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The Squeeze
27th June 1997

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Editors note:
A very sad week for all of the accordionists in Auckland this week - an accordion friend died, aged only 16. She was an excellent accordionist and person. There were many accordionists at the funeral, and the accordion was performed in front of the many hundreds of people there. One of the highlights of her life was touring with the Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra to Europe last year, which was accentuated by the fact that the entire orchestra wore their uniforms to the funeral.

We have many news items coming in from Intermusik, the leading worldwide accordion newspaper. When you read articles that have been received from them, go into their site and you will receive two free copies of Intermusik!

Wayne Knights

Emails to the Editor

This weeks titles:

  • Accordionists Featured in Hong Kong Celebrations – China
  • Accordions Perform in Trondheim Celebrations - Norway
  • Accordion Featured in Tango-Opera Premier - Germany
  • Accordion Festival in France
  • Fourth Annual Hugo Helmer Accordion Band Concert - USA
  • West Auckland Accordion Orchestra Gains Excellent Publicity
  • Rose City Accordion Club – USA
  • Accordion Concert, Moscow, Russia
  • Accordion Night at the Owl 'N Thistle, Seattle, USA


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    On July 1st at 10.00am there will be a grand celebration on Renminnanlu Square in Chengdu City to celebrate Hong Kong's reverting back to China. The celebrations will include many singers, dancers and traditional Chinese acts.

    As part of the celebrations, approximately 400 accordionists (all of them being children, aged from 6 to 16 years old) will perform last on the programme. They will play in a massed orchestra performing two pieces of traditional Chinese music: "My Homeland" and "1997, Hong Kong".

    It is estimated that there will be more than 200,000 people in the audience, with many more hundreds of thousands watching on television.

    Ms Jiang Hong, an accordion performer and teacher in Lasha City of the Tibet province, is holding a party to celebrate Hong Kong's reverting back to China.

    This will be held in an auditorium of the Worker Culture Centre in Lasha City on July 1st at 9.30am and about 30 accordion students of hers (aged 12 to 15 years old) will be playing the accordion as well as singing and dancing.

    The students' parents as well as many others will also participate, with more than 500 people expected to be there. "This event is very important to my students. It is the first time we have held a party of this size, so we are hoping that they will perform successfully", said Ms Jiang Hong.


    Contributed by Gunder Johansen

    The annual official day of music was held on Saturday the 14th of June in Norway. Everyone who plays an instrument had the opportunity to perform on stages all over the country. In Trondheim, many accordion players took this opportunity, as Trondheim was also celebrating its 1000th anniversary.

    Among others, the Nidaros Trekkspill Accordion Orchestra performed in the centre of the town, playing folk music and also the well known Tango - "Jaluzie". Nidaros Trekkspillklubb are also well known in Norway for their classical performances.


    Contributed by Frauke Grentz of the Intermusik Newspaper

    Nearly 30 years after its creation, the Tango-opera "Maria de Buenos Aires" by Astor Piazzolla had its German première in the chamber concert hall in the Centre of Culture Bottrop on June 14th. The unusual opera evening was received by the audience with enthusiasm. Impressing music and exciting scene changes created nearly 90 minutes of tango pleasure of a different kind.

    Author Horacio Ferrer had preached: "Tango is how you express yourself and your feelings in making music, singing, dancing and playing." To bring the full tango feeling to the Bottropers the director Pedro E. Andrade cleverly moved the action from the suburbs of Buenos Aires into the Ruhr region. Singer Franziska Dannheim acted as Maria in the title role, the male part was performed by Hernando Reano, the "Neue Ruhr Kammerphilharmonie" provided the instrumentalists. General director of the project was Rolf Donner. The accordionist and music school lecturer was also the initiator of the performance.


    Contributed by Dr Irmgard Lehnemann of the Intermusik Newspaper

    The 9th "European Accordionists Meeting" took place recently in Chartres, France. The four day festival, organised by a committee lead by Claudine Aucher, had its highlight with the opening concert in the historic cathedral of Chartres. Performing there were accordion soloists Frederic Deschamps (France), Matti Rantanen (Finland), Alexander Kobakov (Russia), Peter Soave (USA) and the French accordion orchestra of the Conservatory of the Region of Marseille, lead by Jean-Marc Fabiano.

