Promonica-West is a four-day-festival, June 5th to 8th, dedicated to the harmonica and accordion taking place in the west of the town of Graz every two years. It is of interest both to listeners and active musicians. The main intention of the festival is to encourage the former to start playing an instrument and to help the latter to make progress in their musical lives. In 2008, for the first time the festival will be hosting an international meeting of harmonica players.
Broad approach: diversity of musical styles; dealing with a whole family of
musical instruments (focussing on the „Steirische Ziehharmonika“ (traditional styrian accordion), accordion and mouth organ)
and intercultural approach
Involvement of the local population and thereby sustainability for the
Active participation of many festival attendees; pedagogic objective
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The first Strumenti & Spring Music Festival, held in Spoleto from May 18th to 25th, hosted some of the best accordionists from Italy and Europe, selecting candidates who will participate in this year’s Coupe Mondiale: Antonio Spaccarotella (category - Varietè Virtuoso), Daniele Ingiosi (category - Senior Coupe Mondiale) and Ezio Testa (category - Piano Accordion) will represent Italy in the finals to be held next October in Glasgow, Scotland.
The festival included a highly successful concert titled ‘Beltango’, featuring local Spoleto singer Daniela Pupella, an enchanting performance by 2004 World Champion Alexander Selivanov, and the dancers Nicoletta Pregnolato and Alberto Borsini.
A most positive feed-back received from critics and public, went beyond most expectations for the organizers of this first festival edition which was promoted by the Italian Accordion Cultures (IAC), in collaboration with Edizioni Musicali and Discografiche ARS SPOLETIUM, the magazine Strumenti & Musica, the Municipality of Spoleto, Umbria Region, the Province of Perugia, Section of the Russian Federation, the Confederation Internationale des Accordéonistes and Accordion Museum of Castelfidardo, CARISPO Foundation and Banca Popolare di Spoleto, under the artistic direction of Mirco Patarini, world famous accordionist (world champion) from Spoleto.
Several appointments: after the preview of "sing to challenge" and the dialect comedy "Lu Lozzu" Strument & Spring Music Festival
has hosted at the Teatro Nuovo accordionists Mirco Patarini and Renzo Ruggieri performing together with the Chamber Orchestra Benedetto Marcello, directed by M ° Corporal, Sasha Alexander Selivanov performed at the Pegasus Room (joined by bandoneonist Beltango Alexsandar Nikolic) who opened the gala evening on May 24th at Palazzo Leti Sansi.
Mirco Patarini says: "The intention is to continue to promote in Italy the international accordion scenery. This first edition was a moment of great artistic depth that we absolutely intend to repeat in Spoleto in the coming years. The presence of musicians like Renzo Ruggieri, Sasha Alexander Selivanov, Beltango Quintet and the Orchestra directed by Maestro Corporal was an excellent beginning. "
Carried away with the music of Astor
Piazzola and Rachmaninov, fascinated by the melodies of the two great Russian authors Anatolj Kusyakov and Vladislav Solotarjov, the public has responded to the expectations enshrining the emergence and success of a new event entirely dedicated to the accordion.
The "Pfisterwalk", Minister hikes from Trossingen to Stuttgart - Germany
Contributed by Stefanie Zimmer, Marketing Manager, Hohner Gmbh
At the 150th jubilee of Hohner in September 2007 the Minister of economies of Baden Württemberg, Ernst Pfister, bet that if Hohner will succeed in repairing the old siren of the company and if he could hear the sound of it once more, he’ll walk from Trossingen to his office in Stuttgart.
Of course the siren got repaired and then the Minister had to walk!
Hohner decided to use this opportunity to set-up a project to promote playing accordions and harmonicas and strengthen the brand image.
To walk the whole route of approximately 100 km is too long, it was divided in 5 daily stages. At every start and finish place there’ll be music: orchestras,
school classes, artists and associations represented.
This creates an ideal platform for orchestras, to promote themselves.
Schools and teachers are also involved and trained in advance. They get a certain amount of special “Pfister” harmonicas for students to learn how to play the specially composed “Pfister Blues”.
Besides Ernst Pfister different prominent people, like e.g. local politicians are helping to build the promotion. Local dealers are integrated by Musik-Meyer to exhibit and to sell instruments and sell music lessons.
