Norvic Concordia - Festivals

The Festival now known as Accordions International is a residential weekend festival for accordion enthusiasts who are offered a wide range of workshops and concerts.  It is organised by Heather Smith, joint editor of Accordion Profile magazine and has been held at a variety of venues on the Norfolk / Suffolk coast.

Norvic Concordia has been privileged to play at the festival each year since its inauguration in 2001 and played a different programme for each.

2001-2004  at Pontins Holiday Centre at Pakefield nr Lowestoft, Suffolk                               2005-2007 at Haven Holiday Park at Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk                                               2008-         at Seacroft Holiday Village, Hemsby nr Great Yarmouth

An Impression of Norvic Concordia by Martin Tracy, Pakefield 2001

A regular performer at the Festivals is Giancarlo Caporilli from Italy. We were flattered when he arranged some music especially for us to play in 2005.

Other international performers at the Festival include Alexander and Vitaly Dimitriev from Russia, Art van Damme from USA, Murl Allen Sanders from USA, Duo Paris-Moscou:Domi Emorine (France) and Roman Jbanov (Russia), Oivind Farman (Norway) and many more.

Performers from the UK include Jack Emblow and Tony Compton and Pearl Fawcett Adriano, Gary Blair, Harry Hussey, Bert Santilly,

For those who normally only associate the instrument with musette waltzes or polkas, which the ensemble play with enthusiasm, they are pleasantly surprised that they can be moved by a slow expressive piece such as Barber's Adagio for Strings (played as a tribute to September 11th victims and appreciated by American visitors who attended the 2003 Pakefield Accordion Festival). It is then realised that the accordion, through careful control of the bellows, is capable of a wide range of expression including the quietest of diminuendos.

Norvic Concordia appearing in one of the concerts at the 2002 Pakefield Accordion Festival
Norvic Concordia appearing in one of the concerts at the 2002 Pakefield Accordion Festival

Charlie Watkins, writing in the October edition of "Accordion Today", said, "Everything was there for the making of the best festival I ever attended and I've seen a few."

Writing in the October 2002 edition of "Accordion Profile" magazine Heather Smith said of their Friday evening performance: "Norvic Concordia, a sextet led by MD Peter Ayers, were a "hit" with the audience from the very start of their performance. Playing beautiful arrangements by Peter, they do not use any amplification, thus producing a superb acoustic sound filled with colour and style." When they played on the Sunday evening she wrote: "Again, Norvic Concordia gave a faultless performance with music arranged by Peter Ayers, treating the audience to the wonderful sound of acoustic accordions."

In 2003 Heather Smith described the opening concert as "a joy to listen to." and Gisela Mowles, a member of Canterbury Accordion & Social Club, also described this performance as "high class entertainment", adding, "I thought they were brilliant and loved their music."

Bob Goad, a published accordion arranger, heard Norvic Concordia at the 2003 festival and said, "I was extremely impressed with your group's performance - the interpretation of the arrangements was not only technically striking, it was sensitive and embraced the "soul" of each arrangement. And if you'll allow me to speak as an arranger myself, I hope Peter will like to know that I found all of his arrangements very, very good. I can quite see why you referred to them as "special"."

At Hemsby in 2010 the group played a composition 'Orgoglioso Tango'  by Gianni Miritzzi, one of the Italian Virtuosi attending the Festival. The photo shows him with the group.


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