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Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
From 8th to 10th November,
the Third International Award "Astor Piazzolla" took
place in Castelfidardo, dedicated to the music composed by the
famous Argentinian maestro and great bandoneon player who died
There were soloists and groups with various combinations
of players and instruments participating, performing music composed
by Piazolla (original scores, free transcriptions and personal
improvisations). The 98 talented participants came from Russia,
Spain, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Italy and included "Neofonia
Ensemble" a group of 12 players from Napoli, Italy, Russian
duettists "Duo Balik-Ralo" and "Trio Argentino
del Tango" from Spain.
"Adios Nonino" composed by Piazzolla for the death of his
father was interpreted by the famous Argentinian pianist Carlos Franzetti
as well as by Hector Ulises Passarella on his Bandoneon and both were
received with a long standing ovation by a large audience.
Contributed by Lionel Reekie, Music Education Centre
Members of New Zealand's renowned "Air New Zealand
Accordion Orchestra" welcomed the festive season in Auckland's
annual "Santa Parade". This event is held in Auckland
(New Zealand's largest city) and is watched live by around 300,000
people annually. People line the main streets of the city watching
many "floats", full of acts and entertainers go by.
The event is also covered by several TV stations. The
accordion orchestra float has been a musical feature of the parade
every year since 1986 and continues to be one of the most popular.
The orchestra, who have recently returned from a
highly successful tour of German speaking Europe, entertained
the crowds with the smash hit "Lemon Tree", by Fools
Garden. Young and old alike applauded as this amateur youth group
squeezed their way through the song 17 times! The orchestra's
unique sound, blending reeds with voice, percussion, glockenspiel
and synthesiser never fails to appeal, and each year the group
entertains the crowds with numbers from their extensive repertoire.
Setting up the sound system at 9.00am made it a long
day in the hot sun for many of the members, who were still packing
instruments away at 5.15pm. Although hard work, they all enjoyed
being a part of the Christmas festivities, and look forward to
being a part of it next year, playing the instruments they love.
The wife of famous jazz accordionist Art Van Damme
recently succumbed to a serious illness which hospitalised her
for several weeks. Dorothy and Art enjoyed many decades of happy
marriage and she accompanied him to three tribute concerts in
1995, the year Van Damme announced his retirement at the age of
75. The tribute concerts were held in Van Damme's native state
of Michigan, in California and in New Jersey where the American Accordionists' Association sponsored a gala event.
Contributed by Tatiana Lanchtchtikova and Victor
Victor Romanko is a very famous Russian accordionist
Russian Victor Romanko has won many accordion competitions
in Russia and won the International Accordion Competition in Klingenthal
in 1983. Since 1994 he has been a Professor at the Ural State
He toured Sweden from 18th to 30th
September, giving 30 concerts (all of them in churches) in various
cities of Sweden, including Lulea, Umea, Gothenburg and Stockholm.
Highlights of his programme included:
Most of the pieces were arranged by Victor himself. One of these
was the Concerto "Times of Years", which was recorded
by TV in Gothenburg. Wherever he played this, the audience were
amazed that this work was being played by a solo accordion!
On Saturday 23rd November the Russian ensemble "White Day"
from Moscow will perform on Swiss TV, from 8pm to 9.45pm in the
show "HOPP DE BÄSE, EXTRA".
Then on Monday 25th November at 8.00pm a concert with
"White Day" will be held in Nesslau, in the "BÜELENSAAL"
Hall. Entrance price is Sfr. 15.-- per person. Come and hear
one of the great accordion-based groups of the world play tunes
from around the world live!
Rock accordionist Phoebe Legere is now playing at one of Greenwich
Villages (New York City) most sizzling night spots, Coney Island
High, where young rockers assemble for the loud and glorious.
Phoebe sings and composes the songs for her group in addition
to playing up a storm on her MIDI accordion, accompanied by the
"4 nurses of the Apocalypse". Her outrageous show puts
the accordion center stage in rock music.
