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 ( 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


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.


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


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

Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi – Bandoneon Virtuoso – The Art of Tango- Concert 19.30, Thursday 2nd February 2017

Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi

Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi – The Art of Tango

Royal Academy of Music. 19.30, Thursday 2nd February 2017.

Brilliant bandoneon virtuoso Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi will be in concert with Academy accordion students and string quintet from the Royal Academy of Music, ‘The Art of Tango’ 7.30 pm in the DJ Recital Hall. admission £7.50 (concessions £5.50)

Tickets from Academy box office, tel. 020 7873 7300 or online at or at the box office on day of concert.

See a clip of Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi playing Piazzolla



1st February, 10.00 – 1.00 pm in the DJ Recital Hall.

As well as having a very active concert career on bandoneon and accordion Maestro Pietrodarchi is also Professor of accordion at Torrefranca Conservatoire in Vibo Valentia, Italy. He will also give a masterclass the day before his concert which is open to the public on the 1st February, 10.00 – 1.00 pm in the DJ Recital Hall. Free admission. 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, 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 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

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

Two Final Accordion Recitals at the Royal Academy of Music and Patron’s Award Winners’ Recital

Iosif Purits

Don’t miss the final recitals of two amazing young accordionists at the Royal Academy of Music.  Here are the dates:

On June 6th 2016, Iosif Purits  will play at the Wigmore Hall with , Cecilia Bignall (Cello), Amy Yule (Flute) and Seungwong Lee (Piano) for the Royal Academy of Music Patrons Award Winners’ Recital 2016

JS Bach, Sibelius, Hurel and more

Booking information

£5 tickets are available for staff and students of the Royal Academy of Music. Please call the Wigmore Hall Box Office on 020 7935 2141 to book.

Duration: This concert will be approximately 2 hours in duration, including an interval

£15 Ticket bookings are subject to a £2.00 booking fee. This fee covers the whole booking and is not per ticket.

On June 9th 2016,Bartek Glowacki will play his final recital at the David Josefowitz Hall at the Royal Academy of Music at 17.45, followed by Iosif Purits  playing his final recital at 18.45.

ZZ Music wishes them well in the final recitals and concerts in their last year at the Royal Academy of Music.  They have been incredible students under the wonderful guidance of Owen Murray and it has been wonderful to watch them grow into very fine musicians whilst they have been studying in London.

Bartosz Glowacki-1200

A new Beltrami accordion for Ben de Souza

Ben de Sousa with his new Beltrami CVC5

Beltrami Accordion model CVC5

Yes, his Beltrami accordion has arrived! Currently in his second year at the Royal Academy of Music Ben de Souza spent his gap year converting from a classical  piano accordion to the more compact classical button accordion.  He also spent some time in Italy learning how to tune and repair accordions with Beltrami in Stradella.  It was then that he decided to design his future instrument and trust its construction to Claudio Beltrami.  A year and half on, and incorporating many special requirements that Ben specified to obtain the sound he was looking for a very excited Ben went to collect his accordion.

His Beltrami CVC5 accordion is a little larger than the Jupiter he was borrowing from the RAM.  It has an extra set of reeds in the left-hand being of the 8′ + 8′ + 2′ configuration with all combinations possible rather than the register-free Jupiter’s 8’+ 8′ configuration. His right-hand boasts a piccolo reed that goes all the way up to F above top C on the piano and amazingly it really can be heard by humans and rather well to boot.  It’s not played-in yet of course but I heard him play it and it has the most amazing sounding cassotto I have heard in a long time.  I want to eat the sound it makes! There are a number of other options Ben chose to incorporate but I shouldn’t give too many of his secrets away and I’m not talking about his real mother of pearl buttons!  Can’t wait to hear how it develops over the next 18 months or so.  As a player he has come along so quickly too and it’s amazing that only two years ago we were doing the very first exercises on buttons when I hear him now play Bach and Scarlatti even better than he did on his lovely old Beltrami CVP4c piano accordion which he is selling to fund this accordion.


Romano Viazzani

Claudio Beltrami with Ben De Souza's CVC5
Claudio Beltrami with Ben De Souza’s CVC5


Royal Academy of Music Events for May – Accordion Showcase and Masterclass

Accordion close up

Accordion Showcase

Iosif Purits playing with percussionist in Lindberg's Metalwork










Thursday, 19th May 2016 19:30, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Always great to keep up with how well the accordion students at the Royal Academy of Music are doing and watching them develop in to fine young artists. It is now 30 years this coming September that the accordion was introduced there.The Academy was the first British conservatoire to introduce teaching for classical accordion as a principal study. Owen Murray has been Head of Accordion since the department was founded in 1986. Going along to support these events enable the students to play for a good size audience and I have seen concerts becoming more and more well-attended over the years which shows that there’s plenty of interest in the accordion out there.

Accordion students will play solo and chamber music works by JS Bach, Scarlatti, Trojan and Berio.


Tickets £7.50 (concessions £5.50) from the Academy’s Box Office: online now, telephone 020 7873 7300(weekdays 10am–4pm)

Accordion Masterclass

24th May 2016 10.00 – 17.00. Lunch 12.00 -1.00 pm. Professor Janne Rättyä. Head of accordion, Graz conservatoire, Austria

Free Admission

Owen Murray with Matti Rantenen with rising stars and ex-RAM students Milos Milivojevic and Ksenija Sidorova at last month's master class.
Owen Murray with Matti Rantenen with rising stars and ex-RAM students Milos Milivojevic and Ksenija Sidorova at last month’s master class.



Royal Academy of Music – Accordion Master Class with Matti Rantenen 22nd April 2016

Matti Rantanen- accordion professor

Royal Academy of Music – Accordion Master Class with Matti Rantenen – 22nd April 2016 10.00 to 17.00 (Lunch:13.00-14.00) A perfect opportunity for teachers, students and all accordionists to see some of the world’s leading accordion teachers work with the accordion students at the Royal Academy of Music.  The Royal Academy itself has a group of students who play to a very high standard under the regular tutelage of our own professor of accordion, Owen Murray. It’s always incredibly interesting and informative to watch the professors from the best music conservatoires in the world come and work with these students at a high level and trying out different approaches and ideas on pieces they are working on.  Last month we saw Professor Raimondas Sviackevicius from Lithuania work with the students. This month is is the turn of Professor Matti Rantanen from the Sibelius Academy in Finland a well known centre of musical excellence that has a thriving accordion department.  Don’t miss it.

Free entry too!