Royal Academy of Music – Accordion Dept. Chamber Music Concert 15th February 2018

Accordion close up

Accordion Chamber Music: The Emperor’s Nightingale

Don’t miss the wonderful playing of the accordion students of the Royal Academy of Music, London playing a selection of chamber music works.

Thursday, 15.02.2018 19:30David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Tickets: £7.50 (concessions £5.50) from the Academy’s Box Office:  https://tickets.ram.ac.uk/sales/categories/chamber-music/accordion-chamber-music-the-em

An evening of chamber music by DvořákMozart and Efrem Podgaits, as well as Václav Trojan‘s beautifully descriptive and poetic The Emperor’s Nightingale for violin, guitar and classical accordion.

 

Royal Academy of Music – Two important events for accordion department

RAM Accordion Dept

Royal Academy of Music Accordion Department with chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra

Wonderful to see Owen Murray’s accordion department take on these important chamber and symphonic works. See Ben de Souza, Inigo Mikeleiz-Barrade, Junchi Deng and Qianyu (Samantha) Zhang in orchestral action on these dates:

 

Thursday 15th February, 7:30pm, Royal Academy of Music. Accordion Chamber Music: The Emperor’s Nightingale. An evening of chamber music by DvořákMozart and Efrem Podgaits, as well as Václav Trojan‘s beautifully descriptive and poetic The Emperor’s Nightingale for violin, guitar and classical accordion.

Tickets £7.50 (concessions £5.50) from the Academy Box Office. http://www.ram.ac.uk/whats-on/event/accordion-chamber-music-the-emperors-nightingale

 

Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. Royal Academy of Music accordion department plays the accordion parts in Prokofiev’s Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution. Tickets available from the Philharmonia Orchestra box office.

Friday 18th May, 7:30pm. St David’s Hall, Cardiff.

http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/concerts/1982/cardiff/st_davids_hall/18_may_2018/cardiff_voices_of_revolution

Sunday 20th May, 7:30pm. Royal Festival Hall, London.

http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/concerts/1760/london/royal_festival_hall/20_may_2018/voices_of_revolution_exile_and_return

Claudio Jacomucci – Accordion master class at the Royal Academy of Music – 29th January 2018

Claudio Jacomucci

Claudio Jacomucci Master class with Royal Academy of Music accordion students

Monday 29th January from 10.00 am – 1.00 pm

The Royal Academy of Music
Marylebone Road, London NW1 5HT
www.ram.ac.uk
T: 020 7873 7380

This event would be of particular interest to accordion teachers and students because it enables them to observe the RAM students being taught by internationally-respected accordion teachers.    The RAM would welcome any interested audience.  The event is free and doesn’t require tickets.

Claudio Jacomucci is a leading light on the International accordion scene in a very understated way.  He is not one that you will hear blowing his own trumpet about his achievements but gets on with the job of teaching brilliantly and performing at the highest level whilst devoting his time to recordings that have become a benchmark for other accordionists to measure up to and publications that are of great benefit to the accordion world. Working with accordion students he has a very hands on approach and demonstrates ideas with his accordion on.  He is fascinating to watch.

He graduated with honors as a classical accordionist from Grenoble Conservatory (France) in 1992. He has studied accordion with Jean Luc Manca, Mogens Ellegaard and Vladimir Zubitsky. He also graduated as an Alexander Technique teacher from the Alexander Technique Centre in Amsterdam in 2000 and has written a book called Mastering Accordion Technique applies his knowledge to accordion playing.

He studied Indian Music (karnatic) at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Winner of international contests such as Grand Prix International d’Accordéon in St. Etienne (1988), Trofeo Mundial de acordeón (C.M.A.) in Cuenca (1990), Premio Città di Castelfidardo (1990) and Arrasate Hiria (1994).

He has premiered a number of new works collaborating with composers such as Luciano Berio, Franco Donatoni, György Kurtag, Luis De Pablo, Boris Porena, Nicola Sani, Mario Pagliarani, Lucio Garau, Gabriele Manca, Dimitri Nicolau, Miguel Ruiz Gil, Fernando Mencherini, Giorgio Tedde, Carlo Crivelli, Akemi Naito, Francoise Barriere, Maxim Seloujanov, Oliver Schneller, Paolo Marzocchi, Riccardo Vaglini, Daniel Glaus, Rico Gubler (who often dedicated their work to him) and as a composer himself.

