Following the very successful inaugural World Accordion Orchestra debut performance at the Coupe Mondiale 2007 under the Musical Direction of Joan C. Sommers, the magnificent staging of the CIA World Accordion Orchestra II in Scotland in 2008 and the WAO III in Auckland, New Zealand, we are delighted to announce that the 'CIA World Accordion Orchestra IV' is to be held during the 2010 Coupe Mondiale in Varaždin, Croatia.

We would like to welcome you to this exciting International accordion event and encourage your participation in this historic 'World Accordion Orchestra IV'!

The members of the 'CIA World Accordion Orchestra IV' will again include musicians from many different countries – some of whom are members of organized accordion orchestras invited to perform during the schedule of the Coupe Mondiale. Other members are invited professional individuals from throughout the world. Many of these players hold offices in the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes or serve in a great variety of positions in the accordion organizations of their own countries as well as delegates to the CIA World Congress held during the Coupe Mondiale. Following CIA tradition, the President of the CIA will serve as Concert Master, so the World Accordion Orchestra IV welcomes the new CIA President Raymond Bodell to this position.

For more information about performing in the World Accordion Orchestra, please fill in the submit form below, or contact:

Joan C. Sommers - e-mail:

Participants are required to attend two mandatory rehearsals in preparation for the performance at the Gala Concert Closing Ceremony. Rehearsals held at the Central High School Hall in Varaždin are as follows:
  • Mandatory Rehearsal: Friday, 22 October 2010 - 16:00 -18:00
  • Mandatory Rehearsal: Saturday, 23 October 2010 - 13:00 -15:00
  • Performance: Saturday, 23 October 2010 - Concert begins at 20:00

  • Iconosphere (World Premiere Performance) by John Franceschina (10:41)
    1. Prologue
    2. Parados
    3. Parabasis
    4. Agon
    5. Syzygy
    6. Cordax
    (Performed without pause)
    Conductor: Joan Cochran Sommers

  • Werziade I by Fritz Dobler (6:26)

  • Wither, Wither Violet by Josip Matanoviæ and Saša Bastalec (3:00)
    An arrangement based on a Croatian Folk Song
    Slavko Magdić

Joan C. Sommers
Slavko Magdic

Joan C. Sommers (Founder - CIA World Accordion Orchestra) was awarded the title of Professor Emerita upon her retirement from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music (USA), where she established and taught the accordion degree programme for forty years. She has arranged innumerable works for the accordion orchestra over many years, often for the UMKC Accordion Orchestra which, under her direction, competed in and won more First Prizes in Virtuoso Accordion Orchestra Competitions than any other similar American group.

In both 1955 and 1956 she earned the right to represent the USA in the Coupe Mondiale and, although she didn’t win, it was those experiences which opened her eyes to the tremendous opportunities available to accordionists; perhaps it also fixed her life-long interest in worldwide accordion activities. She has held positions in several music organisations, including the Accordionists & Teachers Guild International (ATG) and the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA – IMC-UNESCO). Professor Sommers continues to adjudicate, coach soloists, prepare accordion orchestra arrangements, and conduct accordion orchestras regularly.

Slavko Magdić (Slovenia, Croatia) graduated in accordion and conducting from the Gnessin Music Academy in Moscow. He took part in several competitions for accordion and conducting and distinguished himself with extraordinary results by winning the National Accordion Competition in 1970, the Gnessin Conducting Competition in 1979 and the National Conducting Competition in 1983.

As a conductor of Symphony Orchestras, he has conducted some of the best national symphony orchestras including The Zagreb Philharmonic, The Belgrade Philharmonic and The Symphony Orchestra of RTV Zagreb. He has also worked as a teacher and guest conductor of different accordion orchestras thereby working with many accordion students in Slovenia and Croatia, helping to develop their accordion skills.

His students have received numberous prizes in National and International competitions. He has served as a member of the International Jury at the competitions in Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, England, and as President of the Artistic Committee at the International competition in Pula (Croatia) for several years. In addition to making many transcriptions for solo accordion and accordion orchestras, he has also worked to help commission new pieces for accordion and accordion orchestras. In recognition of his pedagogical work in Slovenia, he was awarded with the "Fran Gerbic" and "Dr. Roman Klasinc" Awards.

Iconosphere by John Franceschina

ICONOSPHERE is a six movement piece by John Franceschina. It is composed for the World Accordion Orchestra IV and dedicated to Joan Sommers who will conduct the World Premiere Performance on the Grand Finale Concert of the Coupe Mondiale in Veraždin, Croatia on October 23, 2010. The American composer, John Franceschina, is known throughout the world and has a long list of successful compositions for both accordion solo and accordion orchestra.

