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The Squeeze

20th June 1997

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Editors note:
It's great to see so many new CD's being released lately, and also very pleasing is the extremely high standard of performance within them. I have been busy this week, putting together new internet sites for accordionists. New sites are now on line for Ivano Battiston and Paolo Picchio, two major forces in the accordion world in Italy. I have also completed a page for the American Accordionists' Association 1997 Festival, which includes the program for the entire event!

After four weekends being taken up with accordion activity, I look forward to having this one to myself! Although I will be with accordionists, we will probably be on a golf course or a boat somewhere! See you next week!

Wayne Knights

Emails to the Editor

This weeks titles:

  • Sata Hame Accordion Festival - Finland
  • Jazz Queen Alice Hall to be Honoured - California, USA
  • International Accordion Competition dedicated to Zolotariov
  • Extracurricular Accordion Training Class - Hubei, China
  • Music For All Concerts - New Zealand
  • Two Accordion Concerts - Kiev, Ukraine
  • National Conference for Accordion in Denver, USA
  • North Shore Performing Arts Competition, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Vladimir Bonakov's Concert
  • Schluchttal Accordion Orchestra Concert in Zurzach, Germany
  • 1997 Accordion Society of Australia Festival
  • Accordion Repair Lecture - Kunmin, China
  • Peter Soave's New CD: "Pride & Passion"
  • New Gypsy Strings CD: "Music of Planet Earth"


    Contributed by Kimmo Mattila

    The Sata-Häme Accordion Festival 1997 will be held in Ikaalinen, Finland from the 30th of June to the 6th of July.

    The opening ceremony will be held at 5.00pm on the 30th of June and will include domestic and foreign performers such as: "Travnicek" (Slovakia), Cottbus Accordion Orchestra (Germany), Bornholm Accordion Orchestra (Denmark). Admission to the ceremony is free.

    The festival includes a week filled with a variety of events such as Folk Music Accordion Championships, Chromatic and Diatonic accordion concerts, Children's afternoon, Finnish Accordion Entertainment Championships which will be broadcast live on TV, plus a variety of accordionists and orchestras from many countries including Russia, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, and Estonia.

    The closing ceremony will be held at 3.00pm on Sunday the 6th of July and features the quartet "Ural", Timbre Bajan Orchestra (Russia), Julien Labro (France), "Travnicek" (Slovakia), Hogener Lünen (Germany) and others.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    Friends Of The Accordion, Los Angeles, California, will honour the Queen of Jazz Accordion, Alice Hall on the occasion of her 80th birthday, on the 29th of June. Special international guest artists will attend and perform including: Myron Floren, Nick Ariondo, Qin Hua of Beijing, China, Augustin Barchuk of Argentina, Tony Hartenstein on chromatic accordion, and FOTA's own Jonas Aras. The cost of US$25 per person includes dinner, wine, cake, and of course, a special concert tribute in honour of Alice Hall. If you wish to attend, full payment must be sent in advance to FOTA, 15210 Sherman Way, Suite 50, Van Nuys, CA 91405 USA or phone: + 1 818 780 1551.


    Contributed by Tatiana Lanchtchikova

    This competition, which is being organised by the Primorye Region Culture Administration and Far East Association of string players and accordionists, will be held from the 14th to 21st of December 1997 in Vladivostok, Russia. The competition is for soloists, ensembles and orchestras.

    The first section will be held by judging both video and recordings, which will take place on the 1st and 2nd of November, 1997. Audio and video recordings (amateur or professional) may be produced in any system. The second section provides the arrival of contestants to Vladivostok by invitation on the grounds of the jury's results of the first section.

    Musicians may participate in different categories. An entrance fee is not required. Entries close on September 1st, (for concert performers) and November 1st, (for soloists, ensembles and orchestras).

    For further information and application forms contact:
    Alexander Shpak, ul. Russkaya 40, Vladivostok 690039, Russia, Fax: +7 423-2268545


    Contributed by Wu Shou Zhi

    On July 1st an extracurricular accordion training class will be opened in the "Yucai" Primary School, in Wuhan city of Hubei province.

    This is the first time such a training class has been held and to begin with, twenty pupils will attend. Mr. Zhang Rong, a music teacher at the school and a private accordion teacher, will teach them after school once a week, usually on a Sunday evening.

    "Although the number of the accordion students in the first training class is only twenty, this is a good beginning. Within one year, my students will be able to play the accordion very well; and the number of the accordion students in our school will continue to grow", said Mr. Zhang Rong


    Contributed by Christine Adams

    On the 14th and 15th of June, The Music For All Concerts (which are held twice a year in Auckland, New Zealand), delighted audiences with a wide variety of music.

