Milivojevic won the prestigious Derek Butler London Prize competition
in a packed Wigmore Hall, London on March 24th. The four finalists
each represented one of the four leading London conservatories: cellist
Bartholomew LaFollette (Guildhall School of Music and Drama), violinist
Dunja Lavrova (Royal College of Music), accordionist Milos Milivojevic
(Royal Academy of Music) and pianist Alissa Tavdidishvili (Trinity
College of Music).
The distinguished jury, chaired by pianist Piers Lane, were unanimous
in their praise of Milos' performance of Mendelssohn's 'Chorale and
Variations from Sonata no 6' and Magnus Lindeberg's 'Jeux d' Anches',
and expressed their enthusiasm for the accordion, its great possibilities
Such successes by accordionists are very important with this success
by Milos being another important step forward in the integration and
acceptance of the accordion in serious music circles in the UK.
Review of Derek Butler Prize, Wigmore Hall, London
Classical music has always benefited from the largesse of those who
have made their money in non-musical ways, but for young musicians,
such sources are now more crucial than ever. The late Derek Butler,
who made his fortune manufacturing Nigerian headdresses, is posthumously
supporting a huge array of ventures, including the musical prize that
bears his name. Now in its second year, it goes to the best postgrad
candidate fielded by London's four conservatoires, with a Wigmore
Hall concert as the play-off.
If one of this year's four has some way to go, the other three, on
the basis of these performances, should each make a debut disc forthwith.
The 24-year-old Alissa Tavdidishvili Turgeneva hails from that cradle
of great pianism, Tbilisi, and she produced a muscular cantabile in
the old Soviet style. But by applying it in turn to works by Scarlatti,
Chopin, Rachmaninov, and Scriabin, her strange achievement was to
make them all inhabit the same sound-world, a limitation she must
No praise can be too high, however, for the American cellist Bartholomew
LaFollette, the Russian violinist Dunja Lavrova, and the extraordinary
Serbian accordionist Milos Milivojevic, who finally scooped the pool.
LaFollette opened with pellucid Fauré, followed by a toweringly
authoritative unaccompanied Bach prelude. His rendering of Tchaikovsky's
Pezzo capriccioso moved from a quintessentially Russian expressiveness
to an assured virtuosity few top-flight cellists could have matched.
Lavrova opened with a much-played Brahms movement whose Romanticism
demands power and control - the very qualities she brought to it.
Her second piece was a pseudo-baroque pastiche by Huw Watkins, and
her last was Ravel's Tzigane, in which she proved herself on a level
with the great fiddlers of the past.
But Milivojevic's artistry on the humble button accordion took the
breath away - indeed, his coruscating transcription of an organ chorale
by Mendelssohn made one almost wonder whether we actually need those
thundering giants. I'd put money on this brilliant young performer
opening a whole range of new musical worlds.
A well known composer, Paul Rudy has received awards from the Fulbright
and Wurlitzer Foundations, Sounds Electric '07 Competition (1st Prize),
Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition, EMS (Sweden), SEAMUS, Meet
the Composer, the American Composer's Forum, SCI, National Music Teacher's
Association and the Missouri Music Teacher's Association.
MusicForAccordion.com has developed into an extensive and popular
online store containing accordion music of all levels and styles available
as downloadable .pdf files, or sent as originals from the various
publishers represented. Additionally, MFA has an extensive and diverse
array of recordings available.
Those wishing to have their music and recordings published or distributed
by MFA, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
for further information.
received a record of over 450 entries for the 2008 UK Championships,
to be held in Blackpool on the North West Coast of England, April
25th to 27th. As organisers of this year's CIACoupe Mondiale
in Glasgow in October - is this a message of what is to come later
in the year?
A feature of the 2008 UK Accordion Championships is the newly established
International Category, which has an own choice only
program and is very suitable for international amateur competitors
with a program requirement aligned with the Coupe Mondiale Piano Accordion
category. Several international entries have already been received.
international members of the Jury including CIA President, Kevin
Friedrich (USA), CMA President Frédéric
Deschamps (France), Mirco
Patarini (Italy), Gunther
Zeilinger (Germany - DHV International Representative), and four
times world champion Julien
'Speedy' Gonzales (France) - the event also features the traditional
Trade display in the Metropole hotel, the opening gala concert, competition
throughout the Saturday and on Sunday am, including over 50 ensemble
entries, the International Category as well as the Traditional Ceilidh
on Saturday evening with Gary Blair and his band.
the presentation of the Fidelio competition 2008, Yueming Xu Ertl
was chosen winner of the large Fidelio scholarship. All the winners
of the 'Interpretation' section of the seventh Fidelio competition
of the Hugo Breitner society for the promotion of young artists of
the conservatory did not only present their programs: as in previous
years a main prize also was assigned among all students.
After saxophonist Konstanze Ackermann's victory in 2007, the exceptional
talent of accordionist Yueming Xu Ertl was generally recognised this
year so that she was conferred the large Fidelio scholarship of €5,400.
She performed three movements from 'Musica Ricercata' (version for
accordion: Max Bonnay) by Gyoergy Ligeti.
