Putting the squeeze on classical tunes

Accordion parade helps promote Sixth International Victoria Accordion Festival

Toronto-based Quartetto Gelato will be playing July 21 at St. Andrew's Church as a part of the Sixth International Victoria Accordion Festival running from July 19 to 22.

What makes a loud noise when you squeeze it and loves a good bellow? No, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke. It’s an accordion.

From July 19 to 22 the Sixth International Victoria Accordion Festival will be taking place around town and hosting some of the top accordion acts in the world.

Friday night is Russian night and will feature a concert by world-famous accordionist Alexander Sevastian, from Minsk, Belarus, at St. Andrew’s Church (680 Courtney St.). Sevastian has won four international accordion competitions and played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

On the Saturday night, Toronto-based Quartetto Gelato will be performing at St. Andrew’s. The group, which features Sevastian on accordion, is a crowd favourite. On oboe, violin, cello and, of course, accordion, along with tenor vocals, the quartet serves up a variety of world and classical music styles.

“They are so famous and so popular, particularly in this city,” festival director Aleksandar Milojevic said. “We’re sure people will appreciate their concert.”

Another highlight is the Accordion Parade, a first-time event for the festival. The parade kicks off from Market Square at 1 p.m. on the Saturday and will see squeezebox players coming together to play and parade through downtown to Centennial Square and back.

“Just imagine if you have many orchestras together, that’s the sound that you get,” Milojevic said.

All accordion players are invited to take part in the parade, but are asked to arrive at noon to prepare.

Most exciting for organizers is that this year’s festival is a precursor of sorts to what will prove to be the big event in 2013.

The success of the festival over the past five years was one contributing factor to Victoria being named host of the 66th Coupe Mondiale event in 2013. This will be the first time that the world’s biggest accordion event has been held in Canada and it will run from Aug. 17 to 25. Hundreds of accordionists and even more visitors from all over the world are expected to attend the event, which takes place in a different country every year.

“People are so happy,” Milojevic said. “So that means that we’re doing something good here in Victoria.”

For Milojevic one of the best parts of the festival is seeing the younger players getting involved and falling in love with the instrument, and seeing accordions begin to regain a popularity they haven’t enjoyed since the rise of rock and roll.

“Accordions became a not very cool instrument with all the electric guitars and drums and everything that youngsters could express themselves differently with. But now it’s picking up again,” Milojevic said. “We have kids seven years old or eight years old competing, which is amazing and you don’t see everyday, everywhere.”

Tickets for the Sevastian and Quartetto Gelato concerts are $25, $20 for seniors and students. The workshop is $25 per person or $30 at the door. Tickets are available at Tempo Trend Music and Long and McQuade, by phone at 778-433-8700 or by email at contact@bcaccordion.ca.

For a full schedule go to bcaccordion.ca

 

Just Posted

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read