Attendees from countries including New Zealand, UK, Finland, USA, Germany, China, Italy and France are meeting during this first ever Winter Congress gathering in the Southern Hemisphere.
The CIA Public Relations Manager Harley Jones has coordinated the event and it is being held under the auspices of the New Zealand Accordion Association (NZAA) the hosts of the 2009 Coupe Mondiale in Auckland, New Zealand.
Guests attending the Winter Congress Meeting have the opportunity to experience the unique culture of the neighbouring Village including visits to the local schools and traditional Meke celebrations.
Also attending the event as performing artists are several CIA Contestants, including Benoit Chabod and Cyril Blanchard, and two CIA Virtuoso Entertainment Champions - Phil Bouvier (2004) and Julien Gonzales (2006) - who will be performing several concerts while in Fiji.
Nagigia Island is the world headquarters of Accordions Worldwide and Music for Accordion, proving today's technology can unite even the remotest areas of the world.
19 years old French accordionist Vincent Lhermet has just broken 7 years of Russian successes by winning the International Competition of Arrasate, Hiria, in the Basque region of Northern Spain. A student of Jacques Mornet at CNIMA, Vincent Lhermet, who comes from Clermont-Ferrrand, performed pieces by Bach, Angelis, Kusiakov, Scarlatti, Tuchowsky, L de Pablo, Urbano and Weber in the competition.
The participants, who were all of an exceptional level, came from Russia, Serbia, Finland, Austria, Ukraine, China and France. Placed 2nd place: Rade Mijatovic (Serbia) and 3rd place: Maria Vlasova (Russia). The Jury members were: Jose Antonio Hontoria (Spain), Stefan Hussong (Germany), Jacques Mornet (France), Matti Rantanen (Finland) and Vojin Vasovic (Serbia).
The Arrasate International Competition began in 1993, and is organized by Hauspoz, the Basque Accordion Association.
Spanish famous concert accordionist Angel Luis Castaño´s two new CDs are now available. The CD ‘Encore!’ features 22 works for solo accordion and some transcriptions that he plays in concerts like ‘encore’ pieces. Compositions by Rossini, Granados, Solotarew, Ligeti, Piazzolla, Semyonov, Lecuona, Tárrega, Schmith, Ibert, Albéniz, Busseuil, etc, are included in this new CD.
And Castaño´s last CD ‘Perspectivas’ features seven works for cello and accordion by Fallas, Piazzolla, Fauré, Kaufmann, Pärt and Kuusisto - performing with David Apellániz, cello. Both are professors in the Superior Conservatory of Zaragoza (Spain).
Angel Luis Castaño has more than 10 CDs for accordion and this last year he had already presented the CD ‘Spanish Music for solo accordion’, where all works are dedicated to him by Spanish composers who have most of them received The National Prize of Music in Spain: Jesús Rueda (2004), David Del Puerto (2005) and César Camarero (2006).
New York-based accordionist, organist and media personality writes: “I went to see Richard Galliano at the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) event in New York on January 13th, when he ‘blew the roof off the house’ at the Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom final concert. This was an incredible evening of French jazz with Richard Galliano honoring Michel Legrand.
We (Jennifer) and I went to the NAMM show (National Association of Music Merchants), which ran from January 18th to 21st in Ahaheim, California. I would say that this year accordion manufacturers attendance was down. Gabannelli Accordions, Bafetti and Roland were there, and Fuselli accordion straps and bags. We were expecting to meet other friends of ours from Italy who cancelled. I saw more Chinese accordions than Italians I would say. My guess is that most accordion companies have opted to do Musikmesse this year. The next NAMM show takes place from July 27th to 29th in Austin, Texas.
I'll be here in the Bay Area playing some hospital shows and working on my radio program for the next 2 weeks”.
On January 10th Stockport Accordion Club presented Julie Best, lead accordionist with the Ronmar Accordion Orchestra, as guest artiste, and her very polished performance and extensive repertoire certainly kept everybody entertained throughout her two lengthy spots. Julie played ‘Zingarella’, ‘Under Paris Skies’, ‘Maigret’, ‘Come Back to Sorrento’ (the Charles Magnante arrangement), ‘Cubanola’, ‘Sway’, ‘Triste Sourire’, ‘Gay Gordons Medley’, ‘Is this the Way to Amarillo?’, ‘The Cuckoo Waltz’, ‘Simonetta’, ‘Highland Cathedral’, ‘Gin & It’, and several other pieces.