He has performed in Europe, USA, China, Mexico, Russia in many festivals and institution such as Cornell University (USA), Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Salle Messiaen in Paris, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Gaudeamus Foundation in Amsterdam, Synthese Festival in Bourges (France), Nuova Consonanza in Rome, GoG/Teatro Carlo Feilce in Genova, Sala Chavez – Unam in Mexico City, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Beethoven Haus in Bonn (Germany) to name a few.

He runs an intense pedagogic project developing and promoting an original approach in teaching based on the principles of the Alexander Technique, He is the founder and teacher of the Italian Accordion Academy in Urbino/Amsterdam and he holds masterclasses all over the world: Paris Conservatory of Music, Royal Academy of Music of London, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Danish Royal Academy of Music of Copenhagen, Chopin University Warsaw, Conservatory of Barcelona, Yoliztli Academy in Mexico, Tianjin’s Conservatory (China), “S.Cecilia” Conservatory in Rome, Conservatory of Enschede, Tilburg and Arnhem (Netherlands). He has taught accordion at the “Luisa D’Annunzio” Conservatory in Pescara (Italy) from 2011 to 2014.

He has also played with Francesco Dillon, Joel Rubin, Stefano Scodanibbio, Prometeo String Quartet, Michel Godard, David Moss, Terry Riley, Kálmán Balogh, Pierre Favre, AlterEgo and as a soloist with the Orchestra of “La Scala” Milan, Haydn Orchestra Bolzano, Filarmonica Marchigiana, Sinfonietta del Teatro Lirico Cagliari (Italy), Ostrobothnian Chamber Trio (Finland), Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Since 2002 he has worked with Kathleen Delaney (choreographer and dancer) exploring the frontiers of dance and music creation in its diverse aspects: live interactions, electroacoustic music and video-dance.

His CDs are published by Schott Wergo, W & B Music, Bridge Records, Stradivarius, Rivoalto, StileLibero, Musica & Poesia, Ema Records, Adatto, Blowout Records. His performances were broadcasted by Radio3 RAI, ORF, DeutschlandRadio, RNE2, Vatican Radio, SFB, RSI, Radio Unam-Mexico, RadioFrance.

He is regularly invited as a jury member by international accordion competition in Castelfidardo, Klingenthal, Arrasate, Moscow, Pula and Valtidone. His book Technique I for button accordion about the modern accordion technique is published by Bèrben.

He has edited the publication Modern Accordion Perspectives (2013) and Critical Selection of Accordion Works, 1990-2010 (2014), coordinating an international expert panel of the leading classical accordion performers and teachers.

Claudio Jacomucci

Autumn Open Day and Master class for the Accordion Department at the Royal Academy of Music

Royal Academy of Music

Royal Academy of Music Events, October 2017

 

05 October, Accordion dept. Open-Day.

Lunchtime concert at 13.05 followed by a talk by Owen Murray on the work on the accordion department.

At 15.30 to 17.00, there will be an opportunity for young accordionists to play and receive advice on further development.  Anyone wishing to play should contact the accordion dept. administrator, Karin Ingram (k.ingram@ram.ac.uk) giving details of age, some examples of pieces in your repertoire, and the title of a composition to play in the session.

Ben de Souza

Inigo Mikeleiz-Berrade

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 October, RAM students Master class taken by Peter Katina, 10.00 to 13.00

Peter Katina

 

Mental Training for Musicians – Inger Murray Workshop Sunday 21st May 2017

Inger Murray RAM workshop

Mental Training for Musicians – Sunday 21st May 2017 10.00- 17.00

Royal academy of Music Academic Teaching Centre, 32 Aybrook Street. London W1U 4AW

Inger Murray
Inger Murray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many musicians professional and amateur suffer from stage fright.  Some are able to play but perhaps not quite as well as they would when they are alone rehearsing in their room. Psychologist Inger Murray has developed this unique concept.  It can transform your career and any performance by teaching you how to control your nerves in performance situations. Now she is coming to London to hold a workshop that is open to all. She has achieved some amazing results.  The training becomes part of your daily practice routine.

