Accordions Worldwide
Celebrity Interviews

Federica Celesti

President Italian Accordion Culture
(Italian Voting Member CIA)

May 2008
Interview by Davide Fabrizi

The Cultural Association Italian Accordion Culture (IAC) received from the CIA the task to organize the Italian Qualifications for the next Coupe Mondiale that will be in Glasgow (Scotland) on October, 2008.

Strumenti & Musica Spring Festival, to be held in Spoleto (Italy) from 18 to 25th May, will be the occasion to hear the best musicians of the italian accordion world. In anticipation to the first Qualification, the Presidente of IAC Federica Celesti explained how the new association was born and how S&M Spring Festival came to be started?

Q. When and how the Cultural Association ITALIAN ACCORDION CULTURE is born?
A. Italian Accordion Culture was founded in 2001 as an idea of some young people with a great passion for music and new technology. The IAC have worked for research and to spread music, particularly folk music. It's important to underline the until 2003, the only collection of popular songs was recorded by Fonit Cetra and sang by an old Spoletino group. Nowadays we have recorded several songs which brought us many successes.

Q. What do you mean for research and recovery of popular tradition?
A. The major part of popular traditional songs were inspired by the agricultural activities or religious festivals. An example is "the songs of Christ Passion" which are sung in the days before Easter (in any house of the village).

Nowadays this tradition has almost disappeared and these songs are being recovered due to the memories of a few old people. Our studies allowed us to cooperate with many different insitutions, like the University of Perugia and the Regione dell'Umbria to recover and publish this traditonal music.

Q. Have you worked also in didactic field? Describe this experience please.
A. The IAC organizes a didactic laboratories in the primary and in the secondary school. During the lessons the pupils learnt some dialectic songs, typical of our town, Spoleto. This activities ended with recording of a disco.

Q. Your musical projects are directed only towards the popular traditional music?
A. I remember with pleasure the experience in 2002, when together with Emergency we coordinated a series of meetings in some schools all over Umbria.

The Emergency staff discussed with the students about "Peace and War" all over the world, and particularly the action of Emergency in the war zones.

After that the pupils wrote some texts which had been utilized by a professional writer in order to prepare 2 songs. The final event was a concert in Spoleto in which more than one hundred students participated together with some famous singers like Amerio, Barbarossa and Mingardi.

Other important experiences for IAC were the cultural exchange with some musical schools and orchestra of Paris, Oudernaarde (Belgium) and Praga (there the event was recorded by the TV of the State).

Q. This year IAC introduces a new experience, explain please the event.
A. The pride of IAC program for the year 2008 is the organization of National Selections of Accordionists, who are going to represent Italy in the Coupe Mondiale, which will be place in Scotland in October 2008. This action has been possible as proxy for CIA (Confederation International Accordeonistes, voiting member ofIMC Unesco)in a recent congress placed in Skopie (Macedonia) where IAC was represented by our artistic director Mirco Patarini.

Q. Could you explain what are these elections?
A.Every year IAC can organize a competition for young Italian Accordionists. The selection will be directed by a jury made up of international musicians. The participants will divided in many different section like classic or varieté; they will perform a free program of about 20 minutes. The winner will fly to the Coupe Mondiale CIA to stand for Italy. The auditions will be held in Sala Pegasus and opened to anyone with would know the accordion under a different light (not folk).

Q.Who are the member of jury?
A. The foreman of the jury is Kimmo Mattilawho is the General Secretary of CIA. The others are:
A. S. Selivanov, winner of several international competition and teacher in the Gnessin's Academy of Music and vice president of Master Class Arts School (it organizes cultural events, festivals and competitions in many Russian town);
A. Nicolic, international concert player, winner in a lot of competitions and actually director of the Conservatory of State "dr. Vojislav Vuckovic" in Belgrado;
R. Ruggeri, international accordionist, whoacutally represent one of the greatest jazz player of the accordion;
M. Patarini, appreciated accordion player, world champion in Switzerland in 1985, President of the Council ADC of CIA and artistic director of IAC.

Q. Is there the hopeless to organize the accordion world selections in Spoleto?
A. The next world competitions will be placed in Scotland and until 2017 they are fixed, therefore we are thinking to candidate us for 2018.

Q. There is a Spoletina singer in the final concert, isn't it?
A.Yes, true. She is Daniela Pupella, a great young voice. Today she is recording for the Ars Spoletium Record a CD which we can listen next year. She will sing together with the Belgrado Quintet (Beltango) in the final concert of the Strumenti e Musica Spring Festival, Sunday 25th May at 5:30 p.m. in the Teatro Nuovo in Spoleto.
We invite all music lovers to enjoy themselves in a wonderful music afternoon.