SONOR is also involved by doing a prize competition as an attraction.
The full article of the five stages is linked.
1. Stage: 26 April 2008 from Trossingen to Rottweil
2. Stage: 27 April 2008 from Oberndorf Bochingen to Sulz
3. Stage: 08 June 2008 from Gomaringen to Pliezhausen
4. Stage: 28 June 2008 from Bietigheim to Ludwigsburg
5. Stage: 29 June 2008 inside Stuttgart from the castle Solitude to the “Landtag”
Objectives of this project
- Promotion of the music with accordions and harmonicas
- Presentation of the instruments with a young and modern image
- Show people how easy it is to play harmonica
- Support the idea to give every child the opportunity to learn an instrument
- Politically promoted by Mr Pfister and Mr Burgbacher
- Gain of contacts to schools, teachers and associations
Inform, train and equip teachers with harmonicas in order to use this instrument in their lessons, to make the harmonica a school instrument
- Creation of a platform, where accordion orchestras can present themselves
- Generate a pilot project for further educational programmes in cooperation with the DHV Full Hohner News Release
Hof 'Accordion Quintet I' Win Top Prize, Berlin - Germany
The Hof 'Accordion Quintet I' won the top prize in the German Ensemble Competition, one of the most prestigious competitions held by the Deutscher Harmonika-Verband e.V. (DHV), held in Berlin on May 23rd 2008.
The Quintet members Florian Weichert (leader), Eva Walter, Delia Zeilinger, Nicole Rauh and Silvia Thüroff are all students of Günther Zeilinger in the accordion program at the Hofer Symphoniker Musikschule, in Hof, Germany.
Held every two years by the Deutscher Harmonika-Verband e.V. (DHV), a founding member of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA), the Hof 'Accordion Quintet I' achieved the highest marks of the entire competition attaining 46 out of a possible 50 points with their program including 'Asturias' by Isaac Albeniz and "Fünf Skizzen" by Ralf Jung.
While at the festival in Berlin, the Quintet was invited by the DHV to perform on the opening program presenting Overture of the Marriage of the Figaro (Mozart, arr. L. Puchnowski), Winter from the Four seasons (Vivaldi, arr. W. Quakernack), Ballet Tango (Piazzolla, arr. Galliano), Concerto Nr. 1 (J. S. Bach), Root Beer Rag (Billy Joel) and Konzert Rondo (N. Tschaikin, arr. L. Puchnowski).
Celebrating its 150th anniversary, Hohner, Inc. awarded Flaco
Jimenez with a commemorative accordion, recognising his lifelong achievement in the world of Conjunto music. Hohner's international and U.S. accordion product managers, Horst Fausel and Gilbert Reyes, presented the instrument to Flaco during
the Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio on May 10th 2008.
It has been said that what B.B. King is to the blues or George Jones is to Country & Western, Grammy-winning accordionist Flaco Jimenez is to the world of Tex-Mex Conjunto. While there are many masters of the accordion along the Texas-Mexican
border, none but Flaco has toured so extensively the world or recorded with major pop, rock and country artistes.
He is an international icon for the accordion-fuelled Conjunto genre. The association with Hohner accordions has been a part of his family's tradition including his grandfather Patricio Jimenez, and his father Don Santiago Jimenez Sr.
Flaco's Conjunto style is derived from many cultural backgrounds, spanning from its Tex-Mex roots to honky-tonk country, rock 'n' roll and Tejano. His unique accordion playing has earned him five
Grammy Awards, and he continues to inspire accordionists around the world.
Flaco Jimenez Limited Edition Hohner Accordion Presentation 05 October 2008
More pictures of the Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio, Texas http://www.hohner.eu/index.php?1482
Accordion Appears on New CD by Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, Ohio - USA
Contributed by Henry Doktorski
American concert accordionist Henry Doktorski performs on a newly released CD featuring soprano Hila Plitmann and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. The recording features two works by American composer David Del Tredici: ‘Vintage Alice’ and ‘Dracula’.
