A few hours ago, on the Sunday 30th July 2006, Anthony Galla-Rini had some troubles at the nursing home where he lived. He was taken to hospital where the family quickly gathered to say their goodbyes. His son Ron told me, that Tony Galla-Rini had a massive heart attack and died, at the grand age of 102 years.
Galla-Rini had a huge influence on the development of the accordion over so many decades. He is probably the most published arranger of all time and was famous for his recordings and teaching. His arrangements were always regarded as an epitomy of accuracy and attention to detail.
I have had Tony in my life from the age of 15, so you can see how much his passing means to me. He had a lot of influence on me, personally, and for thousands of other accordionists for such a very long time. He really was a truly great musician to whom every accordionist owes a tremendous gratitude.
This is truly the end of a very historical era of the accordion!
May we all be so blessed to have such a long and productive life.
Professor of Accordion
University of Missouri, Kansas City
A full obituary of the life of Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini is on the Memorials Site along with funeral information, Saturday August 12th, including where you can send personal condolences.
Mika Väyrynen to perform at the Tuusulalake Chamber Music Festival, Finland
Having just returned from a very successful series of Masterclasses and a concert in Kragujevac, Serbia, Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen will soon appear at the Tuusulalake (Lake Tuusula) Chamber Music festival near Järvenpää, Finland from July 29th to August 2nd.
Mika (right) will be making two appearances at this year’s festival which has the theme 'Ipanema - Inari; South America and Northern Finland'. The festival is under the artistic direction of Jaakko and Pekka Kuusisto.
On a concert entitled 'Finnished Tango' on August 1st, at 4pm at the Aino-hall in Tuusula, Mika will be performing the concerto ‘Metamorphoses’, by Paavo Korpijaakko, on Bayan. On the second concert, titled 'Buenos Suenos', to be held at Seuratalo in Järvenpää on August 2nd at 7pm, Mika will play bandoneon when he performs Piazzolla's double Concerto ‘Hommage a Liege’, with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen (left).
‘Accordion’ - New Technical Approach, is the title of a recently published book by CIA and CMA World Champion Frédéric Deschamps. This accordion method is not an anthology of progressive exercises but rather a ‘method’ of developing better playing principles.
The intention is to help to resolve various technical difficulties, using music written by such composers as Andre Astier, Joss Baselli and Medard Ferrero, plus many others. Frédéric Deschamps (right), the teacher of many international competition winners, deals with common problems faced by accordion players, such as the position of the hands, arms, wrists, the movement of the fingers, and using the air button, and many other matters.
This year’s title is: ‘HA HA! WA WA! The Accordion Can Kill You!’ The master classes begin at 3pm and the concerts take place at 7pm. The event will take place at The Tenri Cultural Institue - 43A West 13 St in New York City. Complete information on the AAA website.
Bruno Allodi Passes Away (1 July 1915 - 25 July 2006) - Italy
Bruno Allodi, founder of Allodi Accordions of Italy passed away sleeping peacefully on Tuesday afternoon 25 July 2006.
Born on 1st July 1915, Bruno Allodi was determined to learn to play the accordion and he would settle for being no less than the very best. In a quiet, sleepy hamlet called Saint Illario, Felino, this young man started a fascinating and fulfilling life that he could not even have begun to imagine in those humble beginnings.
The picture shows the young dashing Bruno Allodi, at a time when he was one of Italy's most promising talents. Father of Claudio and Emilio, he will be sadly missed.
Visually impaired accordion virtuoso, Bernadette Conlon (left) has just returned home from a whirlwind tour of the US and Canada, bringing her audiences to their feet, in her unique concerts.
Bernadette gave concerts and adjudicated at the Leavenworth International Accordion Festival, along with fellow concert artistes Murl Allen Sanders and Janet Todd. The festival included an accordion parade, as well as an array of old time music, which suited the picturesque setting of this beautiful Bavarian style village.
Next was the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, which featured such artistes as Dick Contino, the K Trio, and Art Van Damme. Bernadette had the honour of having Art Van Damme open her Wednesday evening concert. She gave workshops on Pietro Frosini, in which she had the pleasure and honour of being able to use the 1927 Guerrini, used by Guido Deiro, thus being able to play his music on a period instrument.
Bernadette completed her tour with concerts and workshops at the Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships, where she was a featured guest artiste, alongside artistes Bobby Ray, Kerry Christiansen, Murl Allen Sanders and also including a night of dancing with the Canadian Emeralds, the group famed for writing the Chicken Dance.
On July 10th to 16th I performed at Vyborg International Chamber Music Festival ‘Evenings in Monrepos’. This festival is an annual event and has been held now for the 15th time.
The festival program featured musicians from Moscow, St. Petersburg as well as from Cologne (Germany) and New York (USA) playing violin, piano, viola, cello, drums and accordion, and I have played there annually since 2004. The wonderful atmosphere is a great feature of this festival thanks to its location at one of the most beautiful places of North-Western Russia.
