Stunning new Classical Accordion CD by Claudio Jacomucci – Orpheus’ Ballad – A counterpoint of ancient and contemporary music

Claudio Jacomucci - Orpheus' Ballade - A counterpoint of ancient and contemporary music - cover

Claudio Jacomucci hits the spot again contrasting ancient and modern for classical accordion

Jacomucci is nothing if not consistent in his production of excellently researched and interpreted music. He is not only a master performer but a wonderful teacher and author of books on contemporary accordion development and mastering accordion technique. In this new album he hits the spot again with this album of mostly transcriptions from works originally intended for other instruments or groups of instruments. His interpretation of the 8 contrasting pieces in the suite by Claudio Monteverdi makes one wonder why not more music from the Renaissance isn’t played on the accordion. There is so much energy, sensitivity and dynamic shaping in this interpretation that it is as if this music was written for the instrument. There are two original works for classical accordion too, Passing by Martin Lohse and one which closes the album by Jacomucci himself dedicated to his dear canine companion, Lupo (“Wolf”) who was by a strange twist of fate killed by a wolf. The Lohse contrasts sympathetically with the Monteverdi that precedes it and its delicacy sets us up beautifully for the three Scarlatti sonatas that follow it.  Jacomucci is a master of Scarlatti. He builds up slowly with the mournful K87, then up a notch to the K380 and ending with the scintillating K17 which show remarkable virtuosity both in technique, delicacy and in the detail of his ornamentation and dynamic shaping. His thrilling fast passages are like whizzing Catherine Wheels spinning off a rocket in the night sky.

Wonderful to see a work by British composer Elgar in the shape of Nimrod from the Enigma Variations, the piece which in the UK has associations with remembrance and reflection on the dead of two world wars for many. The English theme is continued in the English Nightingale by Van Eyck from the early Baroque period, an unusually descriptive piece for the period which demonstrates great mastery technique and dynamic control in the mimicking of birdsong. The same amazing control and detail is demonstrated in Scodanibbio’s 20th century piece originally for violin and cello which follows next. In an atonal piece such as this Jacomucci applies the same detailed approach as one would to a Bach fugue to really make the piece really work so that the many interweaving lines produce not only a texture but have complete integrity as if played by individual instruments; not certainly the most natural thing to produce on a instrument which in this case, at times, is behaving like three separate instruments but being powered by only one set of lungs – the bellows. Jacomucci propels us straight back to the late Renaissance for John Dowland’s lamenting Lacrimae Antiquae transcribed by Jacomucci, like most of the pieces on the album, from a score which, in this case was in 5 parts and recalls the sonority of the yet to be invented Harmonium coupled with the expressiveness of the viols of the period. Ligeti is up next and a transcription from works for organ here scored for two accordions, with is mass of sound surrounded by a host of trills and other devices recall the spinning atomic particles around a central solid body rather echoing, albeit in a different way the spinning Catherine Wheels of the earlier Scarlatti. Next up is some rather more obvious “counterpoint” if the form of Bach’s Contrapunctus XIV and here Jacomucci’s clear mastery of the form echoes his earlier masterpiece album of Johann Sebastian Bach. And so to the last piece in the album, the aforementioned Ballad for Lupo, a fitting end to an album which speaks of the emotional end of the life of a dear family pet and composed by Jacomucci himself. Needless to say this album will be one for the collector and student alike and is played with all the flair and good taste that will delight both. Jacomucci places works, from the Renaissance and Baroque period through to the Romantic and Contemporary eras, in counterpoint with each other and the concept works brilliantly.


Monteverdi: L’Orfeo, Instrumental Suite (1607*) Toccata, Ritornello I, Ritornello II, Sinfonia I, Sinfonia II, Ritornello III, Sinfonia III, Moresca.