Among his compositions for accordion solo are: Scaramouche (the 1976 Coupe Mondiale Test Piece). County Fair, Ainsi Suite, Conestoga. The list of accordion orchestra compositions includes: A Mass for Accordion Orchestra and Choir for the Vatican, Vathek (a suite for accordion orchestra), Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra, Passacaglia and Fugue, Kynaston, Oroonoko, The Time Machine, Macbeth Fantasy, Ca’ad Zan, and most recently, Journey to the Center of the Earth, a 3 part music theatre play.

As written by the composer regarding ICONOSPHERE: “the movements are intended to be performed in order without pause (as occasionally the end of one movement begins the next). The work is based on the Thesmaphoriazusae of Aristophanes, an Old Comedy play that suggested the structure of the music:

1. Prologue - sets out the dramatic (here, musical) ideas that are to be developed;
2. Parados (or Parade) - announcing the entrance of the chorus who bear witness to the ideas being developed;
3. Parabasisa - kind of scherzo allowing the author (composer) the opportunity of ridiculing the ideas;
4. Agona - life-or-death moment of the dramatic idea;
5. Syzygy - the playing out of the dramatic idea (a musical development section);
6. Cordax - the celebratory dance that ended every Greek Old Comedy.

John Franceschina is not only a composer, arranger, musical director and conductor but is also a well-known published author and playwright, having a long list of successful books and plays. His symphonic works have been heard at Carnegie Hall and performed by major symphony orchestras around the world. He has composed for the musical theatre in NY and on tour. His musical adaptations of Spoon River Anthology and Pudd’nhead Wilson toured the United States under the auspices of the National Shakespeare Company following extended runs in NYC. He has collaborated with several librettists and won numerous awards. His translations and adaptations have been performed many times. John Franceschina has written incidental music for several theatrical productions throughout the USA . As a pianist/arranger, he has accompanied many of the best known performers in the world. He has also served as conductor and arranger for a number of off-Broadway shows.

His books have been widely published by various publishers, including Oxford University Press, Hollowbrook, Garland, Greenwood, McFarland, Routledge, and iUniverse.

Werziade I by Fritz Dobler

Werziade I, although the World Premiere was in 1972, the history of this piece already had its beginnings in 1961 at an International Competition in Stuttgart, Germany. The youth accordion-orchestra "Solitude" from Stuttgart-Weilimdorf with conductor Heinz Oettinger competed in the category 'Excellence' and attained 1st Prize. The President of the Jury was Fritz Dobler.

As is the common procedure, the jury gives recommendations and comments on the performance, so conductor Heinz Oettinger and a member of the orchestra "Herbert Werz" came to the jury desk and discussed the performance with Fritz Dobler. Mr. Dobler gave some comments on the well performed parts of the performed piece and as well some hints where they could strive to make it better. At the end of the conversation Dobler asked Mr. Werz about his motivation to come to the event and what his daily profession was. Werz answered, that he was a hairdresser, and that in fact he could do Dobler's haircut in a more advance professional way. On the very same day he gave Fritz Dobler a haircut.

Since that time Fritz Dobler has been a regular customer at the hair Salon Herbert WERZ. Both families (Dobler and Werz) became friends and went out for dinner, played chess, made cycling tours and even took big overseas journeys together such as to Kenya. They had much fun sharing their common adventures.

During the 60's one of Dobler's comments to his wife was: "I've decided to write a composition about this crazy hairdresser." However, this was a task that entailed a lot of work. So in the end, Dobler was not very comfortable with his promise and it only ended up that year after year Herbert Werz would ask how the progress was on his new composition, but without any result.

Years later, one day, Mrs. Dobler called Herbert Werz and told him: "I believe the composition is going to be finished, now we need a name for it."  Dobler meant: "This piece is only written for you, Mr.Werz. There is WERZ in it and WERZ must be in the title." After endless propositions about the name of the piece, the final decision came to WERZIADE. It was the first of a series from four compositions (Werziade II - 1982, Werziade III - 1987 and Werziade IV - 1990).

Fritz Dobler (born 1927), the current DHV President (German National Accordion Organization) was the 8th CIA Coupe Mondale World Accordion Championships Winner in 1954, and went on to distinguish himself as one of the foremost accordion orchestra composers and conductors in the world.

"Wither, Wither Violet” arranged by Josip Matanoviæ and Saša Bastalec (right).

Wither, Wither Violet is a Croatian Folk Song from the Meðimurje Region just north of Varaždin. This piece for the World Accordion Orchestra IV is arranged by Josip Matanoviæ and Saša Bastalec.

Important details for all participants in the CIA World Accordion Orchestra IV

On behalf of the Croatian Accordion Teachers Association (CATA) (Hrvatsko Društvo Harmonikaških Pedagoga - HDHP), the sponsor of the 2010 Coupe Mondiale under the auspices of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes, we would like to welcome you to this exciting international accordion event. Thank you for your participation in the World Accordion Orchestra IV. This is now the fourth time such an accordion orchestra representing so many different countries has been organized at the Coupe Mondiale. We are very proud to have you take part in it and we feel it will be one of the most enjoyable experiences in your musical life.