'Mirandolina' is a timeless farce, written in the 18th Century by Carlo Goldoni, now updated and set in Mussolini's Italy in the 1930s. The play, which is adult rather than family entertainment, is a fast paced comedy about Mirandolina who owns and runs a café and is pursued by several oddball suitors, one of whom is played by British TV personality Matthew Kelly. The action is fast and funny as the men who frequent Mirandolina's cafe fancy their chances at winning her attention.
Lisa-Lee Leslie (left) is the sole musician in the show, and frequently
appears in the cafe and amongst the audience to provide atmospheric accompaniment to the action on her accordion. The Royal Exchange is very much theatre-in-the-round, with Lisa popping up at various places in the audience - as do some of the characters when making their entrances.
The original score, written by Dominic Haslam, includes music and songs that are pastiches of a pre-war Italian style and tango - all suited to the accordion, and performed to perfection by Lisa.
This show is well worth seeing - highly enjoyable, runs until August 5th, and there are Matinees (2.30pm) on Wednesday and Saturday. Evening performances begin at 7.30pm.
Domi Emorine and Roman Jbanov, known as the Paris Moscow Duo, performed concerts in the Cote d'Azur in the south of France, from July 21st to 23rd. The concerts took place in the beautiful villages of Le Rouret, Colomars and Valberg, and were presented by the star of French television and radio, Frederic Gerard.
Local accordionist Marcel Mercanti organised and performed in each concert, opening each show playing a musette piece by Vincent Genovese. The concerts also featured 17 years old Guy Giuliano (right), an outstanding local accordionist, playing his own arrangements of music written by Chick Corea, Astor Piazzolla and Richard Galliano, and accordionist Rene Sopa with clarinettist Sylvain Hamel (left), who played some jazz standards.
To close these concerts, Marcel Mercanti invited the Paris Moscow Duo (Domi Emorine & Roman Jbanov), who made a musical trip for the public between France and Russia. In their repertoire, famous Russian composers like Risol and Koniaiev.... and some famous French composers such as Azzola, Astier, Baselli and Angelis.
Grammy-winning diatonic accordionist Flaco Jimenez is one of the legends of the world of Tex-Mex Conjunto. While there are many masters of the accordion along the Texas-Mexican border, none has toured Europe, Japan and other countries overseas or recorded with as many pop, rock and country artistes as Flaco Jimenez. Flaco has the following appearances coming up:-
July 29th - Pepe's On the River, Mission, Texas
August 5th - Tejano Conjunto Jam 2006, Fresno, California
August 6th - Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California
Oct 6th - Santa Rosa Children's Hospital Private Fundraiser
The Davide Bonetti Trio –Davide Bonetti (accordion), Daniela Savoldi (violoncello), Bianca Caraman (violin), perform entertainment music at the Vecchio Lavatoio, via Alzaia, 13 Trezzo sull'Adda, Milan, on July 30th, at 11am. Entrance is free.
Richard Galliano at the Paris Jazz Festival - France
The International Accordion Camp takes place at Montreux, and popular demand has meant that there will be two separate sessions, August 1st to 8th, and 11th to 18th. The tutors are Jean-Louis Noton (left), Peter Soave and Mady Soave (right).
During the seminars all lectures, lessons, meals and room accommodations are hosted in a center that emphasizes camaraderie and progress in a friendly environment. Aside from music making, participants can enjoy the breathtaking panorama of the Swiss mountains!
Classes offered include:
• Classical, tango, musette, jazz, improvisation, world-music
• M.I.D.I. programming and performance
• Standard & chromatic bass, piano & chromatic keyboard, accordina, bandonéon • Articulation, fingering, phrasing, bellow techniques
• Solo and chamber music
• History of the accordion
• Computer-Aided Music
• And more...
Sidmouth Folk Week takes place from August 4th to 11th, and the very extensive guest list includes numerous accordionists, melodeon and concertina players such as John Kirkpatrick, Tim Van Eyken, John Spiers and Jon Boden, Roger Watson, Andy Cutting, Chris Harvey, Shona Kipling, Jim Causley, Mary Humphrey and Anahata, Brian Peters, Chris Parkinson, Robert Harbron, and bands such as Crucible, English Acoustic Collective, Faustus, Dartmoor Pixie Band and the New Rope String Band.
An afternoon concert takes place on August 6th, at 3pm, at The Shooting Lodge, Guildford Road, Sutton Green, Surrey GU4 7PZ. The guest accordionists are George Syrett, from Leeds, and John Romero, from Eastbourne. Also performing are The Tillingbourne Accordion Orchestra.
The annual Camp Accordion Land takes place in Crown Point State Park, Alameda, on August 12th and 13th. The camp features workshops led by local accordion teachers (including tango, jazz and klezmer workshops), private and group teaching, two accordion orchestra performances, and even an accordion sand sculpture contest.