Events News

London Accordion Orchestra Return Triumphant!

The London Accordion Orchestra have just returned from the 12th World Music Festival held in Innsbruck, Austria 5th – 8th May 2016 last weekend. We are delighted to report that they were awarded 2nd place in the advanced orchestra category! The award is even more remarkable when you release that it’s been almost 30 years since any British orchestra has managed such a result. At a time when there is a lack of British soloists achieving significant awards in international competitions it’s great to be able to bolster the reputation of British accordion playing abroad.

Ian Watson & Julie North
Ian Watson & Julie North

The London Accordion Orchestra were joined by Jenny’s Accordionists who played in honour of Jenny Neal, their conductor, who sadly died a couple of years ago. Winning the ensemble category was a terrific moment for the group and there were plenty of union flags at the prize giving in the Olympic Stadium. A huge cheer went up from the audience for LAO as over 700 people watched their performance on the Friday.

The LAO performed 2 world premieres by British composers: Rhapsody by Stuart Hancock, Karneval by Matthew Scott. They also played a piece called ‘Flight’ (which you can watch in a video recorded in 2014 below) written by their conductor, Ian Watson.

Speaking to Accordion Central, Ian Watson said

“The LAO is one big family and I’ve never worked with a more committed and fun group of musicians. We work hard and certainly play hard”.

The orchestra have been invited to give a joint concert with Nuremburg Accordion Orchestra next spring and they look forward to developing their relationships with these fantastic European orchestras in the future.

World Music Festival LogoThe World Music Festival is the biggest competition for accordion and harmonica orchestras/ensembles in the world! All types of accordion are welcome including piano, chromatic and bandoneon players to take part at the competition. The aim is to play music together, in different combinations and all music styles are allowed.

Congratulations to the LAO!


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