‘Vintage Alice’, a 23-minute work scored for orchestra and a folk group consisting of two saxophones, mandolin, banjo and accordion, is based on Lewis Carroll's ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Composer David Del Tredici (born 1937) explained: "I wanted to include a second group of instruments which would sound completely different from a symphony orchestra; something totally un-orchestral. After some consideration, I decided that the saxophone, mandolin, banjo and accordion would be perfect because those instruments – due to their cultural identity and distinctive tonal qualities – were rarely used with symphony orchestras."
Del Tredici continued, "I love the accordion; to me at least, it always sounds funky in an orchestral setting. In my ‘Alice’ pieces, I write for the accordion as a solo instrument and never try to blend it with the other instruments. Early in my composing career I wrote mostly atonal works. But when I discovered the accordion I developed a desire to use its left-hand chord buttons – the major, minor, seventh and diminished buttons – in my ‘Alice In Wonderland’ piece. This was a turning point for me: it caused me to consider using tonality in my compositions. I suppose for this then, I am indebted to the accordion for opening my eyes to the possibilities of tonality."
Doktorski said, "The accordion part was substantial. It was one of the most difficult accordion pieces I have played with orchestra – due to the presto tempo and convoluted right and left-hand passages (after all, it was a mad tea party), but that simply made the performance even more exciting.
"For much of the piece, the accordion, banjo and mandolin functioned as a trio within the orchestra; at several other places, the accordion was featured as a solo instrument and even had its own cadenza toward the end. My favorite part was the accordion and soprano duet near the conclusion of the piece, a classical-period stylistic variation on the ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ melody (which figures prominently throughout the piece) which was pure pleasure to play."
NZAA Rebranding and Website Develpoment – New Zealand
The NZAA is moving into the 21st Century with a $10,000 technology make-over! Thanks to a funding grant from ASB Charitable Trusts, the NZAA has just completed a six month project involving an exciting re-vamp of our website, to include an exclusive Member's Only Area where members can log-in to check up on what's happening, and submit details of their own events to publicise to other members and also the general public, appearing on the new Events Calendar, and also newsletters will soon be available in e-letter and hard copy forms to members as they wish!
As part of this project, we've updated the whole "look and feel" of the NZAA, with local graphic designer Pamela Yan redesigning our logo, which is showcased on the new website and this years Championship Programme Cover. The new logo sleekly combines the iconic New Zealand Silver Fern with the distinctive bellows and bass of an Accordion, to create a modern image as we look towards a greater national and international profile with hosting the Coupe Mondiale next year.
At this year's NZAA Championships and Festival (30, 31st May and 1st June) you'll have the chance to check out the new-look website for the first time, and demo the Member's Only Area.
We'd love to have your feedback for improvements, and forms will be available for people to provide suggestions and ensure their email contact details are updated for the Log-in system.
Then over the next month we'll be emailing out everyone's individual log-in details for you to access it from home.
Please ensure your contact details are updated, and feel free to include several email addresses, particularly for different family members. Send your updated details to email@example.com
From May 13th to 17th 2008, the 34th Training Course of the German accordionist Harmonica Association NRW, DHV National Association NRW took place in the Academy of Musical Education in Remscheid, Westphalia. The 130 participants all agreed at the end of Pfingstwoche (long religious week-end in Germany): "What a wonderful week". At the final concert on Saturday sang Holger Kunz sang a new song about Remscheid, to the tune of ‘What a wonderful world’, accompanied by the Orchestra of the course, conducted by Wolfgang Russ.
On Tuesday morning the local NRW-chairman and organizer, Isolde Alka, inaugurated the course and introduced the lecturers. In addition to "old friends" as Sabine and Hans-Guenther Kölz, Wolfgang Russ and Michael Rhine, others participated for the first time such as Gerhard Koschel, for the "superior orchestra playing" and Tristan Kindl for the advanced repair course.
Mirjana Petercol (Professor for accordion, new music and chamber music) will hold a ‘Komponisten-Portrait - Violeta Dinescu’ concert with her ‘Neue Musik-class /MUsikakademie Wiesbaden’ on June 3rd, 8pm, in the Studio of the Musikakademie Wiesbaden.
Romanian-born Violeta Dinescu began her musical training at the Bucharest Conservatory, where she took composition lessons with Myriam Marbe. In the 1980s she moved to Germany where her international career as a composer began. Violeta Dinescus’ music is varied and influenced by Romanian Follklore, an ethnic music she studied in her early years, and unconventional contemporary styles.
