Romano Viazzani Ensemble launch Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign

Romano Viazzani Ensemble at the Pizza Express Dean Street Photo

London Tango crowdfunding starts – your help needed to reach their goal by 14th July 2019!

The Romano Viazzani Ensemble have launched their new crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to enable them to record an album of tangos featuring many new original tangos written by the band and dedicated to the city of London. For anyone not familiar with crowdfunding it is an increasing popular way for unsigned and independent artists to raise money to fund their projects in return for rewards. For little more than the price of CD you can help fund the recording of it and receive the recording and many optional extras depending on the amount pledged, once the recording has been realised. The aim is to then make a film of the title track but funding for that will be through another route it is hoped.

There is a downside though.  If the project doesn’t reach it’s target of £4000 then the ensemble will not receive any of the money and the project will therefore not go ahead and no money will be taken from the sponsors who pledge their support.  Of course £4000 seems like a very low figure to fund a recording but the ensemble hope they will exceed that figure.  You will love their new material and of course the recording will feature a few old favourites too. You only have till 14th July 2019 to help them raise their target of £4000, otherwise they won’t get a penny! So get pledging!

Click on the link to watch the film and pledge your support.–9mAhlTrlFmV6pCY2pdk66bsMwhJtYN–FY8XdojgYuVwv9w

Ben de Souza – New Concert Date – Recital with Chloe Meade on Violin


Ben de Souza accordion recital with Chloe Meade on Violin

Don’t miss this exciting young duo playing at Cambridge University. Ben graduated from the Royal Academy of Music last year and is currently studying choral conducting at Cambridge University.  Chloe is graduating this year and has just performed at her final recital at the Royal Academy of Music.  They have a bright musical future together.They have, just earlier this month, been performing at Hampton Court Palace and at Clare College Chapel.

Thursday 20th June, 12pm

Recital with violinist Chloë Meade

Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge 

Entry FREE


Qianyiu Zhang – Accordion Final Recital Exam – Royal Academy of Music Wednesday 12th June 2019. 17.15

Qianyiu Zhang

Accordion Final Recital Exam

Qianyiu Zhang (aka Samantha) will be performing in her final recital for her post-graduate diploma at the Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road London, on Wednesday 12th June at 17.15 in the David Josefowicz Hall.

It really helps the students if they have an audience to play to so please show support for our young accordionists who play so well and are the future of our much-loved instrument. Those who attend will not be disappointed.  In her two years at the RAM Samantha has really impressed her audiences.

She will be playing:

Gubaidulina: Et Expecto

Zolotariev: Sonata No.2

Mikhail Brönner: Jacob’s Ladder (accordion and violin)


Tickets: Free entry

Accordion Showcase – Royal Academy of Music – Thursday 20 June 2019, 19.30


Accordion Showcase

Performance Thursday 20 June 2019, 7.30pm
Don’t miss the last accordion concert of the academic year at the Royal Academy of Music. There will be a programme of solo and chamber music for accordion, including works by JS Bach, Astor Piazzolla and Sofia Gubaidulina. These concerts never cease to amaze those who attend them and in turn it shows great support for the accordion department within the Royal Academy of Music. Watching these students grow in their chosen field is always thrilling to see.

Nuevo Tango Quintet with Qianyu Zhang on Accordion Friday May 3rd 2019 David Josefowitz Hall, Royal Academy of Music

Tango Nuevo Quintet

A “new” Tango Ensemble at the Royal Academy of Music

Friday May 3rd 2019 David Josefowitz Hall, Royal Academy of Music, 19.00 – 20-00

FREE – No Tickets Required

The Nuevo Tango Quintet invites you on a journey through the streets of Buenos Aires to explore an exciting programme of Piazzolla’s music including:

The Angel Series – Milonga del Ángel; Muerte del Ángel; Resurrección del Ángel
The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires – Primavera Porteña; Verano Porteño; Otoño Porteño; Invierno Porteño

Violin – Rebecca Bell
Accordion – Qianyu Zhang
Guitar – Plinio Fernandes
Piano – Gus Tredwell
Double Bass – Rhys Lovell

