The second Ukrainian International Accordion Competition-Festival, also known as ‘Accoholiday’, took place in Kiev, capital of the Ukraine, from the April 27th to May 1st. The competition was organized by Yan Tabachnik, the famous Ukrainian accordionist and politician (member of the Ukrainian Senate), his team, the ‘World High League of Accordionists’ - International Accordion Association.
Competition part of the event took place in two categories: classical and entertainment. Due to the high interest of the competitors, the competition was limited to 25 entries in each category. There were no competition entry fees and the accommodation was provided for the competitors by the organiser free of charge. Competitors were from China, Ukraine, Russia, Belorus, Serbia and Kazahstan.
1st - Vladislav Pligovka ( Belorus)
2nd - Votaliy Kozickij (Ukraine) and Sergey Kotkov (Russia)
3rd - Ildar Salahov (Russia) and Viktor Semenkin (Russia) and Andrey Girkij (Ukraine) and Sapar Kumiskaliev ( Kazahstan)
Special prize 'Prize of Hope' went to young Eldar Abduraimov (Russia)
1st - Andrey Stecenko (Russia)
2nd - Denis Zuev (Russia) and Andrey Akulov (Ukraine)
3rd - Dragisha Milanovich ( Serbia) and Yury Kalashnikov (Ukraine)
The Festival part of the event included performances by leading Russian, Kazahstan and Ukrainian classical accordionists such as Jury Shishkin, Damir Sultanov, and entertainers such as Igor Osipenko, Elena Ustimenko, and others.
members (picture left) included Yan Tabachnik (Ukraine), Vladimir
Besfamilnov (Ukraine), Radomir Tomich (Serbia), Eduardas
Gabnys (Lithuania), Mirco
Patarini (Italy), Jury Shishkin (Russia), Tania
Lukic-Marx (Australia), Valerij Kovtun (Russia), Viktor Vlasov
(Ukraine), Damir Sultanov (Kazahstan), Nikolai Severukov (Belorus),
Miljan Beletich (Serbia), Anataolij Semeshko (Ukraine), Juri Jastrebov
(Russia), and others.
Tony Lovello Concert and Seminar, New Hampshire - USA
Contributed by Donna Maria Regis, New Hampshire Accordion Association
“Wow!” exclaimed a clearly awed young man as Tony Lovello, the ‘Liberace of the Accordion’, exited through the enthusiastic sold-out audience at his appearance in Gilmanton, New Hampshire on April 15th. Lovello, 74, exuding the energy of a man half his age, earned three standing ovations for his impressive, knock-your-socks-off performance.
Outside, a fierce blizzard was raging, fully visible to performer and audience alike, “but inside,” commented a pleased Lovello, “we were rocking and rolling.” The internationally acclaimed showman held the hardy New Englanders enthralled with his consummate musicianship, humor, and flair. Lovello performed a powerful program including ‘Cumana’,’ Malaguena’, and many of his other hits. The New Hampshire Accordion Association, in conjunction with venue host Accordion Connection LLC, sponsored the event.
At an educational seminar following the concert, Tony Lovello generously shared his special techniques – among them his multi-fingered glissandi, three-note basses, and, of course, his signature bellow shake, for which the great maestro Galla-Rini anointed him “King and Master of the Bellow Shake.” After demonstrating each accordion ‘trick’ separately, Lovello then combined them all in a ‘Phantom of the Opera’ medley, bringing the afternoon’s program to a rousing finale and the warmly appreciative audience once again to its feet.
From April 19th to 22nd the Steirisch Harmonika manufacturer Hermann Jamnik, with his musicians from Austria and Germany, visited the reeds factory Voci Armoniche to learn more about the soul of the accordion, the reeds.
Musicians such as harmonica players Hans Schröpfer and Marie Therese Stickler, with guitar player Simon Hummelberger, gave an impromptu concert.
a great weekend - it was atmospheric, friendly, wonderful music
from all our guests and the 437 entrants who competed in this, the
62nd year of national competitions!
competition successes included Grayson
Masefield (New Zealand - picture left) 1st Prize winner in the
New International Solo Category - 4 times winner Julie Langton (Junior
Recital, Virtuoso Entertainment, 17 & under and Advanced Solo)
- 3 times winners Alexander Bodell (9 & under Solo, 9 &
under Musette Solo and 10 & under Polka) and Andrew Mortimer
(15 & under solo, 14 & under Polka and Scottish 13 - 15
years) as well as multiple successes for Orchestras from Colchester
(MD Elaine Beecham), Paisley (MD Graham
Laurie) and Jenny’s Accordionists (MD Jenny Neal).
Over the weekend all were treated to superb concert performances
from our International guests Renzo
Ruggieri (Italy), Julian “Speedy” Gonzales (France),
Mario D’Amario (Italy) and Grayson
Masefield (New Zealand).
Honoured during the festival with the NAO Associate Award were Jack
and Flo Brannigan for their devoted service to the accordion spanning
some 67 years!
Also among the International jury were Kevin
Friedrich (CIA President), Lars Arnevig (Norway) and Harley
Jones and thanks to the all the Jury members who donated their
services in aide of the CIA
Coupe Mondiale to be held in Glasgow Scotland in October 2008.
