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.


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.

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

Ben De Souza – Accordion Concerts for 2018

Ben de Souza standing next to red pillars

Ben de Souza announces concerts for 2018

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.


Sunday 18th March, 2:30pm, St James the Greater Church, Leicester – All Squeezed In! A concert for BabyGigs, an organisation that exposes babies, young children and their parents to a wide range of music and instruments. Tickets available online.


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.

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


Sunday 3rd June, 4pm, Old Blue Coat School, Thatcham RG18 4JT. Solo recital. Tickets £10 (£5 children) available on 01635 869 869 or

Keep up with Ben de Souza on Facebook:





Harmonik – A wonderful new accordion microphone system from Brazil

Harmonik ac5001plus

ZZ Music Accordion Repairs to supply and fit Harmonik

ZZ Music Accordion Repairs are pleased to supply and fit Harmonik a new microphone system developed for accordion in Brazil.  Accordion is maybe not the first country one associates with the accordion but the reality is that the accordion is really big in Brazil.  A huge number of people play the accordion there both on a professional and amateur basis. We were very lucky to have in the UK one of the most amazing jazz accordionists of today, Chico Chagas who was living,working and studying in London until a few years ago.

HARMONIK® was founded in 2012.  A good performance on the stage depends on many factors, but primarily the quality of sound that the musician hears from his/her instrument. After experiencing many problems with sound quality and volume on stage using many existing systems from the market, accordionist and engineer Jonatan Dalmonte decided in mid-2012 to devote himself to the development of a microphone system that would solve the problems that many accordionists have of amplifying the sound of his/her instrument. After numerous tests with many different microphones, environments and accordionists, the results obtained were praised by various demanding musicians and sound technicians. The wide acceptance of this project culminated in the birth of the company Harmonik, whose principal objective is to provide musicians with a high quality microphone system.

Harmonik ac5001plus










The treble mics are held in tiny harnesses which are sprung therefore isolating mechanically the microphones in the body of the accordion, absorbing the mechanical vibrations that are produced whilst playing. This results in a much clearer and more natural sound and one which is extremely resistant to the creation of feedback. If you would like to fit this wonderful system to your accordion please email us: Please email us to book an appointment:

Click here for a review


The four kits we supply:                             All-in price to supply and fit:                                                                           

AC501-HQ                                                                               £420.00

AC501-PLUS                                                                           £475.00                                                                                                               

AC5001-HQ                                                                             £530.00

AC5001-PLUS                                                                         £585.00

Harmonik – Accordion Mics – First impressions by Romano Viazzani

Harmonik ac5001plus

Harmonik Accordion Mics hit the right note for Romano Viazzani

In August 2017 Beltrami Accordions fitted my stalwart Beltrami CVP7, which I use fall all kinds of work, with a new microphone system designed for accordion by Harmonik of Brazil.  They cost a bit more than most accordion mics but are well worth the spend, particularly if you are a professional doing all manner of work which includes work where amplification is necessary.  Whether it’s playing in a pit orchestra in a theatre or, on stage with other live musicians in the open air, or inside a large or small venue the important thing is that the quality of sound is the best possible and that problems such as feedback are kept to a minimum.

Since their installation not a lot of my work has involved amplification as opposed to a year ago where it was required every night in the theatres for 8 shows a week. However, on the few occasions that I have needed amplification I have to say that these mics have impressed me.  The quality of sound that comes out of even the most basic small amplifier is remarkable.  I can only describe it as an incredibly clean and clear sound the likes of which one usually gets only from recordings. Even at low output volumes the sound is very focused and one doesn’t strain to hear it.

Coming through a large PA system at a venue the results were just as impressive.  Again the sound is so focused an pure even through the stage foldback monitors that one doesn’t struggle to hear the sound one is producing, even sitting in front of of a drummer (albeit a very sensitive drummer!). Usually this is the worse possible place for an accordion to sit.  Firstly one usually struggles to hear oneself which leads to turning up the volume in the monitor. This obviously can lead to feed back but worse still the drums can often be picked up by the accordion mics which means they get louder too through the monitor too.  No such problem with Harmonik mics.  I was practically sitting on top of my foldback monitor but there was no hint of feedback no did they pick up any external instruments around me like the drums. The unique little sprung harnesses that suspend the five right hand mics internally under the right hand grille absorb any shocks from external sound sound sources or any player movement.  The left hand mic (there is only one) which faces away from the left hand mechanism and picks up the reflected sound of the left hand grille.  Ingenious.  In doing this it picks up all the reflected sound so doesn’t favour any individual notes over which the mic is suspended. The sound is as even as if every note had it’s own mic!