Martin Lohse: Passing: Allegro con passione, sostenuto (2012)

Domenico Scarlatti: Sonatas B minor K87, E major K380, F major K17 (1738-1742*)

Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations OP.36 Nimrod (1898*)

Jacob Van Eyck: The English Nightingale (1649*)

Stefano Scondanibbio: Escondido (1990/2018*)

John Dowland: Seven Tears Lachrimae Antiquae (1604*)

Gyorgy Ligeti: Coulée from Two etudes for organ (1969*)

Johan Sebastien Bach: Die kunst der fuge BWV1080 Contrapunctus XIV (1749*)

Jacomucci Ballad for Lupo 2018


*transcriptions by Jacomucci

Claudio Jacomucci - Orpheus' Ballade - A counterpoint of ancient and contemporary music - inside cover

Accordionist Žika Nikolić – It all began with a small, red Russian accordion – New on-line Interview

Živorad Nikolić

Živorad Nikolić gives a rare interview

It is rare indeed to see Živorad “Žika” Nikolić giving an on line interview even though he’s a hard working accordionist of the highest level living in London and enriching the London music scene with his eclectic mix of musical specialisations, after having settled from his native Serbia and having studied accordion at the Royal Academy of Music. He teaches and also performs solo as a classical accordionist as well as in quite a few ensembles including Paprika alongside his friend and fellow accordionist Milos Milivojević (specialising in Balkan traditional music), the Fugata Quintet (who specialise in Piazzolla and Tango) and She’koyokh who play eastern European and Klezmer music. For accordion anoraks who enjoy such details Žika plays an instrument which has a B griff button system in the right-hand but a C griff button system in the left-hand free-bass.  The story goes that when his parents were looking for a free bass accordion to buy from him, that was the accordion they found so he learned to play the two different systems with out giving it a second thought.

The interview has some wonderful video musical excerpts where you can hear him at his very best playing and even singing with various ensembles. Enjoy.


A first solo accordion CD from Miloš Milivojević! Accord for life

Miloš Milivojević - Accord for life - CD

A long-awaited first solo album by Miloš Milivojević is released by Nimbus

ZZ Music is so pleased to present Accord for life this outstanding new album by one of the world’s top accordionists. Miloš Milivojević was part of Owen Murray’s golden generation of accordion students at the Royal Academy of Music in the early 21st century when he studied there after arriving from that other hotbed of accordion talent, Serbia, and has since been very active both in his adopted home city of London and all over the world. The album is well worth the wait. It’s beautifully recorded and played on Milivojević’s super Pigini Nova classical accordion which he has recently acquired.  It is programmed much like a live concert taking us on a journey from the accordion’s popular transcription works of major Baroque composers like Bach and Scarlatti, rarer transcription works from the Romantic period with composers like Mendelssohn and Sarasate and then on to contemporary works by Vlasov, Angelis and Semenov. The Sarasate is saved though for the finale with the blistering Tarantella rounding off what is a really enjoyable and excellent album and shows what a mature musician Milivojević is, with extraordinary technical ability, sensitivity and good taste.

We wish him well with this wonderful classical accordion album and he deserves success as it is rare that one finds one so talented, seriously dedicated and musical in his playing and yet so humble, fun and easy-going in person.

1.  Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor, K. 1
2.  Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in F Major, K. 44
3.  Domenico Scarlatti Sonata F Sharp Minor, K. 25
4.  Felix Mendelssohn Organ Sonata in D Minor, Op. 65, No. 6: I. Chorale and Variations
5.  Johann Sebastian Bach Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639
6.  Viktor Vlasov Five Views on Gulag State: I. A zone
7.  Viktor Vlasov Five Views on Gulag State: II. A stage – Marcia Funebre
8.  Viktor Vlasov Five Views on Gulag State: III. Thieves
9.  Viktor Vlasov Five Views on Gulag State: IV. Wood Cutting Area
10. Viktor Vlasov Five Views on Gulag State: V. Criminal authority and creep
11. Franck Angelis Interieur
12. Viacheslav Semenov Don Rhapsodie, No. 2: II. second movement
13. Pablo de Sarasate Introduction and Tarantella, Op. 43
Milos Milivojevic and his Pigini Nova