The Nuevo Tango Quintet are incredibly excited to be bringing this music to the Academy and can’t wait to share it with you. This will be a really special evening for them and they would love to see as many of you as possible there! It goes without saying that you are invited to join them for a drink (or ten) afterwards…

Giancarlo Palena – RAM Erasmus Student-Concert Petite Messe Solennelle-St Andrews Church-Holborn London April 5th 2019

Giancarlo Palena

Giancarlo Palena wins 1st Prize in the Sir Karl Jenkins Award

Giancarlo Palena was studying at the Royal Academy of Music on an Erasmus until the end of February this year.  He entered the 5th edition of “The Arts Club – Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award in association with Classic FM 2019”: the panel, chaired by Sir Karl Jenkins, comprised music educationalist, Carol Barratt, chairman of City Music Society, Leslie East, Classic FM presenter, Catherine Bott, managing director of Decca Classical Label Group, Dr. Alexander Buhr and harpist, Catrin Finch, as they seek the most talented instrumentalist in the UK, aged between 18-25. There were 12 candidates selected through a pre-selection for the semifinals held on 23rd March, than just 6 candidates were admitted to the final on 30th March. Both events were at The Arts Club, 40 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NP. A piece from the winner’s competition repertoire as well as a short work especially composed by Karl, will be recorded in a London studio and subsequently broadcast on Classic FM. The panel of judges selected a winner based upon technique, individualism, communication and future potential. How wonderful that an accordionist has won that prize and will now have a composition written for him by Sir Karl Jenkins. Many congratulations to Giancarlo Palena.

You can hear Palena playing in a performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle on April 5th

Friday 5 April 2019 7.30pm St Andrew’s Holborn, London.

M° Paul Ayres conducts City Chorus, performing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. 

Gioacchino Rossini’s last great masterpiece has moments of radiance and uninhibited joy but also a darker side hinting at death as the extinction of meaning. It is music of the soul which speaks directly to every member of the audience and all will enjoy the creativity and craftsmanship displayed in the work.

City Chorus concerts are famously convivial: full of family, friends and supporters of the choir. Our concerts always also feature professional musicians. This concert features: Giancarlo Palena (accordion), Philip Shannon (piano), four other soloists and six choral scholars, conducted by Paul Ayres.

For more information and tickets:

Accordion Showcase at the Royal Academy of Music, March 12th 2019 at 19.30

Royal Academy of Music

Accordion Showcase

It’s been a bust start to the year for the Accordion department at the Royal Academy of Music with two Master classes in the last two months and now an Accordion Showcase. It’s always wonderful to trace the student’s progress as they work their way through the years of study at the RAM under the expert tutelage of Owen Murray, as well as all the visiting professors. They always welcome audiences to their concerts as it gives them good training in concert conditions for the wider music world. Don’t miss this year’s promising you talents at this event where the Academy accordion students present a varied programme of solo and chamber music works.
Tue 12 Mar 2019, 7.30pm

TANGO! The Romano Viazzani Ensemble – Sunday Lunchtime- 10th March 2019 – artist change

Romano Viazzani Ensemble with Barbara Dziewiecka-Data and Nick Pini inset

The Romano Viazzani Ensemble at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho 10th March 2019

Doors 12.00 Concert 13.30

The Romano Viazzani Ensemble has been busy preparing for their Sunday lunchtime concert.  It’s with great sadness though that they are to lose their long-time excellent double bass player Yaron Stavi and his fiancée the wonderful violinist Corinna Hentschel as they are emigrating to Germany.  Stavi was with the very first combination of the ensemble back in 2009 and he and Corinna Hentschel have been RV Ensemble stalwarts since it’s relaunch in 2016. They will be sorely missed both as musicians and as friends and the Ensemble wishes them well in their new home.

The ensemble is very lucky to secure two wonderful new permanent members in the form of Nick Pini on double bass and Barbara Dziewiecka-Data on violin who will be stepping in on March 10th.

The Ensemble will be playing Tangos by Piazzolla, Traditional Tangos and some new compositions form the Ensemble’s forthcoming album London Tango.


