Argentinean-born bandoneon star Victor Villena performed the inaugural concert at the newly renovated Aula am Amtsberg Concert Hall in Klingenthal - as part of the 45 Internationaler Akkordeon-wettbewerb.
Performing both solo and accompanied by his wife Anna Villena, Victor performed a moving program displaying his technical virtuosity as well as beautiful musical sensitivity. Included in the program was the World Premiere of the new work ‘Suite for Bandoneon’, by Daniel Binelli, who was the last person to perform in duo with the late Astor Piazzolla.
Victor started his bandoneon studies at the age of 9 with Juan José Mosalini, subsequently studying with Marcos Madrigal in Buenos Aires. In 1996 he won the ‘Best Soloist’ award in the National Competition of Chascomus (Argentina), and again the following year in the National Competition of Cosquin (Argentina).
His varied musical interests have also brought him to the world of jazz, by a series of concerts with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra conducted by Carlos Franzetti. Also known on the electronic music scene as the bandoneonist of the ‘Gotan Project’, he toured the United States, Canada and Brazil. In 2004 Victor co-founded with guitarist Alejandro Schwarz the ‘Quinteto El Despues’, and he also joined the Rotterdam Conservatory as the main bandoneon professor.
Last year the Klingenthal competition featured its first category for bandoneon, and this year the category attracted entries from the USA, Russia, Argentina and Norway.
Croatian accordionist Miran Vaupotic performed with the well-known Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Zlatan Srzic at the beautiful venue of ancient Revelin Fort in Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik has a unique political and cultural history, of world-famous cultural heritage and beauty (inscribed on the List of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO) - is one of the most attractive and famous cities of the Mediterranean. The concert included orchestral works by Butigan and Mozart as well as the famous ‘Aconcagua Concerto’, by Astor Piazzolla.
The concert was great success with a very dynamic performance and imaginative interpretation from Miran Vaupotic.
Miran Vaupotic, born in 1982 in Zagreb, is one of the most prominent representatives of the accordion school in Croatia. He studied at the Ino Mirkovich Music Academy and Faculty of Arts in Pula where he graduated in 2005. His teachers have included Marjan Krajna, Volodimir Balyk and Denis Modrušan. He is a two-time first prize winner of All-Croatian Competition, prize winner of Pula Accordion International Competition, and was the winner of the 2003 Confédération Mondiale de L'Accordéon (CMA) Trophée Mondial de l'Accordéon in Italy.
The Seventh German Orchestra competition (Deutscher Orchesterwettbewerb) was held in Wuppertal, Germany, attracting more than 7,000 musicians competing in 16 categories such as Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra and Accordion Orchestra.
Held every four years, each orchestra had competed in regional competitions to qualify for this keenly contested final round of national competition, which featured 17 accordion orchestras.
Attaining a perfect score of 25 points from the jury comprising Ladislav Horak, Jürgen Löchter, Bernd Maltry and Helmut Quakernack, the open Accordion Orchestra category was won by the Nürnberger Akkordeonorchester Will i Münch e.V. under the direction of Stefan Hippe.
Two-time winner of the Innsbruck International Orchestra competition, the Akkordeonorchester Untergrombach under the direction of Wolfgang Pfeffer came in second place. The Junior Accordion Orchestra category was won by Jugendakkordeonorchester des Konservatoriums Cottbus, directed by Volker, Gerlich, with the Jugendakkordeonorchester der Hofer Symphoniker, directed by Günther Zeilinger (pictured), and the Accordion Orchestra Isny I, directed by Susanne App, sharing second place.
Sponsored by the German government Deutscher Musikrat, each of the attending orchestras had all expenses paid including full travel and accommodation for all members to participate in this magnificent five-day event.
Hohner Shand Morino button accordionist Bill Black, from Perth, has been one of Scotland’s leading dance bandleaders since the early 1970s. In October 2006 Bill lost the index finger of his right hand in a freak accident, and it seemed at the time as if his playing career was finished. However, with a lot of determination he has developed a new technique and taught himself to play again.
Bill’s progress has been so good that he has resumed playing professionally, and has just released a new CD: ‘Just The Three Of Us’. The CD has 19 tracks including ‘The Fisher Row Polka’, ‘Andy Ross Two Step’, ‘The Rookery’, ‘Bottom of the Punch Bowl’, ‘Lothian Lads’, ‘Joe Foster's Jig’, ‘Miss CM Barbour’, ‘Clay Braes’, ‘Mull of the Cool High Bens’, ‘Iona Boat Song’, ‘Miss Jane of Violet Bank’, ‘Fishers Row Polka’, ‘Tobermory Two Step’, and many more great tunes.
On Saturday, June 21st, at 2pm the American Accordionists' Association is presenting an Accordion Extravaganza Concert in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the AAA and to the memory of Maddalena Belfiore.
The concert is followed by dinner at 5.30pm, and the venue is the Academic Arts Theatre, Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, New York.
Frank Busso, Sr. will serve as Master of Ceremonies and the concert will feature: Mario Tacca & Mary Mancini (International Vocal Artiste), The Amazing Accordion Kings, Frank Toscano, Angelo DiPippo and Manny Corallo, Mary Tokarski, CIA World Champion Beverly Roberts Curnow, Dr. William Schimmel, Dr. Robert McMahan, Eddie Monteiro, Tony Dannon & Joe Cerrito, and The Accordion Pops Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Desiderio.
Accordionist Olexiy Suslov, violinist Geiger Vladislav and singer Aneta Augustyniak have combined to record songs from musicals by Leonard Bernstein – ‘West-Side Story’, George Gershwin – ‘Porgy and Bess’, Andrew Lloyd Webber – ‘Cats’, Learner & Loewe – ‘My Fair Lady’, plus other music. These are available via MP3 files.