Cost £120 (£108 for students)

Please register before 21st April as places are limited. Contact murray@mentaltrainingformusicians

ZZ Music has a book available to accompany Inger Murray’s teaching. Click here.

www.mentaltrainingformusicians.com

 

Toralf Tollefsen – World Artist – Book reviewed by Michael Lieber

‘Toralf Tollefsen World Artist’ is a fascinating and very readable book about the life, career and achievements of Toralf Tollefsen (1914-94), a much loved and internationally renowned accordionist from Norway, a man who truly became a legend in his lifetime. First published (in Norwegian) in 1994 to celebrate Tollefsen’s 80th birthday, this book is not actually a biography as such, but an anthology edited by Jon Faukstad containing a lengthy in-depth biographical interview with the great man by Faukstad, four informative articles about Tollefsen and his very significant contribution to the accordion (written by Mogens Ellegaard, Ola Kai Ledang, Jon Faukstad, and Birger Ostby), plus a complete and detailed discography, compiled by Tom Valle. Toralf Tollefsen has long been a legendary figure in the accordion world, especially in Britain where he lived between 1936/39 and 1946/61. There have been other accordionists equally skilled, but few could match Tollefsen’s charisma, stage presence or reputation, or the deep impression he made on a generation of accordionists in this country whose progress was often measured by how well they could play compositions and arrangements bearing Tollefsen’s name. This newly published English-language version tells a great deal about Tollefsen’s lifelong dedication to the accordion, and the reader will learn much about his ambitions, thoughts on repertoire, performance, his instruments, playing experiences in Britain and the USA, and his philosophy about life. The life of Tollefsen is, in a sense, the story of the modern accordion in Britain and Europe as this was the man whose long-held and eventually realised dream it was to pioneer the accordion’s transition from variety theatres to the classical concert stage, introducing the free bass instrument in the process. In the interview section Tollefsen discusses how he went from variety to classical music in the post-war years, and the problems he had to overcome with this transition. Originally published in Norwegian, ‘Toralf Tollefsen World Artist’ has been painstakingly translated and updated by Owen Murray, with assistance from Olga Jorgensen for the translation of the article by Professor Ola Kai Ledang. Special mention should be made of the initiative of Roland Williams, whose enthusiasm brought this project to fruition.

Toralf Tollefsen (1914-1994): World Artist

Edited by Jon Faukstad, translated by Owen Murray

Toralf Tollefsen was to Europe in the 20th century what Charles Magnante was to the United States, consummate musicians who did with the accordion what no one else had.  This book is a narrative of Tollefsen’s life in his own words, transcribed from interview responses to his colleague and editor, Jon Faukstad.

Tollefsen describes learning music in his family from his father, siblings, and uncles.  He began lessons and playing in a group in his early teens in Oslo, where he played in a restaurant, at local events, and began recording.  He describes moving to London, where he quickly became a fixture and a feature artist in variety shows performed live, on the radio, and on recordings.  It was in a variety show where he met the woman who became his wife.  He and his wife returned to Norway just before it was occupied by the Germans.  Forced to remain in Norway, he performed only occasionally, but used his time to transcribe and learn classical pieces and to work as a courier for the Norwegian resistance.  Those classical pieces were the mainstays of his post-war career.

When he returned to Europe in 1947, the variety show was a thing of the past.  Tollefsen made his living doing concerts in Europe, the United States, Iceland, and Africa.  He performed as a solo artist and with symphony orchestras.  It was during this period that he was recognized as the preeminent accordionist of Europe.  When Tollefsen and his wife returned to Norway in 1961, it was for good.  He accepted a teaching position in 1963, and his many students include some of the most famous accordionists in Europe.  He concludes by talking about and comparing accordions he has played.  The book concludes with brief essays by Mogens Ellegaard and Ola Kai Ledang on Tollefsens’s influence on students of the accordion, on changing musical contexts of accordion music, a complete discography by Tom Valle, and a concluding essay on the accordion as a concert instrument by Jon Faukstad.