Second National Accordion Competition, Kozani – Greece
Contributed by Alexander Tchuev
Second National Accordion Competition was held in Kozani, on April
28th and 29th, and was deemed to be a great success by all concerned.
The Competition Jury consisted of Evgenia Tcherkazova (President),
Alexander Tchuev, Giorgos Tzoukas, Spiros Melissanidis, Ilias Pilitzidis
and Nikos Agaoglou.
The seminar was organized by the Education and Teacher Training Agency
with Professor Ruzica Ambrus–Kis (higher consultant for
the artistic fields), Professor Marjan Krajna (Zagreb, leader of Croatian
accordion education council), Damir Buzleta, Professor (Pula, OKUD
Istra), and Momèilo Popoviæ (Pigini
Accordions agent for Croatia).
Accordions Rule at New Orleans Jazz Festival - USA
The mid-afternoon sun was beating down, wisps of steam rose from the soggy ground and Buckwheat Zydeco (picture right) danced his way to the edge of the stage, accordion wailing, moving his shoulders with the music. Forget the heat - this guy was cool. He'd shed the jacket to his black suit, but still wore the vest. His high-collared white shirt was still crisp, his ivory boots matched his accordion.
The accordions cranking out tunes on the stages of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival are popular, prolific and downright sexy. They were not only a constant on the Fais Do Do stage where Cajun and Zydeco music plays all day, they were showing up this year on the big stages and even in some of the big bands. Calexico, an alternative country band based in Tucson, Arizona, used an accordion in several numbers it played. And The New Orleans Klezmer Allstars could not crank out their funky Jewish music without one.
surprised how much the accordion has caught on," said Brian Jack
(picture left), who had eight of them with him for his gig with the
Zydeco Gamblers. "I've even seen them with country-and-western
bands." In Cajun and zydeco, the Cajun accordion is the main
ingredient, said Bruce Daigrepont, who has been playing Jazz Fest
for 27 years, accordion for 30. "In our music it starts and finishes
the song," Daigrepont said. "In rock and pop people are
adding it for background and texture."
Buckwheat Zydeco, also known as Stanley Dural, plays a piano accordion that he had made in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1982 for $10,000. Originally an organist, Dural never expected to find himself wowing the fans on accordion. "It was not a cool instrument," he said. "My father played an accordion all the time and I hated it. I was into rhythm and blues." That changed when Dural took a job playing backup for Clifton Chenier, the late king of Zydeco. It wasn't easy, though. "Man, the keyboard was OK, but those 120 buttons on the other side really gave me the blues," he said. Not anymore. His brand of Creole Zydeco had them rocking out on Saturday. "It's a lot of fun," he said. "But that thing weighs 45 pounds. When I'm dealing with that instrument, believe me, I'm not thinking about looking sexy."
A group of students of the music schools in the Cluny area of Dijon performed a concert in the Cluny Theater, featuring the compositions of Jean-Louis Noton on May 6th.
The preparation for this concert took place on Wednesday April 11th
in the music school of Montceau les Mines, involving accordionists,
violinists, flautists and cellists in workshops rehearsing the compositions.
Noton and Professors Arnaud Bottazzo and Elodie Aygalenq prepared
annual Sir Jimmy Shand Tribute Day takes place on Sunday May 13th,
at St Andrew’s Town Hall, organised by Jimmy Shand Junior. This
concert, featuring many accordionists and bands, pays tribute to Sir
Jimmy Shand (1908-2000), one of the most celebrated figures in
Scottish dance music and the first British accordionist to be Knighted.
Claudio Jacomucci will present the premiere of the new piece for accordion solo ‘Bruchstellen II’ by the Swiss composer Daniel Glaus on May 13th at the Amplitudes New Music Festival in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The festival is dedicated to the well-known Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino, who also wrote a solo piece in 1998 (‘Vagabonde Blu’) that Claudio will perform during the festival.
At the Synthese Festival of Electro Acoustic Music in Bourges, France, Claudio will present, on June 1st, the premiere of his own new composition, written together with the choreographer Kathleen Delaney. ‘Au-dela de la fin’ - for accordion, dancer, video, text animation, lights and electro acoustic support, is a tribute to the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard who recently disappeared.
‘Try it once with buttons! First steps on the button accordion (C-system)’ – is the title of a workshop for learning the button accordion, from July 9th to 20th in Imst-Gurgltal in the Austrian Tyrol Austria.
Milivojevic – final year undergraduate, and Yuriy Chubarenko
– post graduate diploma, present their matriculation level final
recitals on Friday May 18th, at 6.30pm. These take place in the David
Josefowitz Recital Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone
Road, London. Accordion Tutor at the Royal Academy of Music is Prof.
Their program includes works by Greig, Bach, Berio and Lindberg. Admission
is free, and no tickets are required. For further information email:
Arizona Accordion Festival, Phoenix - USA
Contributed by Leigh Dechaine
Arizona Accordion Festival takes place in Phoenix, Arizona, on October
20th. This year two top jazz accordionists entertain non-stop from
noon to 6pm, and 6pm to 10 pm. This event is free, offering family
entertainment, food, beverages and a lighted, wooden dance floor.
All variety of accordions and styles will be profiled in 15-minute