Accordionist Iosif Purits at the Purcell Room – 3rd July 2018

Iosif Purits

Former Royal Academy Post-Graduate Student Iosif Purits plays accordion at the Purcell Room

Tuesday 3rd July 2018, 7:45pm, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX


We are delighted to bring to your attention the third SCHOLARS’ SHOWCASE CONCERT presented by London-based

music scholarships organisation, the DRAKE CALLEJA TRUST (Patron: Joseph Calleja).

 As per the trust’s two previous London concerts, the forthcoming concert promises to deliver the high quality of performance that the Drake Calleja Trust is associated with.

Seven outstanding musicians – all scholars of the DCT – will be performing solo and chamber music repertoire

at a concert that aims to promote and celebrate these wonderful musicians’ artistic merits.


Iosif Purits accordion

Harriet Eyley soprano

Laia Braun violin

Margarita Balanas violoncello

Artur Haftman, Vitaly Pisarenko, Alexandra Vaduva piano


 To view the programme and to book, please visit the concert listing:


Further information can be found on the Drake Calleja Trust’s website:


Ben de Souza – additional accordion concert dates for 2018

Ben de Souza - Red Background

Ben de Souza – additional accordion Spring concert dates

Busy accordionist Ben de Souza has announced some further concert dates to his current schedule.  Both are free entry but there will be a retiring collection for the many who would want to support this young up-and-coming accordionist. They are as follows:


Saturday 26th May – St John’s Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London – 7:30pm.

Solo recital. Free entry (retiring collection)


Saturday 16th June – Bell Street Methodist Church, Shaftesbury, Dorset – 7:30pm.

Solo recital. Free entry (retiring collection)

Ben de Souza – Autumn Concerts 2017

Ben de Souza

Ben de Souza – Autumn Concerts 2017

Great to see Royal Academy Student, Ben de Souza is managing to fit in some concerts around his studies. Catch him at a venue near you this autumn.


Wednesday 4th October 2017 – Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester – Time TBC

Accordionist Ben de Souza features as Royal Academy of Music students present a concert of Russian Chamber Music at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester. Time and ticket details TBC.


Shostakovich – Four Waltzes for flute, clarinet and piano

Derbenko – Choral Prelude (solo accordion)

Zolotaryov – Chamber Suite (solo accordion)

Rimsky-Korsakov – Piano Quintet in B flat for piano, flute, clarinet and horn


Thursday 5th October 2017 – Royal Academy of Music, London – 1:05pm – Free entry

Royal Academy of Music accordionists present their first event of the year. Concert followed by the accordion department open day.


Mozart – Church sonatas K328, K67 and K336 for accordion, two violins and cello

Takahashi – Like Swans Leaving The Lake – accordion and viola

Podgaits – Rondez-vous with Haydn – accordion and clarinet


Sunday 26th November 2017 – South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell – 4:30pm – Tickets £10

2017 26 Nov WFS Chamber concert




















Join the West Forest Chamber Ensemble and Royal Academy of Music accordion student Ben de Souza as they demonstrate the versatility of the classical accordion and its transcription repertoire. Featuring Mozart’s Rondo and Adagio for glassharmonica (KV 617), Dvorak’s Six Bagatelles for 2 violins, cello and harmonium (Op. 47) and a selection of Mozart’s Church Sonatas (K328, K67, K336) for 2 violins, cello and organ, this concert will showcase the sound of the accordion and its similarities and differences with the instruments for which these pieces were written.

Tickets are priced at £10 and available from South Hill Park Arts Centre –


Friday 12th January 2018 – Brunel University – 1:10pm – Free entry

As part of Brunel University’s Friday lunchtime recital series, Royal Academy of Music accordionist Ben de Souza presents a programme of solo repertoire by composers including Zolotaryov and Scarlatti.


