the third exposure with the entrance of the Subject B-A-C-H just like being signed by the master. Bach died before finishing to this"Fuga".

    There are only a few performers in the world who have integrally executed "Die Kunst der Fuge" BWV 1080 because of the technical difficulties constituted by the "counterpoint bachiano" and the instrumental adaption. This work, in fact, does not give any approximate indication of instrumental destination for which it has been written and this has given the possibility to elaborate multiple versions: from the organ to the cembalo, from quartet or string orchestras to the accordion and "sintesed" antique key instrument by the critical ideology of Salvatore di Gesualdo.

    Therefore, for many reasons, a real historical moment for the accordion was brought to the attention of the public and the critics in an absolutely classified plan by one of the great interpreters of the world. This event was organized by Prof. Francesco Palazzo "storical" student of Salvatore di Gesualdo and accordion lecturer at the Conservatory "N. Piccinni" in Bari during the the artistic and cultural program of the institute.

    2004 Sata-Häme Soi-Accordion Festival in Ikaalinen - Finland
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    The annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival be held in Ikaalinen, Finland from 29th June to 4th July. This superb festival which attracted over 36,000 last year, is a regular and highly diverse six-day event held every year shortly after midsummer. It provides an opportunity to enjoy the finest accordion music in the most beautiful surroundings. The individual performers and orchestras are always of the highest quality including a concert and lecture by one of the most renowned accordionists of today, Finland's own Dr. Mika Väyrynen. Mika will perform the complete Bach Goldberg Variations in concert and in addition will offer a lecture on different accordion playing techniques.

    Other artists include the Hungarian based Zoltán Orosz Duo, Veli-Matti Järvenpää TexMex Trio, The Bryac-Quartet from Ukraine, Arts Lyceum, the internationally recognized accordion orchestra from St. Petersburg directed by Michael Arzumanov, famed Finnish folk artists Maria Kalaniemi and Timo Alakotila, Orchestra Mustarastas, the 2003 CIA Coupe Mondiale winners Nikolai Sivchuk and Aleksei Peresidly from Russia and many more.

    The festival will conclude with an appearance by Prime Minister of Finland Matti Vanhanen, who will address the closing ceremony. In addition, The Finnish Ministry of Culture has invited Accordions Worldwide representative Kevin Friedrich to attend the 2004 festival to report on the activities.
    For more information, please visit or For a review of the 2003 festival please visit There will be daily coverage of the 2004 festival beginning June 28 on the same site.

    Stolen Titano Piano Bayan Accordion - USA

    Guy Klucevsek's accordion was lost at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) on 7th May when he handed it off to American Airlines security staff in an aluminum customized flight case. The instrument is a Titano Piano Bayan, black with red bellows (pictured), Serial No. 89062. Although the airline lost the instrument and will continue searching for 90 days, it is now considered missing.

    If you have any information that might help, please email

    Singer's Accordion Debut - Taiwan
    Contributed by Lian Jones of Accordion House

    Taiwanese singer Jolin's single "Prague Square" became the most loved song by the fans, according to a recent internet survey.

    Written by Hong Kong R&B artist, New King Jay, the single uses a lot of rap and R&B elements with accordion playing in the background.

    While the accordion music was not recorded live with the song, Jolin practiced with the help of a Japanese accordion teacher hired by her record company, after the song became very popular. By the time the video clip for "Prague Square" was ready for filming, Jolin had practiced the accordion day and night to make the accordion music in the song live for the video.

    Star Ways Winners - Serbia
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    The first Star Ways international competition for young accordionists was held between 30th April and 2nd May in Kragujevac involving some 125 participants from Russia, Ukraine, Austria, Bosnia, Macedonia and Serbia.

    The competition, divided into five categories was judged by a jury made of teachers of the participants as well as teachers at the Accordion Department at the Kragujevac Philology and Art faculty. For the first time in Serbia, the categories were further divided into 3 "subcategories" namely, a-participants with piano instruments, b-participants with button instruments and c-participants with free-basses instruments. The 3 day competition was held at the Kragujevac Music School (for categories I and II) and at the famous Kragujevac Gymnasium sale (categories III, IV and V). The award for best Serbian Young Accordionist was given to Rade Mijatovic who won most of the important titles in the junior categories. The competition ended with a performance by the winners of the competition on 2nd May. The next Star Ways Competition will be held in April 2005.

    Competition winners:
    Todorovic Kristina (Novi Knezevac) - category Ia
    Todorovic Kristina (Novi Knezevac) - category Ia
    Stanic Janko (Kragujevac) - category Ib
    Nikolic Aleksandar (Valjevo) - category Ic
    Perkucin Natasa (Kanjiza) - category IIa
    Andjelkovic Marko (Smederevo) - category IIb
    Dimitrijevic Darko (Kragujevac) - category IIc
    Savic MIlos (Valjevo) - category IIIa
    Mirkov Petar (Kragujevac) - category IIIc
    Antonic Ivan (Kragujevac) - category IV
    Mijatovic Rade (Kragujevac) - category V

    Australian International Accordion Championships - Australia

    The program schedule for the Australian International Accordion Championships in Sydney on the 29th and 30th of May is now on line. Contestants are coming from China, New Zealand and Australia. The Special Guest Artist is the 2003 Coupe Mondiale International Piano Accordion Champion Pavel Magasarian of Russia.

    Tango Lorca NY Debut - USA
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    Tango Lorca made its New York city debut appearing at the 1st Annual SPiCE Spring Gala on 12th May. Tango Lorca merges old world tango aesthetics with a sinuous texture of jazz, flamenco and classical music. Formed in 1999, this fiery quartet has created a fresh and continually growing body of original compositions and arrangements equally suited for the dance hall or the concert stage. While evoking an undoubtedly Argentine sentiment with classics from the "Golden Age", they also create new, innovative works with a timeless sense of beauty.

    The group plays their music with a deep understanding of tradition as well as an obsessive desire to evolve the art form to new plateaus. The accordionist in Tango Lorca is Lidia Kaminska, originally from Przasnysz, Poland. Lidia recently became the first person to complete her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in accordion performance at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

    Quote of the Week

    Teaching Quote of the Week Edited by Willoughby Walshe

    "Strive for a full, satiated, true tone and do not allow the air stream to overpower the chamber openings, which produces sharp, shrill noises and can damage your instrument."

    Find out more…..The Art of Bayan Playing or Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

    CD Review

    New CD "Absolutely French - The Magic of Bernadette" by Bernadette Conlon. Reviewed by Prof. Joan Sommers.


    New & Updated Sites - with updated information about the annual Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival to be held in July. - updated information and program on the 2004 Rocky Mountain Accordion
    Celebration to be held July 30 - August 1, 2004 in Philipsburg, Montanta. - updated information on ordering your music by credit card through PayPal system. - now offers a preview of the 2004 Test Piece and information on the composer - Franck Angelis.

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