Several features of this book are particularly striking. Because Tollefsen was an observant, thoughtful man, his career narrative is also a history of popular music and its venues in the early and mid-20th century as seen through the eyes of a major participant.  A recurrent theme in this history is adaptability.  Before he left Norway for England, Tollefsen was so busy learning new tunes that he had no time to develop skills through scales, arpeggios, and exercises.  He integrated technical practice with learning tunes and developed his own techniques.  He made his living and his reputation in the 1930s playing in variety shows, which featured brief appearances requiring him to set his performance off from those that preceded and followed his own.  Pieces had to be short, familiar to audiences, and highly ornamented—flashy, in a word.  Work was scarce during the war, and keeping a low profile meant playing in Sweden and Denmark occasionally, playing for food occasionally, and always avoiding German intelligence.  Post war Europe required yet another adaptation.  The concert stage required a different repertoire and performance format, two hours plus encores being most common.  Flashy technique was replaced by flawless, emotionally engaging renditions of classical genre pieces.  The concert stage involved the performer as entrepreneur, and Tollefsen’s success depended on his ability to take calculated financial risks.  Teaching involved new adaptations: figuring out how he did what he did in order to show it to students and finding ways to help students play “new music” that he did not particularly like.  Finally, Tollefsen’s discovery and involvement in Christian Science is fascinating and moving.

Interviewing is not easy, and using the interview as a presentation format is even more difficult.  Not only does Faukstad pull it off, but he does it in as professional a manner as any journalist or social scientist.  His questions are meaty, at times pointed; he asks them and then gets out of the way so Tollefsen can talk.  Also striking is Owen Murray’s translation from the Norwegian.  First, he uses translation to give us access to this narrative, and next, he designs his translation to capture the vibrancy of this man, the flow of the narrative, and the immediacy of it.  We feel like eavesdroppers rather than readers.

This is a book equally suitable to fans of accordion music, to those interested in the history of accordion music and accordionists of the 20th century, and to those more generally curious about changing eras of taste in the popular music of Europe and the U. S. during the 20th century.

Kudos to Faukstad, Murray, and ZZ Music for making this work available.  It is a gift.

 

Michael Lieber

University of Illinois, Chicago

 

ZZ Music wishes to thank Michael Lieber for his much appreciated review.

 

Friedrich Lips- Lecture and Masterclass- Royal Academy of Music – 23rd & 24th February 2017 and Accordion Dept. Concert

RAM hand on acccordion close-up

Royal Academy of Music Accordion Events for February 2017

After the incredible success of the Art of Tango event with Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi earlier this month the Royal Academy of Music Accordion Department focuses on another important part of the accordion repertoire: the Russian school.  Friedrich Lips arguably the foremost authority on this repertoire will be in residence for this wonderful free event to which all accordionists, accordion teachers and students will find extremely interesting and enlightening.

Russian Chamber Music  Concert – De Profundis (Free)

Thursday, 23.02.2017 13:05, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Katariina Ahjoniemi, Junchi Deng, Iñigo Mikeleiz Berrade, Iosif Purits, Benjamin de Souza and Ilona Suomalainen accordion
Henry Hargreaves cello
William White clarinet

Zolotaryov Sonata no.3 (excerpts)
Sofia Gubaidulina De Profundis
Efrem Podgaits Ave Maria; Rendezvous with Haydn
Zolotaryov Rondo capriccioso

This concert will be followed by a lecture on Russian bayan repertoire by Visiting Professor of Accordion Friedrich Lips

Free, no tickets required 

Russian Bayan Lecture (Free)

Thursday, 23.02.2017 14:30, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Friedrich Lips, professor at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music and Visiting Professor of Accordion at the Academy, gives a lecture on Russian bayan repertoire.

Free, no tickets required

Prof. Friedrich Lips
Prof. Friedrich Lips

Accordion Masterclass (Free)

Friday, 24.02.2017 14:00, Henry Wood Room

2.00–5.00pm

Accordion Masterclass with Friedrich Lips, renowned Russian accordionist, Visiting Professor of Accordion at the Academy and professor at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow.