Contributed by Tom Collins, Montana
The American accordion great, Myron Floren, was featured at the
annual Wurstfest in New Braunfels, USA. Coincidently it was his
birthday, and the two co-authors of "The Golden Years of
the Accordion" (Eddie Chavez and Edwin Davison) formed an
accordion duet to serenade him with an inspired version of "Happy
Birthday". Hundreds of fans packed the festival ground's
marquee to pay homage to the musical virtuoso who has entertained
hundreds of thousands of people over three decades at the Wurstfest.
Tango Fantasy, a CD which features German accordionist Stefan
Hussong was recently recorded in Tokyo on the Denon label. It
contains avant garde Latin rhythms composed by Stravinsky, Albeniz,
Piazzola and John Cage.
Daniel Barenbohm, conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,
plays piano on the new CD titled Tangos Among Friends, Taldec
label. He is accompanied by Rudolfo Mederos on bandoneon and
contrabassist Hector Console.
None Such Records has released a CD titled Hommage a Piazzola,
featuring violinist Gideon Kremer, on which Fredrick Lips plays
one cut. Per Arne Glorvigen performs on bandoneon.
Accordionist-composer William Schimmel will perform in "An
Accordion Theatrical Event" with dancer Micki Goodman on
November 23 and 24 at the Anahid Sofian Studio in New York City.
Concert accordionist Peter Soave recently returned from a very
successful three-week concert tour of Russia just in time to perform
for yet another standing ovation at the Austin chapter of the
Texas Accordion Association on November 13th. He played an exciting
program ranging from transcriptions of the classics to Claude
Bolling's classical jazz.
Soave will leave shortly for Paris where he is scheduled to play
a concert on November 21st and to conduct a week-long accordion
seminar at the National Conservatory of Marseille, ending with
a concert. He will then spend two weeks on the French island
of La Reunion near Madagascar, doing accordion seminars with French
accordionist-teacher Andre Thepaz, and presenting concerts at
this unique venue.
Famous Russian accordionist and teacher Fredrich Lips has just
concluded a very ambitious concert tour in the USA which took
him cross country. Audiences who heard his brilliant performances
were awed by his masterful technique and sensitive musicianship.
Two music books by famous Klezmer accordionist Sy Kushner are
now available. Klezmer Fake Book Volume One consists of 20 Klezmer
tunes never before published and a compact disc of the original
performances. Klezmer Fake Book Volume Two is another collection
of 20 Klezmer tunes which have also never been published, and
includes a CD of the original recordings featuring Klezmer greats
such as Dave Tarras, Naftule Brandwein, Mishka Tsiganoff, Kandel,
Abe Schwartz and others. Included are the complete Philadelphia
Sher, Fun Tashlikh, Zeydn's Tants and Drohobitsher Khused.
Both books are in the key of C, at $US29.95 each plus worldwide
S/H at $US4 for one book and $US3 more for each additional book.
They may be ordered from Ernest Deffner Publications, PO Box 608,
Mineola, New York 11501 or by faxing +1 516-7467085
Alexander Dimitriev, one of Russia's top accordionists, will tour
throughout the USA in March of 1997. The American Accordionists' Association as well as several accordion clubs will sponsor his
concerts. Some concert dates in the first two weeks of March
are still open. To make concert arrangements, phone the AAA office
on +1 516-7463101.
Contributed by Harley Jones and Malcolm Gee, The Accordion News
This event, held last week from 14th to 17th
November was an overwhelming success. There were guest performers
from around Great Britain and special guests, the St Petersburg
Musette Ensemble. Organiser Malcolm Gee said everyone had a great
time. A full news item on this is expected to come from Malcolm
for next week's news.
Contributed by Tom Collins, Montana
A recent article in the USA Today newspaper says that accordions are running up the sales charts once more. Larry Linkin of the National Association of Music Merchants says accordion sales in the USA are up 36% in the first quarter of 1996 compared with the same period of 1995.