    The three orchestras that participated in these concerts were the top three placegetters at the New Zealand Championships and Festival held just two weeks ago. They are: West Auckland Accordion Orchestra (conducted by Erica Knights), North Shore Musicale Orchestra, (conducted by Stephanie Poole) and North Shore Accordiana Orchestra (conducted by Heather Masefield).

    Also performing were the North Shore Quartet, who played the overture to the "Marriage of Figaro" and Leroy Anderson's "Fiddle Faddle". Lionel Reekie and Anna Evans also played a great duet version of "Hot Stuff".

    As many of the orchestra members are young teenagers, a highlight of the weekend was to be able to perform at Auckland's Aotea Centre to an enthusiastic audience of over 500. The accordions could be heard throughout the centre and this concert was a tremendous success.


    Contributed by Vladimir Besfamilnov

    Two accordion concerts took place on June the 12th at the Concert Hall of the Ukraine National Musical Academy.

    The first concert was by Alexander Chuev, a first year student of the Ukraine National Musical Academy under Professor Nikolai Davidov. He performed works by Bach, Liszt, Zubitski as well as his own compositions, including a piece for the left hand.

    The second concert was by Alexandr Benzouk, Ljubenovic and Vladimir Atamanchuk. They are all students of Vladimir Bulavko, (Honoured artist of Ukraine), who is also a teacher at the Ukraine National Musical Academy. This program included a variety of works from Pakhelbel to Zolotariov.


    Contributed by Tom Collins

    In Denver, CAPA Times (official newsletter of Closet Accordion Players of America) has just announced a national conference for accordion fans to be held from the 19th to 21st of June, 1998 in Denver. The theme of the conference is "Accordions in the Rockies - It's HIGH time we get together".

    Early registration is only US $30 (it goes up to US $50 after January 15th, 1998). This fee entitles you to a registration packet full of accordion information and goodies, attendance at all the workshops and sessions, continental breakfast on Saturday, entrance to the exhibits, a hotel discount, and more. Send registration fee to CAPA, 305 West Magnolia, Suit 398, Ft. Collins, CO 80525.


    Contributed by Annemarie Panzic

    On the 15th of June, 35 accordionists from Auckland took part in the North Shore Performing Arts Competitions Society (Inc) competitions. This was their 43rd Annual Festival and was held at the Rose Centre, Belmont on Auckland's North Shore. There were many different classes ranging from under 8 years up to 16 years and over, which included solos and an open section for duet and ensemble.

    The categories were: "Music of The Masters", "Folk and Entertainment Music" and "Own Selection", which enabled a wide variety of music to be performed much to the delight of the audience. A time limit of 5 minutes per item was allowed.

    The prizes ranged from NZ $20.00 for a first placing in the senior age group to attractive medals for the younger placegetters.

    The adjudicator was Mrs Betty Dunbar from Hamilton, who congratulated both the students and their teachers on the choice of music and the high standard of performance.


    Contributed by Tatiana Lanchtchikova

    Several concerts, dedicated to the 55th birthday of Vladimir Bonakov were given by Vladimir and his students, at the Concert Hall of the State Museum of Musical Culture "Glinka".

    Vladimir Bonakov is a performer, teacher and composer, who graduated and post-graduated as a bayanist under Professor Nikolai Chaikin, and as a composer under G. Litinskiy. From 1958 he has been teaching bayan and theory of music at schools and colleges in various cities of Russia. In 1957 he won the Republic Competitions of Musical Performers in Tallin, Estonia and came second at the Klingenthal International Accordion Competition, in 1970. Vladimir also composes works for orchestra, vocal and other instruments.

    Among the various pieces performed, Vladimir Bonakov played his own works such as: Children Concerto, Concerto-Rhapsody and Motzartino.


    Contributed by Uli Ebner

    On the 8th of June, the Schluchttal Accordion Orchestra had planned an open-air concert in the Zurzach gardens. They were about to start their program with the song "Free World Fantasy", when there was sudden thunder and lightening and a downpour of rain. This lasted for 2 hours, so unfortunately the concert had to be cancelled after only one note had been played.


    Contributed by Lothar Wollmann, Queensland Accordion Club

    The 1997 Accordion Society of Australia Festival Concert will be held on Saturday the 12th of July at 2pm at the Southport RSL, Scarborough Street, Southport, Gold Coast, Queensland.

