Friedrich Lips’ CD 'Russich und Trepak' (‘Russian and Trepak’) achieved 3rd place in the Classical section of the 2006 Just Plain Folks Music Awards. 25,500 plus albums and 350,000 plus songs were entered for the awards so that nominees in 81 albums and 67 song categories could be announced. This year's nominees come from over 70 countries. The JPF Music Awards are entirely volunteer run but are already the largest and most diverse music awards of any kind in the world. The Just Plain Folks Music Awards Show took place in the Galaxy Theatre of Santa Ana, California on November 4th.
In September Friedrich Lips had a very successful tour in the US visiting cities like Milwaukee, WI (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with celebration of Sofia Gubaidulina’s 75th birthday); Green Bay, WI; Superior, WI (World of Accordions Museum); Elroy, WI; Troy Art, Alabama; Montgomery, Alabama; San Francisco, California; Blackly Island, Washington. In October Friedrich was invited to a tour in Norway by Jon Faukstad, then performed Gubaidulina’s works at different festivals held in Minsk (Bielo-Russia), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Moscow.
In April 2006 Yuri Medianik announced his plans to embark on a new concert program of an exceptionally unusual character. The concept was that even that there are only two performers in the concert, the listeners get to hear three instruments being played. The new undertaking shared in by cellist Oleg Bugaev (picture left) quickly found its way to the public limelight as well as it captured the attention of a number of concert agencies in Russia.
For Yuri, performing in a concert both as a violinist and a bayanist is not a new endeavor, however, the listeners find it very exotic when two very dissimilar instruments are played by one performer, and are played with an equal degree of excellence. In this program, Yuri plays the violin in the first part (violin and cello) and bayan in the second (bayan and cello).
The concert tour was crowned by a performance hosted by the prestigious Chamber Hall of the Moscow International Performance Arts Center and dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Yuri Medianik’s bayan professor Viatcheslav Semionov. Professor Semionov stepped on the stage before the concert for an opening address and confessed that the concert was the most heart warming birthday gift he had ever received.
Richard Galliano UNAC Concert, San Sebastian - Spain
French accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano (picture left) performs at the Auditorium Bastero in Andoain, San Sebastian on November 19th in a concert sponsored by UNAC, the Union de Acordeonistas. The concert begins at 12 noon.
The concert by Richard Galliano follows the annual General Assembly of the UNAC, which takes place on the previous day, November 18th. On the evening of the 18th there will be a dinner and "accordion soirée" in Arbelaitz Restaurant in San Sebastian. The UNAC General Assembly also includes a display of recordings, photographs, instruments, articles, books, scores, etc, which will be open from 10am onwards.
On October 29th the North Shore Accordion Orchestra shared a concert with the Auckland Mandolinata Orchestra, conducted by accordionist Bryan Holden, at the Rose Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.
Performers were the Musicale group conducted by Robert Winchester, the Music Makers, conducted by Christine Adams, and the NSAO, conducted by Lionel Reekie, and soloist Grayson Masefield (picture right), the latter recently returned from international accordion competitions in Serbia, Italy and Norway.
Because this sold out concert was a huge success, it is likely to become an annual event.
Caister International Accordion Festival, Norfolk - UK
The 2006 Caister International Accordion Festival, November 2nd/6th, was indeed a great success, enabling a succession of first class accordion artistes to enthral their audiences with a variety of styles and repertoires. The concerts included Scottish dancing, with Gary Blair playing and calling the dances.
The opening night concert began with Harry Hussey playing requests, followed by Italy’s Roberto Lucanero playing lively folk dance tunes on his 2-row diatonic button accordion. Romano Viazzani then performed a repertoire of serious music compositions, including some Piazzolla pieces followed by a complete contrast with Jack Emblow and Tony Compton’s set of jazz standards. The Friday evening concert began with Harry Hussey again playing requests, but was mainly given over to the Art Van Damme Quintet, whose performance of classic jazz arrangements was as exciting as it was nostalgic. The Quintet members were Art Van Damme (picture left - accordion), Pat McCarthy (guitar), Roger Nobes (vibes), Len Skeets (bass), and Bobby worth (drums).
