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ACCORDION ROCKS IN CASTELFIDARDO - ITALY
Contributed by Paolo Picchio
For the first time in its history, the "Cittŕ di Castelfidardo" International Competition held a preview concert to pay tribute to "Mau Mau", a well known Italian pop group who feature an accordionist. The "Modena City Ramblers" (another very popular band) was also going to perform in October, so the City Council decided to organise one of the two concerts in summer, taking advantage of the beautiful Don Minzoni Square.
The concert was a complete success, with the town of Castelfidardo being invaded on the evening of Thursday 30 July by 2,000 people, who came from all over the region to attend the concert of "Mau Mau". Naturally to the great satisfaction of the organisers, the concert was widely reported by the press and other media, which brought attention to the accordion and of course to Castelfidardo.
RUSSIAN FOLK FESTIVAL IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - USA
Contributed by Peggy Proppery
From August 15th to 23rd a festival of Russian folk music will be held with concerts in San Diego, Santa Barbara and Hollywood.
Virtuoso performers featured will include button accordionists Anatoly Mamalyga and Vadim Khavrun, the "Firebird" ensemble (of Russian folk instruments) and the Los Angeles-St. Petersburg Russian Folk Orchestra.
The program will include popular Russian and world music, with the button accordion being featured in every selection. This is the second annual festival, where last year 3,000 enjoyed this beautiful music.
For further information see Future Events
JAZZ CONCERT - FRANCE
Contributed by Guy Klucevsek
On August 21st and 22nd, accordionist Guy Klucevsek will perform concerts at the "Jazz A Mulhouse Festival" in Mulhouse, Alsace, France. On the 21st he will play at the L'Entrepot and on the 22nd at the Chapelle Saint-Jean.
For further information email: JAZZ.A.Mulhouse@wanadoo.fr
ACCORDIONISTS IMPRESS AT THE WOMAD CONCERT - USA
Contributed by Vickie Townsend
The Womad Festival is a gathering of musicians and fans of world music. The first concert of the '98 festivals was held in Redmond, Washington USA, from July 31st to August 2nd. Many accordionists performed, including Eva Ybarra (tex-mex), Andre Smirnov of the Terem Quartet, Cesar Stroscio and his band Tango! and Kepa Junkera, playing the two row button accordion (known as a trikitixa) in Basque.
Kepa Junkera was great, taking traditional Basque music and turning it into something of his own. He puts heart and soul into the music, which shows on his face while he is performing! He was accompanied by double bass and guitar.
ACCORDION FESTIVAL AND EXHIBITION - ITALY
Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Adriano Ranieri, a young but already highly esteemed accordionist, gave the opening concert in Colmurano, followed by Esildo Barboni, who demonstrated the versatility of MIDI systems.
The concert in Gualdo was dedicated to Astor Piazzolla, whose works were presented by the "Progetto Piazzolla" quintet, an accomplished ensemble of musicians that together form Piazzolla's favourite combination: bandoneon, piano, violin, double bass and electric guitar. The final concert included performances by Nicoletta Agostini and her mouth-organ trio (three young artists aged 6, 8 and 9), and accordionist Peppino Principe.
There was also an exhibition at the City Theatre, which included displays of various types of accordion, live demonstrations, and videos showing stages of accordion manufacture and how contemporary musicians (including popular rock bands) are re-discovering the accordion. The exhibition was organised by Cemex.
CALIFORNIA CAJUN ORCHESTRA - USA
Contributed by Suzy Thompson
On August 12th, the California Cajun Orchestra performed at a popular free 1˝ hour noontime concert in Todo Santos Park, Concord. The orchestra, which includes Cajun accordionist Danny Poullard, has a repertoire of over 1,000 tunes including old favourites like Allons A Lafayette and Jolie Blonde.
MUSIC FAIR - JAPAN
Contributed by Toru Katou
On 20th August at 11am, a "Music Fair" will be held at "Kureo Osaka Nishi", Osaka (a three minute walk from the Nishikujo Train Station). There will be accordion performances by Mr Sugimura and Mr Michio Wada as well as singing and dancing. For further information phone: + 81 6 622-4445
ACCORDIONIST CELEBRATES GERSHWIN'S CENTENNIAL
Contributed by Henry Doktorski
U.S. concert accordionist Henry Doktorski and eleven Duquesne University music students recently recorded a compact disc in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Gershwin's birth. Titled "A Ragtime Rendition of Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue", it includes a ragtime rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue," selections from "Porgy and Bess", as well as selections from his greatest Broadway shows and Hollywood films.