    The Russian artists Juri Fedorov (accordion) and Ludmilla Fedorov (soprano) completed the concert. The following days were mainly dedicated to entertaining accordion music, with top class musette performances. Numerous young talents as well as well-known stars performed, among them Julien Labro, winner of many international competitions and recently 3rd prize winner in the category "Virtuoso Entertainment" at the accordion championship in Klingenthal, the "Grande Dame" of the accordion Yvette Horner, André Loppe from Belgium and Michel Pruvot and his orchestra.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    The Fourth annual Hugo Helmer Accordion Band concert and dance will be held on Friday August 22nd at 7:30 pm. It will be held at Mt. Vernon, WA Cottontree Inn, 2300 Market St. Free admission. The special guest will be Roy Svensson from Sweden on button accordion (brother-in-law of the late Hugo Helmer). For further information contact Karen Halgren, reunion chair, email:


    Contributed by Wayne Knights

    The West Auckland Accordion Orchestra, formed in 1991, began a senior orchestra in October of last year, with the goal of winning the New Zealand Accordion Orchestra Championship, held on May 31st to June 1st. They achieved this, winning by just one mark from two of the best orchestras in New Zealand at the time. This was a major achievement, for the fact that the age of the players is just 10 to 18 years of age and they have never competed in this class level before.

    Since then, a newspaper item has been published and a personal letter of congratulations from the local Member of Parliament. On Wednesday June 18th a meeting was held to organise a trip around New Zealand at the end of the year and the fundraising that is needed to achieve this. It was agreed that this would be excellent exposure not only for the orchestra, but for the accordion on a national level. Fundraising begins on July 25th with a "Quiz Night". Also planned are other fun theme nights and a raffle.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    The Rose City Accordion Club proudly presents Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini on Saturday July 19th from 1-5 pm at the Greshan Senior Center, 50 NE Elliott Ave, Gresham, Oregon. There will be a question and answer session in the afternoon, followed by a performance, and an opportunity to meet the Maestro himself. $5 per person at the door. For additional information contact Karen Adam at 503-669-9010.


    Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov

    Andrei Dmitrenko performed a solo concert on May 31st in the Concert Hall of the Skryabin State Memorial Museum. Andrei is a post-graduate student under Vladimir Bonakov at the State Musical Conservatory in Petrozavodsk, Karelia. He was a laureate winner at the International Accordion Competition "Grand Prix" in France 1991 and has won many National Accordion Competitions. From 1991 Andrei Dmitrenko has been performing as a soloist of "Mosconcert" (a concert organisation in Moscow) and in various cities of Russia as well as abroad. His performance programme included music by various composers, from Haydn to Bonakov.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    Accordion Night at the Owl 'N Thistle is held on the third Tuesday of each month. Upcoming dates are: July 27th, August 19th, and September 16th.

    These evenings are hosted by Bonnie Birch, 808 Post Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 9:30 to 11:30. Phone: + 1 206 621 7777 or Accordion Hotline to confirm + 1 206 622 4991.


    Subject: Your site

    Hi Wayne,

    Thank you for your wonderful work to compile accordion sites in the www. Your pages are a very good resource to find information, dates, addresses and all kind of accordion activities. I hope you can continue that work - it's unique in the world.

    Kimmo Mattila

    Thanks for your very nice words! We WILL be continuing our work, and have many exciting internet design projects coming up. I certainly hope you continue to enjoy Accordions Worldwide, as much as I enjoy bringing them to you!

    Best regards,

    Wayne Knights

    Subject: American Accordionists' Association Site

    Dear Wayne,

    Many compliments to you for the fine job you have done on the AAA site. It looks great!

    Thank you,

    Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    Thanks for the compliments, Faithe. It's been really enjoyable working with your site. I have now completed the pages on the 1997 Festival and I'm now working at getting the entire site translated into German.

    Thanks again,

    Wayne Knights

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