Accordions Worldwide
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The Squeeze

28th February 1997

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Past news in English

Editors note:
One of the world's largest music trade shows, the Frankfurt Musik Messe has got underway this week. Next week we will have a report from Accordions Worldwide Directors, Faithe Deffner and Harley Jones about this great event, which is always attended by many accordionists from throughout the world.

We have had an overwhelming amount of news contributed this week. If you have sent in news this week and don't have it listed here, it is because of this and the fact we need time to translate all articles. They will be here next week instead.
Wayne Knights, Editor

For information on upcoming concerts, competitions etc go to Future Events

This weeks titles:
  • Accordion Confederation Holds 97th Congress in London
  • The Accordions of Castelfidardo in the Vatican, Rome
  • UMKC Accordion Orchestra in Newspaper, European Tour Confirmed
  • Concert and workshop with John Kirkpatrick
  • Port Fairy Folk Festival - Melbourne, Australia
  • Dimitrev Concert for American Accordionists' Association
  • 20th Anniversary of the Suhr Music School
  • Accordionist to Perform with McKeesport Symphony
  • Cancelled Meeting of Sichuan Accordion Association
  • Folk Music Festival - Kirovograd, Ukraine
  • Frank Marocco performs for Accordion Clubs
  • Accordionists in Scotland
  • Forthcoming Concert of the Voronezh Accordion Orchestra, Russia
  • Accordion Music from Armed Forces
  • The Royal Academy of Music in London
  • New Concertina CD compilation
  • Massimo Pitzianti accompanies Paolo Conte on Television


    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    The Confederation Internationale des Accordionistes (CIA) held its 97th General Assembly of Delegates Congress in London on 23rd and 24th February. Among the matters discussed was the 1997 Coupe Mondiale which will take place near Zurich in Rheinach, Switzerland from 11th to 14th September. The Coupe Mondiale Test Piece "The Flight Beyond the Time" by Finnish composer Petri Makkonen is available to competitors from the CIA Secretariat at

    The Confederation will offer three categories of competition at the Rheinach Festival: Coupe Mondiale, Junior Coupe Mondiale and Virtuoso Entertainment for those who play popular music. Category descriptions and entry forms are available from the CIA Secrtariat.

    The CIA Congress meetings were held at the Royal Academy of Music in a room provided by Owen Murray, who heads the Accordion Department. In honour of the visiting dignitaries (which included Accordions Worldwide Directors Faithe Deffner and Harley Jones, representing USA and New Zealand respectively at the Congress), students of the Royal Academy presented a lunchtime concert. The young accordionists included Ian Watson, Phuong Nguyen, Louise Saville and David Farmer. The concert was a delightful surprise, much enjoyed by the delegates.


    Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    For the first time an accordion has made its entrance in the most famous square in the world, colouring with its notes, the magical atmosphere of the Roman Christmas! Last year on the afternoon of the 24th December, during the solemn opening of the Christmas Manger by His Holiness the Pope John Paul II, a group of accordionists from Castelfidardo (formed by Massimiliano Pitocco and Renzo Ruggieri) took part in the festive celebrations.

    The event, organised by Telepace, has been broadcasted by several television channels. The accordionists introduced by Don Giovanni D'Ercole and Piero Schiavazzi to entertain all the guests, amongst which there were actors, singers and politicians.

    In this international atmosphere the accordions from Castelfidardo were played. It was a unique opportunity for the revaluation, promotion and relaunching of this often underestimated musical instrument which is still an integrating part of the Italian musical and cultural heritage.


    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    Wow! A fantastic accordion-focused article about Joan Sommers and the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, featured recently in the "Kansas City Star", (Written by Edward M. Eveld) with brilliant full colour photos, six pages long and dedicated to extolling "the accordion as a serious passion." The article deals with a number of accordionists studying at, or who are a part of, the excellent accordion programs for undergraduate and advanced studies at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, created by Joan Sommers in 1961. The UMKC Accordion Orchestra, which Sommers conducts, is lauded as one of the top accordion orchestras in the world. The article is a real pride pleaser for the accordion community. Bravo!

    The UMKC Accordion Orchestra has confirmed they will embark on a concert tour on June 17th. The group from the University of Missouri at Kansas City will travel through Germany, Austria, Hungary and Czechoslavakia. Acclaimed worldwide, this group is known for superb performances. Their cassette titled "Musical Glimpses" is an example of their extraordinary musicality and finesse. For tour information or to arrange a European concert, send email to


    Contributed by Alison Macfarlane

    John Kirkpatrick, one of the leading figures in traditional English music, will be performing at the Allsorts Community Arts Centre, Alma Rd, 8.00pm on Saturday 9th March. Earlier in the afternoon, he will conduct a workshop for local players of the melodeon, followed by an informal music session in the Rose and Crown, St Michael's Street.

    As well as being a virtuoso on the button accordion and anglo concertina, John Kirkpatrick is a singer and a prolific songwriter. In addition to playing solo, he has played in top bands before forming his own John Kirkpatrick Band. He has also worked extensively in the theatre as a composer and choreographer.

