"Know the People" Interview of Mengascini Accordion Factory owners
Celebrity Interviews

Editor Holda Paoletti-Kampl with Mengascini Accordions
Nello Mengascini (Owner - Father)
Fabio Mengascini (Owner - Son)
Stefano Mengascini (Owner - Son)

Q:  Tell about your early start in the business of accordion manufacturing ….
A: Fabio and Stefano….. when we were small  kids, our father was still working with another company as a tuner.  During this period, big factories such as Farfisa, Crucianelli, Paolo Soprani, Accordiola were closing their gates and many of the workers had to re-organize themselves, just like our father did!  In 1980 he decided to start his own business with the help of other workers.

Stefano Mengascini, Nello Mengascini, Fabio Mengascini

Q:  Young and in-experienced in a newly formed business – were you scared?
A: No – we felt confident – having our father and experienced people around us, instructing us to learn the handycraft skills of accordion manufacturing.   The older of the two brothers, Fabio, prefered the practical part of the accordion business, being instructed for 3 years by the handicrafts-expert of the company Accordiola for which they continued to work producing Accordiola Accordions, whereas Stefano was eager to learn tuning, languages and to deal with the customers.

Sonata in G Major K13 L486 performed by Ines Vaz

Q: When were you able to enlarge your still young business?
A: Our father and us two brothers have opted for a new factory building to be added in the back of our home and when constructions was completed in 1991, we had to struggle quite a lot due to the Gulf War, when all international markets suffered enormously. Luckily it was only for a short period, with the market rising steadily until international economic difficulties happened again, beginning in 2006/7.

Q: To Nello Mengascini – what were your aims with teaching your sons?
A: I always tried not to overload them as I knew from my childhood, that losing interest is bad! So we were proceeding always slowly, but slowly and steadily growing – in knowledge and interest.

Always in my mind…if  one loads too great a heavy weight on a person – he will collapse and will then no longer be valuable….. this is my recipe  –  even NOW.

Q:  To Nello Mengascini - Did you ever have  doubts  arising that it might not work? ….. especially having had experience of many factories closing, including some that you were working with?
A: No – no real worries, although we had to face difficult moments, as have many others.  I felt confident, especially with the help of my sons…. I always had the feeling, that NOTHING could worry me! Maybe just an illusion – but it kept our company successfully on track until now, so my confident feelings, feel even more confirmed now!

Q: Nello Mengascini says: he has to thank 3 woman!!!
Editor  Of course – Holda says: all woman have to be thanked ;-) !!!!
Nello: I have to thank these 3 women – who have always given me good advice, great inspiration and confidence and support:

  1. A Swedish lady – her husband became a great customer of ours – she died last year!
  2. A lady, who has been working for me for over 40 years – coming to the factory at the age of 15 – always giving me input…. like… "come on Nello – you will make it" …. yes - …. I did!
  3. The third one….;-) I cannot nominate ;-)

Milonga de mis amores & Tango pour Claude por Ines Vaz

Q: To Nello Mengascini - Now, who is controlling the final product befor leaving the factory?
A: Now Stefano has been taking over “my” job and I must admit, that he has become better than the Master, which is a big pleasure for me.

Q: To Fabio - Do you also have young people working in your factory?
Yes I suppose, that we are the oldest ones.

Q:  Well – I know Fabio, that YOU are really a very very sporty man!  You are walking all around the nearby mountains and you are a very talented dancer!  Last year – he was walking twice from Osimo to Assisi (160 km).

Harley: so you MUST come to New Zealand – lot’s of wonderful places to WALK!

Pietro Adragna performing in China, July 2015

Q:  Now Stefano – it is YOR turn….WHAT are YOU doing for FUN?
A: I am playing football next to my  passion for travelling

A: Are other family members working in the factory?
A: Yes – all our family are collaborating.
Fabios son Matteo (36)…. is well known in the accordion world;
The daughter Giulia is also collaborating in the factory;
The wife of Stefano is working with the reeds and the finishing of the accordion;
His doughter is 26 and preparing for her doctoral degree in Italian language and has a big passion for photography, helping in the company, to make artistic images of the beautiful instruments.

View the beautiful 2017 calendar: 2017calendario.pdf

Matteo Petronio performing in China in July 2015

Q: Mr. Nello – in your opinion – how has the  world of accordion manufacturing changed?
A: The accordions have changed a lot – mainly because of all the special requests by musicians for high quality…. regardless of the type of models – from small to professional accordions.

Years back  –  a muscian would come to the company saying: I want an accordion! And every accordion factory had an accordion available! Now a musician can come to the factory and say, I want an accordion…. with this – and this – and this – and many other more features! 

Accordions have changed from being accordions (like a violin is a violin) to now being very personalized accordions depending upon the players requirements!

Editors comment:  This was clearly a very important and major change for the accordion industry and manufacturing processes.

Q: In 2017 you will be celebrating 40 years of accordion manufacture!
A: Yes – but not only this – we will also celebrate on the 10th of September 2017, 77 years of handicraft in manufacturing accordions by NELLO MENGASCINI!

Editors Comment:  77 years is quite an amazing achievement and this was shown in the great respect and in the pride with which the family hold their father.  The Mengascini Accordion Factory is very much a family concern, with the family working closely together.

Samuele Telari performing at the Rome Accordion Festival, October 2016.

Q: In Conclusion: …..
A: We are very proud of all that has been achieved over the years …. starting from A, arriving to Z, without great debts, and being able to look straight in everybody’s face… and saying: Mengascini Accordions – welcome all in our factory!

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