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  26 November 2004This weeks news | Past News  | Send news

This Weeks News

  • Honoured Artist of Russia Award for Timbre Accordion Quintet - Russia
  • Accordion Orchestra Concert, Barcelona - Spain
  • Billy McComiskey and Friends Concert, Philadelphia - USA
  • Yuri Medianik Concert at Art Exhibition, Moscow - Russia
  • Successful NAO Area Accordion Festival, Scotland - UK
  • Yehuda Oppenheimer, Jerusalem - Israel
  • Trio 'Ars Harmonica', Katowice - Poland
  • Nikolai Ryskov Concerts, England - UK
  • Zupan Appoint New Sales Representative, Vancouver - Canada
  • Musical Project from Senegal - Africa
  • Eastbourne Accordion Festival, England - UK
  • New Diatonic Accordion Dedicated to Mexico's Zorro - Italy
  • Quote of the Week
  • CD Review
  • New and Updated Sites
  • Nicemelody

    Honoured Artist of Russia Award for Timbre Accordion Quintet - Russia
    Information supplied by Martin Frey of Pigini Schweiz

    On the 19th July 2004 all members of the Group were awarded the title of Honoured Artist of Russia. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, conferred the honour in Moscow. Valeri Somorov founded the Timbre Russian Accordion Group in Moscow 1982. There were originally six musicians, Sergej Simbirjev (until 1996), Victor Anokhin, Viacheslav Stoma, Paul Zaitsev, Michail Dmitrokopulo and Viacheslav Kuzminskiy (art.director of the group). Sergej Simbirjev left in 1996, since when the group has continued as a quintet.

    This is the only professional group in Russia that plays timbre accordions, the unique instruments made by the Russian designer Nikolai Kosorukov. These instruments are quite unlike anything else in the world in terms of sounds produced. Their sound quality resembles closely that of symphonic orchestra wind instruments made of brass or wood. So they were called 'Flute', 'Oboe', 'Clarinet', 'French horn' and 'Tuba'. The traditional multi-coupler accordion is also used in the Group. Included in the repertoire of the Group are works of Russian and international classical compositions, folk songs from all over the world, jazz and contemporary music.

    At the present the Timbre Russian Accordion Group is a leader amongst Russian accordion ensembles, and has made many appearances on radio and television. Over the years, the Group has recorded many CDs. They are also winners of all Russian (Moscow 1985, Tula 1986, Sverdlovsk 1990, Moscow 1997) and several foreign competitions: 'Grand Prix International' (France 1991), 'Citta di Castelfidardo' (Italy 1991). The musicians have given concerts in many countries of the world: Germany, Switzerland, France, Greece, Finland, Holland, Italy, Portugal and many more.

    Gary Dahl

    Accordion Orchestra Concert, Barcelona - Spain

    The Orquestra Nacional Cambra Andorra, the national accordion orchestra from the Principality of Andorra - the tiny independent country that is situated between Spain and France - is in concert at the Catalan Palace of Music in Barcelona on November 30th (9pm).

    The orchestra's Musical Director is Gerard Claret, and the featured accordion soloist is Inaki Alberdi. The concert program includes Bartok 'Danses romanses', Piazzolla 'Five sensations of tango', and Tschaikovsky 'Serenade in D major, op 48'.

    For further information email

    A to Z of the Accordion

    Billy McComiskey and Friends Concert, Philadelphia - USA
    Contributed by Rob Howard

    Two-row diatonic accordionist Billy McComiskey, originally from Brooklyn, New York, and now resident in Baltimore, is in concert at Coatsville Cultural Society, 143 E. Lincoln Highway, Coatsville, Philadelphia on December 11th, at 8pm. Playing alongside Billy are Laura Byrne (flute), Peter Fitzgerald (banjo), Pat Egan (guitar) and Myron Bretholz (bodhran). All five musicians will conduct specialist workshops prior to the concert.