The CIA World Accordion Orchestra IV will be conducted by two renowned international conductors, Professors Joan C. Sommers (USA) and Slavko Magdić (Croatia). They have written and arranged music for accordion orchestras and both have served as conductors of accordion orchestras over a long period of time. It is a fortunate opportunity to have such experienced conductors for the world orchestra.

The orchestra will perform three pieces: the World Premiere Performance of "Iconosphere" by the American composer, John Franceschina, "Werziade I" by the German composer, Fritz Dobler, and Wither, Wither Violet, a Croatian Folk Song from the Meðimurje Region just north of Varaždin and arranged by Josip Matanoviæ and Saša Bastalec.

These pieces have been selected very carefully. It will be possible for this large orchestra to perform them well, both musically and technically, providing each individual player prepares his parts in a professional manner. This will allow the rehearsals to be devoted to overall performance matters regarding balance and interpretation details without spending needless minutes on measures that should have been mastered long before these crucial full rehearsals.

The two mandatory rehearsals will be held in the Central High School Hall in Varaždin and will probably begin at 3 p.m. (set up) on Friday, 22 October and Saturday, 23 October. They will last 2 hours each until 5 p.m. Any changes will be announced and posted online as necessary.

The performance will take place on Saturday evening, October 23, as part of the Grand Finale Concert. Any announcements regarding rehearsal and performance times will be posted here on the WAO IV information page.

Members are requested to be in their proper chair and ready to play at those times. Seating charts will be available on which you may find your name and placement. All members of the orchestra must provide their own individual music and music stand. Please put your name on all music, your accordion and your accordion case; this will avert any misplacement or loss. Ladies, please do not bring purses onstage during the performance; leave them with a friend while you perform. Everyone, please see that your mobile phones are turned off during both rehearsals and performance!

The concert dress will be black shoes, black trousers or skirts, and black or white shirts or blouses. Gentlemen, please wear a tie and black socks. Coats will not be required. There will be photographs taken and much publicity surrounding this concert; therefore, we will want the CIA World Accordion Orchestra IV to look as professional as possible.

Your orchestra part is important whether it is numbered 1 or 7 and all players are equally responsible for the success of the performance. You may practice with the suggested metronome markings in mind but please remember that conductors may not always conduct exactly like a metronome; players must always watch the conductor and listen to all other players. Please use the correct switches/registers as printed on the music; never use a lower octave than is indicated. If you have a musette tuning or a particularly brightly tuned instrument, please do not use a register or switch which emphasizes that sound; try to blend your sound with those around you. The musette sound will not be appropriate in any of the selections being performed by the orchestra.

Some parts may have a divisi marking. If you have such a part and have not been told whether to play upper or lower, please check with your neighbor in the orchestra and decide between the two of you which one will play upper and which will play lower.

Correct attention to dynamics and musical expression will be expected of this professional group of invited musicians, but you should bring a pencil to the rehearsal just in case you will need to make notes.

If, for any reason, you have been assigned a part but will not be performing with the orchestra, you are urged to notify Joan Sommers ( or the director of your organized group if you are a member of one. Obviously, there is a need for balance within the parts and for the seating arrangements. If you have questions about the music, the rehearsal or the concert, please do not hesitate to speak with your conductor, or contact Joan Sommers at any time. Professor Sommers has agreed to serve as the contact person representing the Confédération.

Again, thank you for making participation in the CIA World Accordion Orchestra IV an important part of your musical life and of your trip to Varaždin, Croatia for the 2010 Coupe Mondiale. Remember to stay informed about all events by checking this Coupe Mondiale website.

Please complete the following steps using either your 'mouse' or 'tab' key to move between sections:
  • (1) Name and Contact Information (this must include e-mail address for parts to be e-mailed to)
  • (2) Approximate Playing Level, Accordion and additional information
  • (3) Submit your World Accordion Orchestra IV Registration

Please note: Each part in the orchestra is of great importance. Music will be assigned by the organizers to ensure a balance of parts. The music will be sent to you via e-mail in .pdf format.

Deadline for Orchestra registration is September 20, 2010.

1. Name and Contact Information - Please complete the following information
Family Name
First Name
E-mail Address
Confirm E-mail Address
Contact Telephone Number Country: City: Number:
2. Playing and Accordion Information
I would prefer parts to be assigned with level
I will play an accordion with treble notes   and
I will be playing another type of accordion
Questions or additional information
3. Please Submit Your WAO IV Registration
Please submit your information by clicking the "SUBMIT WAO IV INFO" button below.


We look forward to welcoming you to Croatia for the 63rd Coupe Mondiale and World Accordion Orchestra IV!

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