Julie’s second half spot included some accordion duets with Jean Corrighan, her chauffeur for the long trip from Carlisle, which included a sparkling performance of the ‘Jacqueline Waltz’. Towards the end, Julie also did a duet with concertina player John Nixon, and they romped through a set of Al Jolson numbers in fine style.
The NAO Regional Festival season continued again last Sunday 21st January 2007 with the NAO Midlands Area Festival held in Leicester and organised by NAO Secretariat Pauline Noon. An excellent number of entries were received and adjudicator for the day Graham Laurie, NAO Deputy Chairperson was impressed with overall standard of the contestants.
He awarded the trophy for the most promising performance of the day to 8 year old Alexander Bodell for his performances in two categories.
The season of festivals continues in the forthcoming weeks with festivals to be held in Northern Ireland (27th January), South Scotland (4th February), North Yorkshire (24th February) and London (4th March) and culminating in the UK Championships to be held on the weekend of 4th – 6th May 2007.
The 2007 Celtic Connections Festival takes place from January 17th to February 4th, and is one of the world’s largest winter music festivals. The venues of the festival include Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, The National Piping Centre, The Tron Theatre and St Andrews in the Square. Bands featuring accordion include the Scott Harvey Ceilidh Band, Session 9 (Scotland), Four Men and a Dog (Ireland), Dervish (Ireland), Na h-Oganaich (Scotland), Lau (Scotland), Eddie Reader and band (featuring accordionist Alan Kelly), Moishe’s Bagel; concertina player Simon Thoumire, and accordionists Sandy Brechin, Alan Kelly, David Munnelly, and Angus Lyon. Accordionist Donald Shaw is the festival’s Artistic Director.
On January 27th, at 7pm, BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Take the Floor’ visits the festival for a live broadcast with presenter Robbie Shepherd, the Ian Muir Scottish Dance Band and special guests.
The festival incorporates the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final, which takes oplace on January 28th, at 5pm, at the City Halls Grand Hall. The finalists include accordionist Martin Hunter.
This festival includes a wide variety of events. On February 3rd, in the Clyde Foyer at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, there will be a workshop titled 'Come and Try: Accordion', at 11am, and 'Accordion Techniques', Sandy Brechin at 2pm.
After a successful Italian Evening on December 2nd 2006 at Athenaeum in Cape Town, the Bulgarian - born accordionist Stanislav Angelov is returning with the same team: Violina Anguelov – mezzo soprano and Nicolas Cenchele – tenor, to present a Viennese Evening on January 27th. The program will include music by J. Strauss, F. Lehar, E. Kalman, J. Schrammel and others – some instrumental and some arias and duets from operettas.
London-based Milos Milivojevic performs two concerts in January. These are:
January 27th, at 8pm - St Mary's Church, Horsefair Street, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. The program includes music by Berio, Skempton and Lindberg, and the UK premieres of ‘Partita Piccola’, by Zoran Bozanic, and ‘Toccata’, by Matti Murto.
January 31st,1.10pm - St James Church, 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL. The Program includes Bach, Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Tchaikovsky, Skempton and Lindberg.
The annual Fundacion Festival, also known as ExpoFestival 2007, takes place in Vallenata from April April 26th to 30th. The Fundacion Festival is a large-scale music, song and dance festival that incorporates an accordion festival. The competition includes categories for amateur and professional players of various ages and styles, and attracts mainly diatonic accordionists.
In Columbia, diatonic button instruments are the norm with accordionists, especially the 3-row, and are used extensively within the country's traditional music, song and dance. The diatonic button accordion has been popular in Columbia since the late 19th Century.
“A friend of mine has had her accordion stolen from her digs just yesterday. Could be anywhere in the country by now. The police have been notified but should you be offered a black Excelsior 41 key/120bass Piano accordion with Russian B system convertor (series B41), it is stolen.
The man who stole it was caught on camera. He is a tall, athletically built Caucasian. He has dark/black hair wears a dark coat and was wearing white trousers/jeans. This instrument is quite a rarity so if someone approaches you offering you this instrument please call the police. Feel free to contact me if you manage to keep hold of it. It belongs to Ksenija Sidorova and she is a promising student at the Royal Academy of Music. She has quite a few concerts booked and needs it”.