The accordion has a long historical connection with Gershwin's music, from in the early 20th century. In this CD Doktorski continues this tradition by making what is believed to be the first ever recording of the unabridged Rhapsody featuring accordion with chamber orchestra.
For more information email: email@example.com
7TH INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL IN PULA - CROATIA
Contributed by Paolo Picchio
The seventh Pula International Summer School recently took place in the Istrian town of Pula. Over the years the school has become a meeting place for many accordionists. Thanks to the efforts in the promotion of the accordion made by Damir Buzleta and Izolda Prenc, the event has become more and more important on the accordion calendar.
Teachers included Peter Soave (USA), Alexander Skliarov (Russia), Denis Modrušan (Croatia) for individual accordion lessons, Slavko Magdic (Slovenia) for orchestra conducting, and Paolo Picchio (Italy) for musicology and musical appreciation lessons. The students worked on their solo skills and gained valuable orchestral experience with the "Stanko Mihovilic" Orchestra.
The string instruments workshop was introduced this year and ended with a series of chamber music performances for accordion and string instruments, under the direction of Paolo Picchio.
The Summer School also hosted a series of performances by soloist Alexander Skliarov, the "Stanko Mihovilic" Orchestra (conducted by Damir Buzleta and guests Slavko Magdic and Denis Modrusan) and Peter Soave, who, together with the teachers of the stringed instruments courses, played a chamber music programme including pieces by Piazzolla, Bolling and Mozetich.
SCWALT QUINTET TO PERFORM IN VARIETY CONCERT - NEW ZEALAND
Contributed by Tatiana Lanchtchikova
The "SCWALT" Accordion Quintet from Auckland, New Zealand has a busy schedule for the rest of the year. The next concert is a charity concert for the Salvation Army, on August 22nd. Two weeks later they again are performing at the well known St Matthews Church in a variety concert.
"SCWALT" is an acronym for the first names of the groups members: Sarah Langley, Wayne Knights, Tatiana Lanchtchikova, Campbell Bettridge and Lionel Reekie. Playing acoustically (4 accordions and bass accordion), they are currently working on a light classical programme, including pieces such as Fugue in G minor (Bach), "Spring" from The Four Seasons (Vivaldi), Entry to the Queen of Sheeba (Handel) and Caprice (by New Zealand composer Gary Daverne).
ELEMENTARY ACCORDION TEACHING
Contributed by Wu Jie
17th August at 9:00 a.m., Ms. Yang Xiaomei will give a lecture in an auditorium of Leshan Children Centre in Leshan city. The topic of her lecture is "The first step of accordion study". Ms Yang Xiaomei's students are all children, with the youngest being only 4 years old.
The 800 capacity theatre is expected to be overflowing, with 1,000 children and their parents expected to attend. "When a child begins their studies in a musical instrument such as accordion, the first steps are very important to them. So, as a teacher, we should realise the importance of elementary accordion teaching" said Ms Yang.
US PRESIDENT APPRECIATES VALUE OF MUSIC
Contributed by Lian Huang
President Bill Clinton enjoys music and recently said, "Music touches our lives in a distinctive way and enables us to transcend boundaries, embrace diversity, and unite our nation in harmony. Music education plays a vital role in the well-rounded learning experience and, by allowing students to perform either as individuals or as part of a group, it teaches young people the joys of sharing their talents with others."
"You know music education is something very dear to my heart. When I was in high school I had a music teacher, a wonderful man, named Virgil Sperling, who taught me a lot more than scales and keys and how to hold a steady note on the saxophone. He taught me about me about patience and practice, hard work, dedication and teamwork. The music I made on that first tenor saxophone of mine wasn't always beautiful to the ear. My mother can certainly testify to that. But as I learned and improved, I came to understand how important a musical instrument can be. As an outlet for creativity, for ideas and emotions that only music can express."
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We are always looking at ways to improve our services to the accordion world, and in the next few months there will be many updates to ensure that.
www.accordions.com/china. The first major International Accordion Competition in China, to be held in October 1998. Over US$10,000 in prizes!
www.accordions.com/joanna. Well known accordionist from the USA Joanna Arnold