Free, no tickets required

Royal Academy of Music – Accordion Department Open Day – 1st November 2016

Accordion close up

Accordion Open Day – FREE

Tuesday, 01.11.2016 14:30, York Gate, Marylebone Road, London

Head of Accordion Owen Murray gives a talk on the Accordion Department, career possibilities and repertoire development to prospective students. Young accordionists will also have the opportunity to play and receive advice on how to further their development. Anyone wishing to play should contact the Accordion Administrator, accordion@ram.ac.uk. Teachers are also welcome, and everyone attending is invited to start the Open Day with the Accordion Recital at 1.05pm.

Free, no tickets required. For further information please email accordion@ram.ac.uk

Accordion Recital FREE

Tuesday, 01.11.2016 13:05, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

A programme of original works and transcriptions for classical accordion and strings. This event acts as a prelude to the Accordion Department’s Open Day.

Inigo Mikeleiz-Berrade accordion
Junchi Deng accordion
Ilona Suomalainen accordion
Katariina Ahjoniemi accordion

Ben de Souza accordion

Eleanor Broomfield Soprano
Michail Iskas viola
To be announced violin
To be announced cello
To be announced clarinet

Graciane Finzi Impression Tango
Timothy Bowers Two Paganini Fantasies
Schnittke Suite In Old Style
Sally Beamish Takes Two

Astor Piazzolla Oblivion

Johann Sebastien Bach – Marcello Concerto BWV974

Free, no tickets required

GET RID OF YOUR STAGE FRIGHT AND PERFORMANCE ANXIETY – Inger Murray

Get rid of stage fright and performance anxiety

Finally available in English Language – Inger Murray’s Mental Training for Musicians – A cure for stage fright

ZZ Music are incredibly pleased to be able to offer the long-awaited translation of Inger Murray’s book GET RID OF YOUR STAGE FRIGHT AND PERFORMANCE ANXIETY from its original Danish, that will be invaluable for musicians and other people in the performing arts as well as those who suffer from nervousness and other exposed situations.  Psychologist Inger Murray has worked  with many professional musicians with her Mental Training for Musician workshops.  She regularly holds them at the Royal Academy of Music in London as well as the Royal Danish Conservatoire in her native Denmark.

Many performers find they can play perfectly well when they practise but then in performance they lose focus, or show outward signs of nervousness which prevent them from giving a performance they are worthy of.  This book will help conquer this all to common problem with professionals, students and amateurs alike. It will help one to understand why it happens and how to counteract it. It is the next best thing to having a one to one or group session with this great lady herself.

This translation is by her husband, Owen Murray who is the classical accordion professor at the Royal Academy of Music. His students are notoriously strong in performance thanks to his inclusion of his wife’s experience and workshops as part of his teaching.

Whilst this book is great for any musicians as accordionists we know that the accordion is a notoriously difficult instrument to play and there are so many things that can go wrong in performance due to its complex structure, particularly in its Classical Free Bass incarnation. This can add stress to an already stressful performance situation.  This book gives the accordionist the tools to focus and relax in performance.

 

BUY YOUR COPY HERE

Royal Academy of Music Accordion Masterclass 21st June 2016 – Bjarke Mogensen

Bjarke Mogensen

The last of this season’s interesting and informative accordion masterclasses at the Royal Academy of Music before the summer recess.  This month sees the visit of Bjarke Mogensen who teaches accordion at the Royal Danish Conservatoire, where Royal Academy of Music accordion professor studined himself under Mogens Ellegard.

This, as ever, is the perfect opportunity for teachers of accordion to go along and see visiting professors from conservatoires from all over the world work with the accordion students at the Royal Academy of Music.  It is always fascinating to see how different teachers present a variety of ideas to the students and bring out different characteristics in their playing.

Tuesday, 21.06.2016 10:00, York Gate 150

10.00am–1.00pm. (then Lunch) resuming at 2.00–5.00pm

With Bjarke Mogensen, from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen

Free, no tickets required