    Supporting John in the concert are two new generation multicultural groups Adcocks and Mukherjees, playing music from Norway, India and beyond. Keyboard and accordion player, Mike Adcock is a world music enthusiast. From India, Debashis Mukherjee will play mouth organ and harmonium.

    For further information and tickets see Future Events


    Contributed by Bernadette Conlon

    The Port Fairy Folk Festival is due to be held from the 7th to 10th March (inclusive). This little sea side town of approximately 300 local residents swells to approximately 30,000 for the long weekend. There are several venues on at the same time, giving everyone a choice of entertainment.

    Bernadette will perform for approximately 2 hours, playing a selection of folk tunes from various countries around the world, and will be conducting a general workshop on the accordion.

    DIMITREV CONCERT FOR American Accordionists' Association

    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    Known as a foremost bayanist among the Russian artists, Alexander Dmitriev will begin his US concert tour with a performance sponsored by the American Accordionists Association, at the Ramada Inn in Norwalk, Conneticut on 9th March. His varied and exciting programme includes classics as well as popular folk melodies and is certain to delight audiences. Dmitriev will also concertise for accordion clubs in Michigan, Chicago and Milwaukee.

    Rounding out the AAA programme, the "K" Trio will perform. They are Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski, Julie Kasprzyk Cardona and Walter Kasprzyk, who all studied with the late Michael Fernino and were acclaimed nationally and internationally throughout their early days of accordion competitions and musical triumphs. This family trio, consisting of two sisters and a brother, went off in various directions as they built careers for themselves. Only recently they returned to their accordions, rejuvenating the group much to the pleasure of audiences.

    The concert will be followed by an AAA Open Meeting for members and friends of the accordion. Concert tickets at $15.00 may be ordered by mail or fax using a credit card. Contact AAA Headquarters, P.O. 616, Mineola, NY 11501, USA or FAX +1 516-7467085. Seating capacity is limited.


    Contributed by Edith and Martin Frey

    The Suhr Music School has organised a concert featuring Oleg Sharov, to be held on 1st March, at 7.00pm, in the auditorium of the "Bezirksschule Suhr", in conjunction with their 20th anniversary celebrations.

    Oleg Sharov is an accordion professor at the state conservatory in St Petersburg and comes from the first Russian Guard of bayanists. He has been a member of the jury at numerous top international competitions and performed extensively at concerts in the Western hemisphere. Sharov has performed in over twenty countries, including Switzerland, USA, Scandinavia, Spain, France, Germany, England and Austria. He shows great versatility and adds humour to his playing, performing music from Bach to Liszt and Piazolla.

    This will be a most worthwhile and rewarding concert for every accordion enthusiast, with lots of fun to be had by all. Admission is by donation. For further information please contact Edith and Martin Frey or email


    Contributed by Henry Doktorski

    Concert accordionist Henry Doktorski from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (USA) will perform with the McKeesport Symphony on Saturday 1st March in McKeesport Pennsylvania. The program, titled "April in Paris," features the operatic soprano Claudia Becket who will perform several arias from French operas, by Manon, Faust and Louise.

    Doktorski will accompany Claudia in several cabaret songs such as La Vie en Rose, La Mer and Under Paris Skies.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    The Directors of the Sichuan Accordion Association cancelled their scheduled meeting (and concert) on 20th February, when they learned of the untimely death of Deng Xiaoping. The news was broadcast by Radio, Television and Newspaper on the morning of the 20th.

    Professor Wu Shouzhi, President of the Association, and all the Directors decided to postpone the meeting for two weeks, in order to mourn for this world famous man who was born in the Sichuan province, and is well known there as a great man of our time.


    Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov and Tatiana Lanchtchikova

    The Folk Music Festival began on 8th February in Kirovograd, city of Ukraine. Included in the performers are students from Childrens Musical Schools and Musical Colleges. The programme of events presents various instruments including the piano accordion.

    On the 26th February, there was a concert by Boris Popov a soloist with the Kirovograd Philharmonia. He played with the ensemble "Elisavet - Retro".

    From 2nd to 4th March is when the accordion is featured. Accordionists from various cities of Ukraine will play in the Concert Hall of Kirovograd Musical College. Among them are the Duo of Bogdan and Ruslan Pirog, who will perform a variety of classical and traditional music.

    On the 4th March, Bayan duo from Kharkov (Alexander Mistchenko and Igor Snedkov) will play Rondo (Bach), Navarra (Sarasate) and many other famous Russian Folk pieces.


    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    California-based jazz accordionist Frank Marocco will travel east in May to perform for the Chicago Accordion Club and the Detroit Accordion Society. Marocco is an extraordinary studio musician who is constantly involved with TV, radio and recording work as well as many commercial spots which are frequently heard by the public.