The Saturday evening concert featured Harry Hussey, Roberto Lucanero, Gary Blair and the accordion sextet Norvic Concordia, followed by a performance by Giancarlo Caporilli, from Italy, a regular at this festival, who produced immaculate renditions of Continental and original compositions.
The final concert on Sunday evening was mainly taken up with the weekend workshop orchestras and bands, with excellent performances given by all participants. After these, Pearl Fawcett-Adriano (picture left) took center stage and gave a marvellous performance of popular classics, demonstrating how acoustic and electronic voices can blend tastefully and effectively together.
Following Pearl, there were unscheduled contributions from Romano Viazzani (picture right), Giancarlo Caporilli, and from David Halcrow, Jim Halcrow and Alan Nicolson, a trio of accordionists from Shetland. The festival concluded with all the guest artistes and organiser Heather Smith (picture above right) on stage together, jamming ‘Bel Viso’ with great gusto.
The bi-annual National Accordion Music Composers’ Competition, organised by the North Staffs Accordion Club, produced a crop of original music, and was an important feature of the festival.
The NE Accordion Festival takes place on November 10th and 11th at California Building, 2205 California Step, NE Minneapolis, Minnesota. This festival is a celebration of the free-reed instrument family including both chromatic and piano accordion, concertina, diatonic button accordions and harmonium. Festivities include concerts, workshops, jam sessions, new friends, and an evening dance.
Artistes appearing include Jose Curbelo, Joanna Arnold Darrow, Patrick Harison, Datta Hartman and Machinery Hill, Dee Langley, ‘Skeets’ Langley, Larry Malmberg, Jerry Minar, Dan Newton, Eric Ray and Jenny Schultz, John Scaffeo, and Dan Turpening. The festival is sponsored by KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio.
Immediately after performing Piazzolla’s concert ‘Aconcagua’ with the Berlin Philharmonic, from November 12th to 22nd, Russian accordionist Aidar Gainullin will visit Austria for 8 concerts - Vienna, Graz, St. Andrä, Klagenfurt, Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Salzburg, Hochegg, Neunkirchen, and a workshop at the conservatory in Klagenfurt. His program will include works by J.S. Bach, A. Vivaldi, D. Scarlatti, S. Prokofjev, A. Borodin, A. Schnittke, A. Piazzolla, and others.
After finishing his studies at the famous Gnessin Music Academy in Moscow Aidar Gainullin is now living and working in Berlin. He has already performed with famous orchestras all over the world and is also prizewinner of the Rostropovitch foundation. Recently he has been writing film music and now he is going to publish his own CD and DVD series.
On November 16th, at 8.30pm, Spanish accordionist Victor Prieto will be performing with Emilio Solla and The NY Jazz-Tango Group, featuring jazz saxophonist Donny McCaslin. The venue is the Cornelia Street Café, New York, and the music is based on jazz and tango original compositions by Emilio Solla.
The National Accordion Association is busy celebrating its 20th birthday with a series of events, and the next takes place on November 19th at the Hurst Recreation Center, 700 Mary Drive, Hurst, Texas. This will be a barbeque with accordion entertainment, from 2pm until approximately 4pm. The accordionist artistes performing include Nick Ballarini and ‘Accordion Fusion’, an accordion orchestra.
A new NAA website is currently being created to reflect a national position, but the current NAA website is still functioning, and is being revised and updated.
Virtuoso accordionist Pearl Fawcett-Adriano performs at Stockport Accordion Club on November 22nd, at 8pm. Stockport AC is based at Woodley Methodist Church, Chapel St, Woodley, Stockport (Junction 25, M60).
Pearl Fawcett-Adriano, a former Junior and Senior CMA World Champion, is widely renowned as one of the UK’s greatest accordion talents, and has performed internationally with great acclaim.