Mie Miki Accordion Masterclass at the Royal Academy of Music – June 22nd 2017 10.00-13.00

Mie Miki

Mie Miki – Accordion Masterclass

Thursday 22nd June 10.00 am – 1.00 pm  – Free (no tickets required)

Watching eminent accordion professors work with very capable students is not only a joy but extremely educational for accordion teachers.  Very often one will hear an excellent performance by a student and then the professor mill make some suggestions and the piece will emerge once more but this time it will be different.  It is wonderful to see what different teachers do with the same piece of music and equally fascinating to see very able students adapt instantly to the teacher’s suggestions. Mie Miki is professor of accordion at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, Germany. She is one of the world’s top performing musicians and plays a classical accordion which has 9-rows of buttons in the left hand.  The three rows of fixed free bass being placed between the standard bass and the bellows. She has recorded many CDs and is one of the world’s most respected classical accordionists. This is the second time she has visited the Royal Academy. Don’t miss this opportunity to see her at work.

Milos Milivojevic Summer/Autumn Classical Accordion Concert Season 2017

Milos Milivojevic new accordion

Accordionist Milos Milivojevic in full swing for the Summer and Autumn 2017

We join the wonderful Milos Milivojevic in the middle of his busy 2017 schedule.  Just a quick look at his concert dates below shows what busy musician he is playing with many different ensembles.  Always a pleasure to hear Milos always delivers top class performances so catch him with his new classical accordion at a venue near you if you can.


1st June 2017, 7.30pm
With Kosmos Ensemble
Music in Quiet Places
St Andrew’s Church
NG34 0LU

2nd June, 7.30pm
Burton Bradstock Festival
With David Juritz Violin and Adrian Bradbury Cello

7th June, 8pm
Storyhouse, Chester
Gran Caffe Venezia, Ensemble Deva
With Craig Ogden guitar, Sophie Rosa violin, Roberto Carrillo-Garcia bass, Ben Powell, piano.

17th June, 7.30pm
Ulverston Festival
Coronation Hall
With Paprika


13 July 2017, 7.30pm
LSO St Luke’s
Woman at Point Zero
Composed by Bushra El-Turk
Director Maria Koripas
Ensemble Zar:
Merit Ariane Stephanos Firdaus
Louai Alhenawi nays
Miloš Milivojević accordion
Raphaela Danksagmüller flutes
Naomi Sato sho
Carmen Troncoso recorders

13th July – 29th July, London
Alice in Wonderland
Opera Holland Park


14th – 18th august
Burton Bradstock Festival of Music, Dorset.


14th September 2017, 7.30pm
With Kosmos Ensemble
St Wilfrid’s Church
Church Lane
Warrington WA4 3EP

2nd October, 7.30pm
With Kosmos Ensemble
Luton Music Society

11th October, 7.30pm
With Kosmos Ensemble
East Finchley Arts Festival
All Saints’ Church
Durham Road
East Finchley
London N2 9DP

2nd November 2017, 1.30pm
With Kosmos Ensemble
Imperial College London
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, UK
tel: +44 (0)20 7589 5111
For further information on Milos see

POSTPONED – Pietro Roffi Scarlatti Recital on Classical Accordion – St Bride’s Church, London July 22nd 2016

Pietro Roffi


From Santa Cecilia to St Bride’s

Classical Accordionist Pietro Roffi performs his recital “I love Scarlatti!” in the centre of London. The stage is the wonderful St. Bride’s Church and the entrance will be FREE!


Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)

Sonata in F major K 107 (Allegro)

Sonata in C minor K 11 (Allegro)

Sonata in G major K 63 (Capriccio, Allegro)

Sonata in D minor K 9 (Allegro)

Sonata in A major K 208 (Adagio e cantabile)

Sonata in E minor K 98 (Allegrissimo)

Sonata in B minor K 87 (Andante)

Sonata in C major K 100 (Allegrissimo)

Sonata in D major K 140 (Allegro)

Sonata in E major K 380 (Andante commodo)

Sonata in F minor K 466 (Andante moderato)

Sonata in F minor K 386 (Presto)

Sonata in F major K 6 (Allegro)

Sonata in G minor K 234 (Andante)

Sonata in A major K 322 (Allegro)

Sonata in B flat major K 172 (Allegro)

Sonata in C major K 159 (Allegro)


Friday 22nd July 2016,  at 13:15 St. Bride’s Church, Fleet St, London EC4Y 8AU

Pietro Roffi is a young classical accordion concert artist. He was born in 1992 near Rome; he started studying music when he was six years old and he graduated with full marks, honours and honourable mention at the conservatory “S. Cecilia” in Rome under the direction of the Professor Massimiliano Pitocco. He won more than fifteen national and international competitions in the modern genre, among which the third prize at the Accordion World Trophy (Spain, Vigo 2010) and the first prize at theInternational competition of Castefidardo (Italy, 2010). During his music education, which is completely devoted now to classical, baroque and contemporary music, he attended seminars with O. Murray (United Kingdom), C. Jacomucci (Italy), Y. Shishkin (Russia), F. Angelis (France), M. Rantanen (Finland), S.Hussong (Germany), C.X. Qing (China), R. Sviackevicius (Lithuania), A. Melichar (Austria). He carries out an intense concert activity both in Italy (where he performed, among others, at the Theatre of Villa Torlonia [Rome], at the Eliseo Theatre [Rome], at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary art [Rome],for EXPO Milan 2015, for Summer nights in Castel S. Angelo [Rome], for Nuova Consonanza’s festival [Rome] and for Narnia Festival [Narni]), and in foreign countries. In Europe he went on tour in Croatia, in Spain, in England where he performed in various concerts among which we remark that at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at Peterborough Cathedral (Cambridge) and in Romania, where he has recently performed in Cluj-Napoca (at the Academia de Muzică “Gh.Dima) and in Bucharest at the National University of Music where he has recorded a live concert for Romanian national television and radio. He also performed in concert (both in 2013 and 2014) in Beijing, Tianjing and Nanjing (at the Nianjing University of Arts) in China, for the Italian cultural institutes of Beijing and Shangai. In 2014 he performed in thirteen cities in Argentina, meeting great acclaim by the audience and by the critics. Particularly interested in new developments of contemporary music, he constantly works together with Italian composers to write essays about the accordion and he himself wrote an essay about the composition for this instrument that will  be published soon. He gave master classes at the Academia de Muzică “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca and at the National University of Music in Bucharest. In 2016 he will be on a long international tour which will include Romania again, Australia, South Africa, China, England and Chile and he will record his first album completely devoted to Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas.

Ben de Souza in Concert – Friday 15th July 2016 – 19.30 – Reading, Berkshire

Ben de Sousa with his new Beltrami CVC5

Ben de Souza  – Accordion Recital

Royal Academy of Music student Ben de Souza presents a concert of original and transcription works for the accordion, including composers such as Bach, Scarlatti, Trojan, Zolotaryov and Angelis.

Ben will be joined in the second half by soprano Elly Broomfield, a fellow Royal Academy of Music student, for an exciting programme of music by Handel, Gounod, Haydn, Purcell and Piazzolla.

Do come along for what promises to be a great evening’s entertainment!

This concert is to raise funds for building work at the church.
Tickets available on the door only.
Adults: £10
Students: £7
Children: £5

Wesley Methodist Church, Queens Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4BW

Friday 15th July 2016 – 19.30 

Parking available at the church and nearby roads and car parks.
The church is a 10 minute walk from Reading station (direct rail links to London Paddington and Waterloo).”