    Contributed by Harley Jones

    While on his way to the Confederation Internationale des Acordionistes Conference in London, Accordions Worldwide Director, Harley Jones had the pleasure of meeting composer and accordionist Graham Geddes in Aberdeen. Graham has recently been performing in Hong Kong and is active with the accordion around Aberdeen.

    Upon his arrival in Scotland, Harley was delighted to find his way to the beautiful seaside town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull and in particular the Mishnish Hotel, which over the years has built up an enviable reputation as the place to go for good food, accommodation and a bar that features the accordion. The Hotel is not only famous in the area, but is even lists in the German student guide as a fun place for young people.

    A family concern for over a century, the Mishnish Hotel has photographs around the bar of many accordionists, including the father of the proprietor who was a well known accordionist, a tradition that his son Robert MacLeod is happy to follow.

    Harley Jones met several other accordionists there, including Alistair Currie from the Isle of Mull, Ian Holmes from Dumfries City and David McGill from Glasgow, as well as enjoying Robert MacLeod on his MIDI accordion. Often Robert MacLeod is joined by accordionist friends and other instrumentalists, and Robert wants to tell all accordion lovers that they can hear the accordion at the Mishnish Hotel, 7 nights a week. Address: Mishnish Hotel, Proprietor Robert MacLeod, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland PA75 6NU. Phone: 01688 302009 FAX: 01688 302462


    Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov and Tatiana Lanchtchikova

    On the 2nd March, Voronezh Accordion Orchestra will give a concert, in the Concert Hall of the Voronezh Musical College.

    Mikhael Efimenko is the conductor of the Orchestra. He is a teacher at the Musical College and a performer with the Voronezh Philharmonia.

    The Concert Programme includes Organ Music by Bach, Gothic Suite by Belman, Nocturn by Kazhlaev and Russian Folk songs, which will be performed by vocalist Yekaterina Molodtsova.


    Contributed by Wu Jie

    On Wednesday 19th February, Mr Xiao Yu played his own composition "My Favourite Harmonica" on the radio. The piece took him two months to write and it describes the life of light hearted soldiers. The melody of the music is beautiful and lively and has been well received by soldiers and accordionists alike.

    Mr Xiao Yu is a flight lieutenant in the Air Force, and he enjoys teaching the accordion and composing part time. This is his first composition for the accordion (although he has various compositions for other instruments) and he is looking forward to composing more accordion music for his comrades-in-arms in the future.


    Contributed by Faithe Deffner, President of the American Accordionists' Association

    In 1986, The Royal Academy of Music became the first British music college to introduce the accordion into its teaching provision. Previous students have won leading competitions, including two finalists and a Gold Medal winner in the Royal Overseas League Competition for all musical instruments. As well as studying the instrument's substantial original repertory, students play and arrange suitable pieces for transcription. Accordion students also perform extensively outside the Academy and have appeared in a variety of Festivals, including the Brighton, Colchester, Arundel, Cheltenham and Edinburgh. Early in 1996, six students performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

    Accordion Department head, Owen Murray, who studied with the late Mogens Ellegaard at the Royal Danish Conservatory, designed the curriculum to demonstrate that classical accordion is highly effective in a remarkable range of works, from the Baroque period to the present day, including music of Messiaen and other composers who have responded to the accordion's emergence. Students of the accordion programme have an ongoing collaboration with composition students, which has served to generate more than 20 new works in the past nine years. Special emphasis is placed on the instrument's wide and varied chamber music repertory.


    Contributed by Neil Wayne

    Concertina historian and enthusiast, Neil Wayne is planning a four-CD compilation, titled "Musical History of the Concertina". It is planned to be released in 1999, and will be one of the most well-researched, superbly documented and exhaustive survey of the music of the instrument.

    A selection of the best, rarest, most unusual and of course most musical examples from all over the world, will be included, from the earliest examples to the most current players and innovators.

    It will be accompanied by an extensive book on concertina history, musical examples, photographs and biographies of all artists, and a state-of-the-art 'FAQ' on all aspects of the concertina.

    Neil Wayne is looking for details of any recordings that contain important examples of the music of any type of concertina. If you have any ideas, you can send him an email at:


    Contributed by Paolo Picchio and Holda Paoletti-Kampl

    Accordionist Massimo Pitzianti accompanied Paolo Conte (composer, singer and pianist from Piedmont, Italy) at a televised concert held at Palazzo Reale di Napoli in Naples. This has given the accordion another wonderful opportunity to appear on television.

    The television programme, which was broadcasted on Saturday 4th of January on the national TV channel "Raidue", directed by Cesare Pierleoni, featured the songs of Conte's last CD "Una faccia in prestito". During the concert, Pitzianti played the accordion and the bandoneon, (among other instruments), showing his accordion off with songs such as "Colleghi trascurati", Hemingway", "Sjimadicandhapajiee", "Quadrille", "Max" and "Spassiunatamente".

    Pitzianti, also from Piedmont, has studied under Mo Carlo Venturi and is currently studying composition.

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