    Among the performers will be:

    • Ossie Mazzei Accordion Orchestra
    • N.S.W. State Accordion Orchestra
    • Accordion Concert Ensemble
    • Leo Mazzei Quintet
    • Michael Kluger on concertina
    • 1997 National Champions, plus leading accordionists from Australia and New Zealand.

      Tickets are $10 each. For more information please email:


    Contributed by Wu Shou Zhi

    On Monday the 16th of June at 2.30pm, Mr Liao Yuxuan, an accordion teacher in Kunmin city, gave a lecture at the Yunnan Art College. The topic of his lecture was: "How to Repair Accordion and Keep It in Good Condition".

    Mr Liao Yuxuan has taught the accordion for more than ten years and regards the upkeep of accordions as a very important thing. "An accordion is a weapon for us, just like a gun for a soldier. We should keep it in good condition every day unless you do not want to play it any more".

    More than 200 people attended, and were shown by Mr Liao Yuxuan some new simple and easy methods of repair, as well as how to keep accordions in good condition. These were very practical and useful for accordionists, especially for amateur accordion players or enthusiasts. The audience enjoyed the lecture very much and hoped to attend similar lectures at a later date.


    Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

    Peter Soave's new CD "Pride and Passion" begins with "Bordel (Whorehouse) 1900" by Astor Piazzolla from the Histoire du Tango. This piece was originally composed for guitar and flute. Peter is playing the composition as written without transcription.

    "Tanti Anni Prima" was written by Piazzolla many years ago. This composition was brought to Peter's attention a little over a year ago by Piazzolla's publisher Aldo Pagani. There is a considered opinion by many (and Peter shares this view) that this piece is perhaps the most beautiful composition Piazzolla ever wrote.

    Soave next performs the Haydn Piano Sonata in D Major and gives a superb insight into the range and expressiveness of his instrument compared to a piano. Leon Böellmann's "Suite Gothique" in four movements, (l. Introduction-chorale; 2. Minuet Gothique; 3. Prayer to Notre Dame; 4. Toccata) is a staple of bayanists. It's a work of the late 19th century Parisian organist / composer full of a kind of fin de siècle charm and bombast.

    The late Stanley Myer's "Cavatina" from "The Deer Hunter" was scored for solo guitar played by John Williams in the film of the same name. Here Soave has made his own arrangement and developed a rich, almost orchestral harmonic accompaniment.

    Claude Bolling, the celebrated French jazz pianist-composer, was greatly influenced by American music (Ellington, Basie, Waller etc.). Soave has extracted three movements from his suite "Jazz à la Française: "Bach to Swing"; "Garnerama" (an homage to the great, late elfin pianist Erroll Gamer); and, "A la Française." For these selections Peter is accompanied by Billy Cairo on drums and Ralph Armstrong on bass.

    The final selection needs no introduction. Brahms' Hungarian Dance #5 is overly familiar, but I doubt that you've ever heard it played with such blazing heat and pulsating power. Here, Peter sets the Magyars on fire, sending them racing across the Hungarian puszta astride demi-mongolian mounts. It's a fitting and breathtaking finale!


    Contributed by Zoltan Racz

    Gypsy Strings is a Washington D.C. based group playing international music. Samples of their world music can be found on their new CD, Music of Planet Earth. It gives a cross section of the group's repertoire, from a Peruvian Waltz to a French Musette, from Astor Piazzolla to Rossini.

    Members of the group are:

    • Zoltan Racz - accordion
    • Bruno Nasta - violin, viola
    • Chip Cliff - guitar, mandolin
    • Jon Nazdin - bass


    Subject: Pietro Accordion

    Hi Wayne,

    We have found ourselves to be in possession of a reasonably old looking accordion (passed on after a family death).

    Could you perhaps throw any light on the origin of this. All I can really say is that it has the name PIETRO on it and looks old!

    Tim Lucas

    It is virtually impossible for me to tell you the origin of this. There have been so many manufacturers of the accordion in its short history, with many of them not in existence today.

    The only light I could shed on this is that there were two brothers in the USA, namely Pietro and Guido Deiro. They were perhaps two of the most famous USA accordionists near the turn of the century. To read more about them, there is an article on Accordions Worldwide:

    What I suggest you do is contact the nearest retailer of accordions and ask them if they have any information. If they don't they may be able to find out by asking their peers. A good place to look for the closest person to you is on the Accordion Yellow Pages Database:

    I hope you find the information you are wanting!


    Wayne Knights
    Accordions Worldwide

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