Professor Violeta Dinescu teaches composition at the University of Oldenburg, and will attend this concert.
The 20th Rencontre Européene de l’Accordéon takes place in the northern French city of Chartres on June 7th and 8th. Events take place in the Hotel de Ville, the parc Leon Blum, and other parts of the city centre.
The guest artiste list includes Michel Farez, Claude Caron, Laurent Pire, Emmanuel Rolland, Stéphanie Moreaux, Mathilde Royet, Dorothée Lhoir, Jean-Marc Torchy, Bertrand Hembert, Franck Vilain, René Grolier, Bruno Lorenzoni, Yvette Horner, Raynald Quellet, Bruno Gendron, Benoit Bourque, Alons-Y Tant Qu’C’est Chaud!, Carine Vigny, Sabrine Rivière, Jean-Pierre Ménager, Henry Lemarchand, Kerar’s World, Réne Guy, Nelson, Didier Couturier, Gabriel, Chantrieux, and André Loppe.
The Australian International Accordion Championship and Festival 2008 takes place at Club Marconi, Marconi Plaza, Bossley Park, Sydney, NSW 2176. The festival includes competitors from China, Australia, Belarus and New Zealand, and there will also be entries from accordion ensembles.
Guest artistes at the event on June 7th and 8th include internationally recognised soloists and entertainers Lionel Reekie (New Zealand), Vladislav Pligovka (Belarus), Grayson Masefield (New Zealand - photo above), ‘Funkordion’ and ‘ACE’.
Gary Blair’s US Tour – California, Washington State
Scottish accordionist Gary Blair, with his son Gary Junior, makes his annual visit to the USA, June 8th to 23rd. Tour dates are:
June 8th - Accordion Picnic, Vacaville, California
June 11th - Good Time Accordion Club, Escalon, California
June 15th - Bay Area Accordion Club, San Francisco
June 16th - Accordion Club of the Redwoods, California
18th -23rd - Leavenworth Accordion Celebration, Washington State
Tony Lovello, often called ‘The Liberace of the Accordion’ will bellow-shake his way through a whirlwind week of Midwest concerts, starting June 16th in Chicago.
Declared “King and Master of the Bellow Shake” by the great Anthony Galla-Rini, Tony Lovello is an entertainer who razzles and dazzles with his scintillating musicianship and exhausting pace. Recipient of five lifetime achievement awards, the veteran entertainer, now 75, performs with the zest and vigor of a man less than half his age. Audience reaction is often a breathless “Wow!”
Tony captivates listeners not only with his unparalleled musical talent but also with his engaging sense of humor. Tour dates are:
June 16th, 8pm - Chicago Accordion Club, Elmhurst American Legion Hall, 310 W. Butterfield Road, Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
June 17th, 7.30pm - Turner Hall of Monroe, Inc., 1217 17th Avenue Monroe, Wisconsin 53566
June 21st, 10pm - North East Wisconsin [N.E.W.] Accordion Club, Brown County Aging & Disability Resource Center, 300 South Adams Street, Green Bay, WI 54301
June 22nd, 1pm - Harrington Arts Center, 1401 Belknap Street, Superior, WI 54880
June 23rd, 8pm - Milwaukee Accordion Club, Root River Center, 7220 W. Rawson Avenue, Franklin, WI 53132
Accordionists James Crabb – Scotland and Geir Draugsvoll – Denmark, are in concert together on Friday June 6th, 1pm, at The Bath Assembly Rooms, Somerset, England. This concert is part of the annual Bath Festival. Their programme includes:
Messiaen – ‘Dieu Parmis Nous’ from ‘La Nativité du Seigneur’
Mozart – ‘Fantasy in F minor KV 608’
Jesper – ‘Koch Tango for Two’
Stravinsky – ‘Petrouchka’ (1947 version)
Peter Piccini - accordionist, composer, arranger,
performer, release 1 new work for accordion available
for purchase online. 'Dreamy Days'. Samples of these
music is available on the site. The music is in eSheet
format, able to be emailed to your computer. Purchase
with credit card.