Roland has invested a great
deal of time, expertise and capital in the manufacture and promotion
of their instruments, and the coverage given by Accordions Worldwide reflects their commitment. Accordions Worldwide will report all newsworthy
accordion activities, especially by organisations making the effort
to keep us informed. We applaud Roland for their efforts. Rob Howard
National Qualifications – Germany, Austria, Canada, Czech
Contributed by Heiko Kremers, Doug McGarry and Attila Vass
Germany/Austria: On September 27th Roland Germany held the German/Austrian Roland National Final in Norderstedt, northern Germany. Roland Germany pre-selected some candidates and invited 5 players for the Solo-category and 4 bands for the Ensemble-category.
The prize winners were: Solo: 1st - Uwe Steger (picture left), 2nd - Michael Lutz, 3rd - Alexander Danko; Ensemble: 1st - Lena and Vadim Samorsky (picture right), 2nd - Christian Möller and Mario Nortmann, 3rd - Heinrich and Cornelius Reichert. Jury: Manfred Kaierle, Anton Saupruegl and Heiko Kremers.
A blazing performance by John Lettieri (picture right), from Ontario,
at the National Finals of the 1st Roland
V-Accordion Contest in the Hansa Haus, Maple, Ontario, held on
October 11th, won John Lettieri the honour of representing Canada
at the first Roland International Finals in Pesaro, Italy.
Lettieri's performance showcased his agility on the instrument as
well as his unique use of the special features of the Roland V-Accordion,
going beyond the traditional accordion sounds and infused his performance
with saxophone, bagpipe and other sounds. Taking second and third
place respectively were Alessio Mazzone and John Scaffeo, both also
Republic: On October 12th, the Czech Roland Finals were held
at the House of Culture, Ládví, Prague. A dramatic fight
took place in the Solo category, won by Michal Polák (picture
left), who played ‘Basso Ostinato’, by Viktor Vlasov,
and two sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. Second place went to Konstantin
Mankovski, and third place went to 10 years old David Schovanek.
The Ensemble category was won by the trio l´Arrachecoeur (hurdy - gurdy, clarinet and accordion - picture right), who performed their own compositions ‘Lever le Pouce’ and ‘Petit Reggae’.
The jury consisted of Ladislav Kníze, Frantisek Holec, Jamu Brno, and Zdenek Urbanovský.
The winners (1st place) of each category from each country will participate in the International Final in November in Pesaro, Italy, on November 9th and 10th.
Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen will perform ‘Prophecy’, Erkki-Sven Tüür's new Concerto for Accordion and Symphony Orchestra in Tallinn, Estonia on Sunday, October 21st. Mika will perform with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Olari Elts at the closing concert of the Modern Music Festival, which will be broadcast live on Estonian radio.
Mika performed the World Premiere of this work, one of the most important new pieces written for accordion last week in Turku, Finland where it received outstanding reviews from the audience and music critics alike. Renowned Estonian born composer Erkki-Sven Tüür, has been commissioned to compose works for The Helsinki Philharmonic, the Hilliard Ensemble, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Niko Kumpuvaara at Sibelius & Beyond Festival, London – UK
An accordion recital, featuring music by Kalevi Aho and Jouni Kaipainen, plus newer pieces, including a world premiere performance, will be given by Finnish accordionist Niko Kumpuvaara, at St. George's Church, Hanover Square, London, on Tuesday November 27th at 7.30pm.
This concert forms part of the Sibelius & Beyond Festival, taking place between September and December to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of composer Jean Sibelius.
Niko Kumpuvaara’s programme includes Sampo Haapamäki – ‘Power’, Lauri Kilpiö - New work WORLD PREMIERE, Jukka Tiensuu – ‘Zolo’, Jouni Kaipainen – ‘Gena’, Kalevi Aho - Sonata No. 2, ‘Black Birds’, and Olli Virtaperko – ‘Devil’s Lungs’.