Yueming Xu Ertl was born in Heilongjiang, China, in 1983. At the age
of five years she received her first accordion instruction. Between
1995 and 2000 she visited the Music High School in Shenyang, where
she achieved numerous prizes and was chosen "best accordionist
of the city" several times.
In 2000, at the age of 17 years, she came to Austria where she studied
first at Vienna's Prayner conservatory and later at the Johann Joseph
Fux conservatory in Graz. Since 2006 she has been studying accordion
at the private university of Vienna in the class of Grzegorz Stopa.
Their current repertoire covers contemporary original compositions
for the classical accordion as well as transcriptions of works of
different styles. Yueming Xu Ertl is prizewinner of international
accordion competitions in Castelfidardo, Italy and Vienna.
Italian Accordion Academy is born. The IAA is a school of high musical
studies directed by the Italian accordionist Claudio
Jacomucci, and is a research centre that will promote the culture
of the concert-accordion.
Beside the postgraduate studies, the Academy organizes course for
pedagogy, Alexander Technique, master classes, workshops and concerts.
Now, the teaching activities extend to several towns (Treviso, Bologna,
Pescara, Campobasso, Cosenza) in collaboration with the students who
graduated from 'Accordion High School': Luca Piovesan, Alisia Fragassi,
Mario Muccitto, David Sarnelli, Walter Di Girolamo, Giuseppe Scigliano.
Belgian accordionist André Loppe, best known for playing musette
dance music, has performed in many countries. He has produced numerous
recordings, his latest being a DVD titled: 'Nos Régions au
Son de l'Accordéon'.
André Loppe's future dates include:
March 29th, 6pm - Velaine-Sur-Sambre, Belgium
30th, 3.30pm - l'Accordeon-Club de Mormal, Englefontaine, France
April 12th, 9pm - Salle l'Espérance, Solre-Saint-Gery, Belgium
17th, 2.30pm - Salle Bourvil, Franqueville Saint Pierre, France
April 24th - Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Taunton, Devon - Karen Street
Trio - Andy Tweed - saxophone, and Andrew Barrett - guitar
May 2nd, 8pm - Batcombe Jubilee Hall, Shepton Mallet, Somerset -Karen
May 10th, 8.30pm - Westonzoyland Community Centre, nr Bridgewater,
Somerset - Karen Street Trio
May 16th, 2.30pm - St Clement Dane's Church, The Strand, London; Contemporary
Church Music Festival - a performance of newly arranged hymns for
jazz quartet and children's choir. St Clement Dane's C of E school
choir plus London College of Music Chamber Choir, with Karen Street
- accordion, Paul Clarvis - percussion, Mark Hodgson - bass, and John
Paricelli - guitar
June 15th, 8pm - Meeting House Arts Centre, Illminster, Somerset -
Karen Street Trio
July 10th, 7.30pm - Frome Festival, Frome, Somerset - Karen Street,
with Fred Baker - guitar, and Andy Tweed - percussion
August 22nd - Caryford Community Hall, Ansford, Somerset - Karen Street
leading virtuoso Mika
Väyrynen makes his UK debut in a concert at the David Josefowitz
Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, on Monday April 14th,
7.30pm. Väyrynen's performance will include a historical world
premiere of 'Sonata No. 7 Misterium', by Anatoli Kusiakov who recently
passed away. RAM accordion students will also perform during the concert.
Väyrynen's programme will include:
J.S. Bach - 'Prelude and Fugue BWV 893' and 'Chaconne in d minor BWV
Mendelssohn - 'Chorale and Variations from Sonata no.6 op.65'
Tchaikovsky - 'May from the Seasons'
Scriabin - 'Four Preludes from op.11'
Astor Piazzolla - 'Le Grand Tango'
Franck Angelis, Artum Vasilliev and Yuiji Takahashi - original works
Anatoli Kuzjakov - 'Sonata no. 7 Misterium'
annual Minnesota State Polka Festival takes place from March 28th
to 30th, at the Withrow Ballroom and Event Center, 12169 Keystone
Ave N, Hugo, Minnesota. The festival offers three days of polka music
and dancing. People can listen to music and watch the Minnesota State
Amateur Polka Dance Competition (Standard and Hop Polka) and Minnesota
State Amateur Waltz Dance Competition.
Artistes performing at this year's festival include: Squeeze Box,
Wendinger Band, Old School, Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones, The Dobosenski
Brothers, the Dolina Polish Folk Dancers, and The Cavaliers.
Primavera Del Tango are a German tango quintet who play the music
of Astor Piazzolla, Rolf Donner and other tango Nuevo music on accordion.
The quintet perform in concert on April 12th, 8pm, at katakomben,
Theater im Giradet-Haus, Essen.
Interview page of Accordions Worldwide has been updated to include
an extremely interesting interview with the President of the Accordion
Association of Chinese Musicians Association (CAA). The interview
covers a lot of accordion history in China and the developments
of the accordion in China over recent decades.
Reviews and DVD Reviews index page updated. See over 250
reviews of recordings since 1997 to 2008 by Renato Belardinelli, Tania
Lukic-Marx, Alessandro Mugnoz, Paolo Picchio and Joan C. Sommers -
a huge resource of information for those interested in accordion recordings.