    Billy McComiskey, winner of the All-Ireland Championship for button accordion in 1986, is an acknowledged master of the East Galway style that characterises the playing of many of New York's best Irish accordionists. He has made many recordings, the latest of which is a CD titled 'Makin' the Rounds'.



    Yuri Medianik Concert at Art Exhibition, Moscow - Russia
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    The inauguration of an Exhibition of Painting by Valery Babin took place on the 18th of November in Moscow. The Exhibition's opening was celebrated by a concert featuring Russian Yuri Medianik (accordion and violin) and Belgium's Jehanne Strepenne (violin).

    Their program included pieces by JS Bach, Corelli, Glier and Rachmaninov. In attendance were many people from Moscow's artistic circle and also several leading politicians, and the duo received a tremendous ovation from their audience.

    The duo perform only their own transcriptions and arrangements. In January 2005 they will appear in Elektrostal (Russia), in Saint-Omer (France), in Arques (France) and in Neufchateau (Belgium). Details of dates and venues will soon be announced.

    Successful NAO Area Accordion Festival, Scotland - UK
    Contributed by Anna and Ray Bodell of Charnwood Publishing

    The second National Accordion Organisation West of Scotland Area Festival was held on Saturday 13th November 2004 in Johnston. Attracting an increased entry of 278 entries it has already established itself as the largest NAO regional festival. Although early in the festival season, the adjudicators Raymond Bodell, CIA Vice President, Ulrich Schmuelling and John Carmichael, were impressed at the overall standard of the candidates in the various solo, duos, group and orchestral classes.

    Of particular note was the large number of young players participating aged from 3 years old and upwards, which only bodes well for the future of the instrument in this region of Scotland. Special mention must be made to St John's Accordion Band, Drumcree, who had travelled from Northern Ireland as well as the organisers' orchestras - The Brian Laurie Paisley Academy of Music and the Graham Laurie School of Music - for their excellent performances. The evening was concluded with an excellent Ceilidh, featuring the John Carmichael Scottish Dance Band.

    Yehuda Oppenheimer, Jerusalem - Israel

    Leading Israeli accordionist Yehuda Oppenheimer has recently released a CD titled 'Magic Accordion', containing a variety of music representing different styles - performed entirely on Stradella (standard) bass accordion. Included are classical pieces by JS Bach, Chopin, Cirelli, Cimarosa, Fiocco and other composers, and several original works by Oppenheimer - the suite 'Images of Israel', 'Chaconne', and various other pieces including a polka and some concert waltzes.

    Yehuda Oppenheimer - known in Israel as 'The Prophet of the Accordion' - was born in Nazi Germany in 1925, but moved to Holland where a Dutch family hid his family in order to escape persecution during the period of the Holocaust. After World War Two ended, Oppenheimer relocated to Palestine where he graduated from a music school with the violin as his first instrument.

    Oppenheimer's great love of the accordion prevailed over the violin, and in Israel he has succeeded in raising the status and perception of the accordion from an instrument previously associated only with folk and popular music into an instrument accepted on the classical concert platform.

    Trio 'Ars Harmonica', Katowice - Poland
    Contributed by Dr. Herbert Scheibenreif of Friedrich Lips Productions

    The highly accomplished Polish accordion trio 'Ars Harmonica' (Jakub Mietla, Piotr Chololowicz and Michal Opeldus) recently undertook a concert tour of Austria. All members of the trio are graduates of the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice (the accordion class of Professor Joachim Pichura), where Piotr Chololowicz has recently also been appointed an assistant teacher. For further information email or visit their website

    The repertoire of the trio extends far beyond the standard classical conservatoire program, ranging from J.S. Bach and Vivaldi to ethnic Slavonic folk music to Astor Piazzolla. Their CD titled 'Live', released in February 2004, featured virtuosic arrangements of Slavonic folk music, Piazzolla's 'Libertango', and original compositions. The special attraction of their concerts is due not only to its unusual arrangements, but also to the combination of three contrasting types of repertoire. They also feature a combination of piano and two chromatic button accordions.