A new CD by Bernadette Conlon (now Bernadette Zabawa) is available online. The release of this CD was delayed, as Bernadette was busy getting married and moving to the United States immediately after the recording was made.
Bernadette married Ed Zabawa in mid-2007, and is now living in midwestern city of Rockford, Illinois which is about a two hour drive northwest of Chicago. As things have finally settled down, (wedding, immigration, etc.,) she has now released this new CD online.
Bernadette spends her days performing and has been enjoying making new friends in the USA.
In her latest performance for the Chicago Accordion Club, Bernadette added several vocals to her program. This is the first time Bernadette has performed vocal and accordion and the audience response has encouraged her to add more vocals to her large performance repertoire.
Gary Blair Junior, from Glasgow, won 5 solo sections - a record number at a single event - at the recent NAO UK Championships at Blackpool, Lancashire. Gary, who is taught by Djordje Gajic, won the Under 18 Classical solo (Bell Trophy), Frosini Solo - 16 years and over, Polka Solo - 16 years and over, Musette Solo -17 years and under, Traditional Scottish Solo - 16 years and over.
In 1978 Gary Blair Senior won the ‘Bell Trophy’ section, and this is the first time that this title has been won by both father and son.
The 2008 National Button Accordion Festival, Bessemer, PA, May 23, 24, 25, (Memorial Day Weekend) is just a few days away. We have people coming to the festival from 15 States including Alaska.
A nice mix of people and musicians from the local areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio is expected too. This area of the country is an environment rich with descendents of Europe. Of course, those immigrants brought their accordions with them when they came to America. And even 80 or 100 years after those major immigrations, accordion music with an ethnic flare is still popular.
Although called a “button accordion” festival, we are expecting all kinds of accordion players including piano accordion, concertina, as well as full-chromatic/bayan players.
The Festival is the successor to the Fontana Button Box Jamboree that was held in Fontana, CA for 26 years.
We are using the same format. There are no hired bands or musicians because the people attending the Festival provide the music. Everybody gets an opportunity to take the stage in a rotating schedule and everybody gets the same amount of playing time. There will be two playing venues, one in the main ballroom and one outside in a tent setup complete with a dance floor. Each musician or group can play two songs.
After the program, we will go back to the music jam format and dancing until closing. To add wonderful color and to heighten the Festive atmosphere people are encouraged to wear ethnic costumes reflecting their heritage and family homeland on Sunday.
The Bessemer Croatian Club, the Festival site, will be offering a variety of homemade food from their kitchen all weekend. The Festival promises to be great musical fun for players, listeners, and dancers. For a flier or more information on the Festival email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-301-0121.
A concert takes place in the Duke’s Hall at London’s Royal Academy of Music on Friday May 9th, 7.30pm. Students from the Accordion and Percussion departments collaborate to present a programme of music from Scandinavia and beyond, including:
Ole Buch - ‘Veryovochkoy’
Tørbjorn - Lundquist ‘Duell’
Bo Holten - ‘The Veils of Pandora’
Magnus Lindberg - ‘Jeux d'Anches’
Arne Nordheim - ‘Flashing’
Louis Andriessen - ‘Woodpecker’
Xenakis Rebonds – ‘Part B’
Larry Spivack – ‘Waltz for Vibraphone’
The American Irish punk-folk band Flogging Molly, featuring Matt Hemsley on accordion and concertina, are touring European countries, as follows: new CD ‘Float’.
May 7th – Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland
9th, 5.30pm – Tyrol, Stockholm, Sweden
10th, 6.30pm – Mejeriet, Lund, Sweden
11th, 8pm, Colombia Club, Berlin, Germany
13th, 7pm – Live Music Hall, Cologne
14th, 7.30pm – Muffathalle, Munich
15th, 6.30pm – Arena Open Air, Vienna, Austria
16th, 8pm, Rock Café, Prague, Czech Republic
June 20th to 22nd - Southside Festival, Neuhausen, Germany
The Irish-American female super group Cherish the Ladies, featuring Mirella Murray on piano accordion, formed over 20 years ago and have achieved internationall acclaim. Cherish the Ladies appear in concert at the Grand Hall, City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland, on May 11th, 7.30pm.
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center presents the 27th annual Tejano Conjunto Festival, which takes place from May 8th to 10th at Rosedale Park, 303 Dartmouth, San Antonio, Texas. This year the festival will feature three days of the very best in conjunto music with a ‘Women in Conjunto Music’ night and a special ‘Homeage to Lydia Mendoza’; a special ‘Tribute to Tony De la Rosa, his style and legacy’; ‘Puros Conjuntos Pesados’; a poster contest; inductions into the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame; workshops on the accordion, bajo sexto, and the history of conjunto; a Conjunto in Film and Video Retrospective; accordion students recital; food /beverage/crafts booths and accordion raffle; the revival of Tonantzin, a special edition of the TCF program magazine and more.
Performers at this year's festival include: Flaco Jiménez, Rubén De la Cruz y su Conjunto, Edgar Vásquez, Lobo IV, Linda Escobar, Cuatro Rosas, Los Aguilares, Joel Guzmán, Los García Bros, Los TexManiacs de Max Baca, and many more.
Jeancristophe in Concert at Wazemmes Festival, Lille – France
Peter Piccini - accordionist, composer, arranger, performer, release 1 new work for accordion available for purchase online. 'Dreamy Days'. Samples of these music is available on the site. The music is in eSheet format, able to be emailed to your computer. Purchase with credit card.