Romano Viazzani: Accordion

Barbara Dziewiecka-Data: Violin

Jonathan Preiss: Guitar

John Bailey: Piano

Nick Pini: Double Bass

Jacqui Tate: Vocals

Joanna Strand: Vocals


You can also enjoy some of the ensembles concert highlights from the past few years’ concerts here:


About Barbara:


Barbara Dziewięcka is a Polish violinist based in London. She graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal College of Music in London where she studied with Krzysztof Smietana and Itzhak Rashkovsky.

Barbara is a winner of numerous competitions including The Audience Prize at St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Music Competition in London.

Since 2010, Barbara has been regularly working with Nigel Kennedy as a member of his ‘Orchestra of Life’ and individually, including numerous tours, viola leading at 2013 BBC Proms Festival, and a Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall with special guests Jean-Luc Ponty and Robert Plant. She also appears on Kennedy’s album ‘Recital’ recorded in Abbey Road for Sony Classical.

As a violinist in a Latin-American group called Classico Latino, Barbara performed in Colombia, including concerts in Teatro Mayor and Teatro Libre, and also recently recorded an album called “Havana Classics”, in legendary Egrem Studios in Havana, Cuba.

As an orchestral player, Barbara works with various British orchestras, to include Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Heritage Orchestra, and others. She has been privileged to work with such artists as Valery Giergiev, Marta Argerich, Maxim Vengerov, Jonas Kaufmann, Rene Fleming, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Semyon Bychkov, John Elliot Gardiner and others.

Barbara also enjoys other music genres, and she recently performed with Quincy Jones, at the O2 arena in London.

Barbara is a passionate chamber musician. She co-founded the The Ultimate Tango Project and recorded a CD with Astor Piazzolla’s music in new arrangements with an innovative approach to interpretation.

About Nick Pini:

Nicholas Pini is the black sheep of the Pini family musical dynasty, wandering off-piste at an early age to explore different genres of music. After studying jazz performance at Trinity College of Music he has continued to enjoy a career playing and arranging for many different artists, from Folk/Americana artists such as Laura Marling, Ethan Johns and Nick Mulvey to Jazz musicians Jonathon Gee and Will Butterworth as well as MD’ing for Broadway singer Ramin Karimloo with his Broadgrass project.

Nick Pini

Nick Pini

Accordionist Ben de Souza – upcoming concert dates 2019

Ben de Souza

RAM graduate Ben manages to continue his studies and concert career

After graduating from the Royal Academy of Music last year, accordionist Ben de Souza is studying choral conducting at Clare Hall, Cambridge this year.  He is managing to continue playing concerts and study his conducting simultaneously which is both impressive and very welcome to all those who want to see the accordion played across many musical genres. Here are some of his upcoming dates with more to be announced soon.


– Tuesday 16th April, 7:30pm – Cambridge Accordion Club, Horningsea Village Hall, CB25 9JG

– Wednesday 8th May, 1:20pm – Raleigh Society Recital Series, Newnham College, Cambridge, CB3 9DF

– Sunday 9th June, 1pm – The Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, KT8 9AU


Duo with violinist Chloë Meade:

– Saturday 28th September, 7:30pm – Salisbury Chamber Music Club, United Reformed Church, Fisherton Street, Salisbury, SP2 7RG. Tickets available on the door.



Emmy Dumitru successfully accepted at the Royal Academy of Music

Emmy Dumitru

London-based accordionist Emmy Dumitru secures place at RAM

Many congratulations to Emmy Dumitru for successfully auditioning for the Royal Academy of Music’s accordion department.  He has been studying with Romano Viazzani for a year and half and will start his studies at the RAM next September under the expert tutelage of Owen Murray.  Emmy has been busy studying free-bass accordion which until a year or so ago he did not play.  Hard work has paid off and Emmy managed to learn the classical accordion alongside preparing his classical pieces for standard bass accordion which he played extremely well managing to master over 11 extremely challenging pieces for that instrument in under a year in preparation for his audition. ZZ Music wishes him well on his new adventure at the RAM secure in the knowledge that his work rate and talent will not let him down.