    Nikolai Ryskov Concerts, England - UK

    Nikolai Ryskov, London-based Russian accordionist, is performing at the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London on the 21st December. The concert, which starts at 7.30pm, also includes singer-tenor Romeo Levani and a band known as 'Russian Dream. In 2005, Nikolai Ryskov has bookings at three English accordion clubs. These are North Staffs AC on 15th February, the White Horse AC in Wiltshire on 12th June, and Birmingham's Club Accord on 10th October.

    For further information email

    Zupan Appoint New Sales Representative, Vancouver - Canada

    Gordon Groening, leader of The Gordanairs European Musik in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has been appointed the new Zupan Sales Representative in Western Canada by Zupan Accordions. Gordon Groening's email address is He says: "Please feel free to email me any questions, and if you would like more information about the range of Zupan accordions".

    Musical Project from Senegal - Africa
    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    A new musical project intended to unite the young of the world through music, and to encourage discovery of different cultures, has been announced. Ansoumana Pape Bodian from Senegal is the project organiser and he is appealing to accordionists to join other young musicians and non musicians to form groups performing modern music with varied styles as rap, rock, funk zouk / Afro techno and more. All instruments are welcomed, and accordionists are invited to explore this opportunity and to take advantage of this unique cultural exchange.

    The project doesn't only limit itself to music but also to educate the young with regard to the drug problem, AIDS, criminality, young people being in difficulties in countries in conflict or due to poverty. Accordionists interested to participate in this project are kindly invited to contact Bodian Pape Ansoumana at:

    Eastbourne Accordion Festival, England - UK

    Carillon Studios will be organising the second Eastbourne Accordion Festival, from the 18th to 21st February, at The Cumberland Hotel, in the south coast resort of Eastbourne.

    The guest artistes will include Harry Hussey, John Leslie, Lisa Lee Leslie, John Romero, Charlie Watkins and Italy's Gennaro Fiondella. Trade representatives include Accordion World, Carillon Studios, Ketron, Orla UK, SR Technology, Trevani, and WEM. Activities include workshops, trade demonstrations and concerts.

    For further information email
    A to Z of the Accordion

    New Diatonic Accordion Dedicated to Mexico's Zorro - Italy
    Contributed by Maximiliano Ciucciomei, Ranco Accordions

    The Ranco Accordion Company has designed a new two-row diatonic button accordion, called the Zorrito. Ranco has a reputation for interesting and special accordion designs of fine quality. The design of this new instrument is dedicated to the Mexican myth Zorro, made famous through films and television. All details on the accordion reflect its image and its beauty.

    For further information email


    Quote of the Week

      Did You Know? by Willoughby Walshe

    '' International Summer Seminar and Festival has contributed greatly to Lithuanian accordionists being successful in competitions abroad. For about 10 days, accordionists of all ages and performance levels, students, and teachers take part in master classes conducted by famous musicians. Accordionists in the seminar orchestra study a complete program under three conductors and present it to the public. Students from the country's conservatories as well as lecturers perform in intimate concerts held every evening."

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

    CD Review

    A new CD Review of Bernadette Conlon. Review by Prof. Joan Cochran Sommers


    New & Updated Sites - A new site for Australian performer Bernadette Conlon advertising her CDs for sale.

    Gary Dahl - The Scandalli website has been updated with new information.

    Fisitalia - The 2005 Texas Accordion Association details are now on-line, contributed by Norman Seaton. The progressively minded TAA is constantly looking for new ideas and suggestions.
    - Details are available of the 2005 ATG (Accordionists and Teachers' Guild Int.) Convention.

    Ángel Luis Castaño - A full list of all the results from the Citta di Castelfidardo International Accordion Competition (October 2004) is now on line.   


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