Gigi Stok (1920-2003), from Parma, Italy, is remembered today as one of his country’s most accomplished accordionists and composers. Stok is famous for introducing virtuosity into Italian dance music, thereby raising the profile of the accordion and its technical possibilities within that genre. His many compositions have proved enduringly popular with accordionists. In 2001 Gigi Stok was awarded a Life Achievement Award at the London Accordion Festival.
London accordionist Romano Viazzani has now perpetuated the memory of the great man by recording a solo CD of Gigi Stok compositions, including ‘Brioso’, ‘Armonica Indiavolata’, ‘Vecchi Ricordi’, ‘Elettrico’, ‘L’Italiano a Parigi’, ‘Penombra’, ‘Cuore Vagabondo’, ‘Signora Fisarmonica’, ‘Tango Gagliardo’, ‘Silenzio Fuori Ordinanza’, ‘La Doccia’ and ‘Doges City’.
Their repertoire consisted of French and Russian music. Apart from numerous top Romanian players, the guest list included several well-known French accordionists, including Pascal Contet, who performed a program of contemporary music, bandonéon player Jean Demeaux, and the veteran accordionist Marcel Azzolla, who was accompanied by pianist Lina Bossati.
The festival was organised by Emy Dragoï, and next year’s event takes place in September 2008.
The Zero Sette Akordeoi Orkestra, from San Sebastián in the Basque region of Northern Spain, are in concert as follows:
October 20th, 8.15pm - San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa) - charity concert in aid of ONG "DOA" (Denok Osasunaren Alde) San Vicente Church, San Sebastián. Performers also include Lasarte-Oriako Erketz eta dantza lagunak (folkloric dance group), sopranos Helena Orcoyen, Inmaculada Martinez and Marife Nogales - piano accompanists Joseba Candaudap; the choir Orfeón de Tolosa – organ accompanist Coro Saenz.
October 27th and 28th - two concerts in Freyming-Merlebach, France.
November 1st, 8.30pm – Cáceres' Auditorium, Cáceres, Spain. Concert sponsored by Caja Duero.
November 2nd, 8.30pm – concert sponsored by Caja Duero in the Alcazar Theater, Plasencia, Cáceres.
November 3rd, 8.30pm - concert sponsored by Caja Duero in the Cathedral of Coria, Cáceres.
The Victor Prieto Tio, including Carlo DeRosa - bass, and Vince Cherico – drums, perform at the Tea Lounge, 837 Union St. (between 6th and 7th Ave), Park Slope, Brooklyn, on November 10th, 9pm.
Budd Kopman, writing in ’All About Jazz’, commented: ”Prieto plays accordion the way Toots Thielmans plays harmonica or Dino Saluzzi plays bandoneon. He transcends the instrument and just plays music”.
From October 27th to November 11th, the fourth Festival Internacional Acordeões do Mundo (World Accordion Festival) will take place in Torres Vedras, near Lisbon. This non-competitive festival involves national and international artistes and presents a variety of styles.
The concert schedule is:
October 28th, 9.30pm - Jean Louis Matinier (France)
October 31st, 9.30pm - René Sopa (France)
November 1st, 4pm - Alfa Arroba (Portugal)
November 3rd, 9.30pm - Ricardo Tesi and Banditaliana (Italy)
November 4th, 4.30pm – Fol & Ar (Portugal)
November 6th, 9.30pm - Tomás San Miguel + Txalaparta (Basque Country/Spain)
November 9th, 9.30pm - Tango Crash (Argentina)
On October 28th John Kirkpatrick will hold two workshops at Fleetville Community Centre, Royal Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire. In the morning, 11am to 1.30pm, the workshop will focus on playing the right hand treble keyboard on the B/C/C# British chromatic button accordion, and the afternoon session, 2.30pm to 5pm, will focus on left hand techniques. In the evening, at 8pm, Kirkpatrick will be in concert at The Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans.
Accordionists Jean-Louis Noton, Peter and Mady Soave have been invited to hold one of their well-known IMAC (International Music Accordion Camp) teaching courses at the next Las Vegas Accordion Convention, October 6th to 9th 2008. The LVAC takes place at the Gold Coast Hotel, Las Vegas.