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15-Mar-2013

Gervasio Marcosignori (1927-2013), Castlfidardo – Italy


Gervasio MarcosignoriAbove are two videos from 2006, 79 years old Marcosignori. The accordion world mourns the passing of Gervasio Marcosignori, probably the most admired and loved accordionist of his generation. Please read the Editors Note above.

Gervasio Marcosignori, sometimes referred to as the "poet of the accordion", was born in Castelfidardo, Ancona, Italy, on December 3rd 1927. As a young child he was taught the accordion by his father, Giovanni. In 1934 he performed in the presence of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who was impressed and urged young Gervasio to “keep up the good work”. Although the war years greatly restricted accordion activity, in 1943 Gervasio won his first contest, and was on the road to becoming an outstanding competitor in post-war competitions as well as emerging as a top level visrtuoso concert artist.

The 1950s saw Marcosignori emerge as an international artist, and he travelled extensively around Europe and beyond, making a huge impression wherever he went. He also served as an adjudicator at many festivals. In these years he played acoustically, and though he has used many instruments, became particularly associated with the Settimio Soprani Artist VI, then later the Scandalli Super VI.

In 1959 Marcosignori was awarded the ‘World Oscar’ by the CMA for his international contribution to the accordion.

In 1962 Marcosignori collaborated with a Farfisa company technical team led by Gianfelice Fugazza, in the design of the Cordovox, an electronic accordion operating via transistors. From the 1960s Marcosignori became closely associated with the electronic accordion and he made many international visits demonstrating the Farfisa ‘Transicord’ and ‘Syntaccordion’.

Although he had always performed classical music, in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Marcosignori performed a wide range of Continental and Latin music, and this was the basis of his popularity with many people. The 1970s also saw him become much more inclined towards performing classical music.

Marcosignori performed in front of famous dignataries such as past Italian President Sandro Pertini, Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, and many more.

Considering the length of his career and his fame, Marcosignori made surprisingly few recordings, and his albums, recorded by Decca (UK) and Cetra (Italy), include ‘Accordion Travelogue’ (1959), ‘Dancing Continental’ (1961), ‘Record of the Century’ (1962), ‘Accordion Showpieces’ (1972), ‘The Poet of the Accordion’ (1991), and ‘Encore!’ (1995).

Gervasio Marcosignori was widowed some years ago when his wife Lucia died from cancer, causing him to suffer with depression. Nobody in the accordion world had more friends, but the loss of his wife was something he never fully came to terms with. More recently he had also developed signs of dementure and was unable to play the accordion at his usual high standard.

On March 8th Italian news reports stated that Marcosignori had attempted suicide, and he died in Cesena hospital, at the age of 85, on March 9th 2013. The death of this much loved maestro caused great shock throughout the accordion world, and he has been widely mourned.
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