No complaints from the other musicians either that sound was too harsh or too loud. The sound is so pleasant it does not annoy anyone.  Previously, even using very good microphone systems, in order to hear oneself, I learnt that the answer was to get a good sound on the house PA system but to boost the treble on the foldback monitors.  This usually creates quite a horrible sound through the foldback monitor but, because the accordion’s natural sound is easily covered by the overtones of other instruments, it was a necessary evil just to make the sound cut through enough to hear oneself.  Any accordionist will tell you that due to the fact that one cannot see one’s left hand when one is playing one is heavily dependent on hearing that what one is playing are the right notes as no visual stimulus exists to confirm this. So when one is in a situation where the amplification on stage is very loud a quick glance at one’s right hand keyboard confirms that one is playing the right notes even if one cannot hear them but with the left hand it’s a different story.  Hearing it well, is critical.

So far this system seems to me to be the best yet.  I look forward to hearing it in other situations such as outdoors, or within a theatre orchestra pit where balance with other instruments is paramount.  I understand that Richard Galliano uses the top of the range Harmonik microphone – the AC5001-plus which is the stereo version of my own AC5001-HQ.  This doesn’t surprise me in the least!

I’m very pleased that ZZ Music is able to supply and fit this new system as it certainly receives an early thumbs up from me!

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
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

Accordion repairs by Beltrami’s own Stefano Oggero 6th February – March 4th 2018

Stefano Oggero repairing in our workshop

ZZ Music Accordion Repairs hosts visiting technician Stefano Oggero from Beltrami Accordions

We are very lucky to have Stefano Oggero from Beltrami Accordions in Stradella working with us for a whole month between February 6th and March 4th 2018.  We have recently seen an sharp upturn in accordion repairs, tuning and refurbishments so it will be great to have him with us at our workshop in Harrow for a month to help out. Oggero trained as a luthier at the Civica Scuola di Liuteria of Milan, Italy and also repairs and builds stringed instruments in particular classical and other acoustic and electric guitars, electric basses and mandolins.. He has worked with Beltrami for five years now.

Stefano Oggero with his mentor Claudio Beltrami in our workshop
Stefano Oggero with his mentor Claudio Beltrami in our workshop











At Beltrami Accordions in Stradella, Oggero undertakes a variety of tasks from tuning and mechanical work to electronics and wooden casework prototype design. He is one of the few young people who have joined the accordion industry and has been trained well by his mentor Claudio Beltrami. So if you have been putting off those accordion repairs or tuning a good time to consider that would be now in time for his arrival. Please email us at to book a visit for an assessment and estimate for any repair work.

Stefano Oggero alters a bass grille at Beltrami Accordions in Stradella
Stefano Oggero alters a bassSo grille at Beltrami Accordions in Stradella

Barimar releases a new CD and Sheet music album

Barimar in his 90s

The incredible energy and creativity of an accordionist in his nineties

An inspiration to accordionists of several generations, Barimar is as hungry to express himself musically as he’s ever been, in fact even more so.  In an interview Romano Viazzani did with him for Strumenti e Musica he seemed to still have the urge to do things he never got round to doing.  He has lost none of his powers as a performer too.

Barimar as a child
Barimar as a child

Barimar was born Mario Barigazzi in Noceto in the province of Parma, Italy on the 18th June 1925.  He studied music from a young age and was discovered by Maestro Ferruzzi who introduced him to the record label La Voce Del Padrone (His Master’s Voice) – Columbia Records.His meeting with Tienno Pattacini was fundamental in his development in the world of music and one for which he will always be grateful. He made his first recording aged 15 and then, at 18, he made his debut in Milan as a soloist with Cosimo di Ceglie who leaned towards a programme with jazz tendencies. After completing an accordion course in Parma he perfected his piano playing by himself thanks to natural flair and musical talent. His continued success in various theatres in Italy, from the Regio of Parma to the Lirico of Milan and the Monteverdi of  La Spezia, was a testament to this talent.In 1946 he won the first prize in the Concert artist category of the Concorso Internazionale di Stradella, and later designated the “Virtuoso Internazionale” of the Confédération Internationale Accordéonistes.



Barimar and his Orchestra
Barimar and his Orchestra in the 1940s











He then established himself as a band leader of a 16-piece orchestra and made many recordings for “La voce del padrone”. In addition, all the arrangements and orchestrations were by his own hand. He is a technical master of the accordion. Barimar performs to perfection the Prelude to acts 1 and 3 of La Traviata, the Overture from The Barbiere di Siviglia, The Theiving Magpie, Moto Perpetuo by Paganini and many of Chopin’s waltzes.In the 1970s due to the great demand, he recorded music from the world of popular dance whilst at the same time recording many of his own compositions far from the influence of dance music and which are both rare and elegant.

In the late 80s he often featured playing the accordion live on a RAI2  broadcast called “Mezzogiorno è…” presented by Gianfranco Funari.  In the late 90s he moved away from Milan and back to his roots in the countryside between Parma and Reggio Emilia, where he lives to this day and continues to find inspiration to continue composing.

A new quartet playing his work has also recently established itself with the aim of playing much of this maestro’s music.The new Barimar Quartet are:

Violin: Marina Mammarella

Double Bass: Agide Baldini

Percussion: Flavio Spotti

Accordion: Yuri Vallara

ZZ Music is pleased to be able to offer to it’s subscribers the new CD and Sheet Music by Barimar, or a special package for both at a discounted price.



LAO at the Movies – by London Accordion Orchestra – Saturday 20th January 2018

LAO at the Movies Poster

The London Accordion Orchestra goes to the Movies!

Sat, 20 January 2018   16:00 PM – 17:30  at St. Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico, Warwick Square, London, SW1V 2AD

LAO present a gala afternoon concert brimming with film favourites, including iconic scores from Star Wars, E.T., Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Godfather, La La Land and many more. The orchestra will be joined by some very special guests for this concert, stay tuned to LAO’s Facebook page for announcements…

Tickets sold out for their last concert so book early (and pay no booking fee) to make sure you get to hear LAO like never before.


LAO photo

Romano Viazzani Ensemble plays Tango – Sunday 28th January 2018

Romano Viazzani Ensemble

Romano Viazzani Ensemble

With special guests Jacqui Tate and Joanna Strand – The Pheasantry, King’s Road, Chelsea, London.  

Doors open at 18.30, show starts at 20.00. £20.00

 The Romano Viazzani Ensemble has gathered in its ranks some of the finest musicians from the world of classical, jazz and Latin American music to bring to its audiences Tango-inspired music using an instrumental line-up similar to Astor Piazzolla’s famous quintet. With this combination of Corinna Hentschel on violin, Romano Viazzani on accordion, John Bailey on piano, Jonathan Preiss on guitar and Yaron Stavi on double bass they not only perform the music of Piazzolla as it was originally intended but also use this combination of sounds to bring us new music as well as traditional Argentine and European Tango, and other associated music.  With special guests  Jacqui Tate and Joanna Strand. Book now to avoid disappointment.
P- Joanna Strand Black and White-1200Jacqui Tate

Joanna Strand and Jacqui Tate Christmas Show – The Pheasantry – Kings Road, London – 17th December 2017

Joanna Strand and Jacqui Tate Christmas Show - The Pheasantry

Joanna Strand and Jacqui Tate Christmas Show

The Pheasantry – Kings Road, London – 17th December 2017 Doors open at 18.30 – Show starts at 20.00  £25.00

It’s that time of year when ‘The West End’s favourite jazz- cabaret duo’ return to The Pheasantry for their new Christmas show! The perfect way to kick off Christmas festivities, look forward to festive treats of comedy and song with sensational new arrangements by our vocalists and their incredible band.  With John Bailey on piano, Yaron Stavi on bass, Jason Reeve on drums and Romano Viazzani on accordion.

Book tickets: