|Charles Magnante (7 December 1905 - 30 December 1986)|
was an American piano-accordionist, arranger, composer, author and
educator. His artistry helped raise the image of the accordion from an
instrument considered suitable only for folk music to an instrument
accepted in many music genres.
|Pietro Deiro (1888 – 1954)|
Deiro was one of the most influential accordionists of the first half of
the 20th century.
began playing Diatonic button accordion professionally in a tavern in
Seattle in 1908. Within a few short months, his brother Guido (already
an accomplished piano-accordionist in Europe) arrived in Seattle, and
taught his brother how to play the piano accordion. Both brothers became
minor celebrities on the vaudeville circuit; Guido in 1910 and Pietro at
least by 1912.
|Sylvia Prior (14 March 1922 - 9 August 2013)|
Prior was born in Los Angeles, California on to Sylvester Louis Prior
and Mary Louise Landon Prior. She passed away peacefully on August 9,
2013 in Ventura, California. Sylvia taught accordion and piano in Los
Angeles and later in Oxnard for nearly 60 years, carrying on the
business her father started in 1917. She loved teaching music and took
great pride in knowing that she had touched the lives of countless
students during her career.
The most important thing in Sylvia's life, however, was her family, especially her two daughters. Sylvia was a devoted mother who taught by example the importance of kindness, generosity and compassion. She was one of a kind and will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Sylvia is survived by her daughters Adrian Jo Guidotti (David Ross) and Sylvana Louise Guidotti, M.D. (Kevin Wells), as well as her sister Patricia Kessen (Willard) and her nephew Jeffery Kessen. She is also survived by many devoted friends and her faithful dogs Gina and Scout. Sylvia was predeceased by her big sister Dorothymae Nelsen, husbands Tito Guidotti and Richard Westhouse, and her niece and goddaughter Dorothy Lee Pabst.
|Hugo Herrmann (19 April 1896 - 7 September 1967)|
Herrmann was a renowned composer, conductor, organist and accordionist.
His first instrument was the organ, however in addition to this, he also
studied piano, composition and conducting at "Hochschule für Musik"
in Berlin. During a stay in the USA, he served as a conductor, concert
musician, organist and church choir conductor in Detroit from 1923 to
|Willard A. Palmer (31 January 1917 - 30 April 1996)|
name of “Bill” Palmer is certainly the USA’s most influential in
music pedagogy, critical editions, and performance.
The American musician, composer, scholar and music educator, Willard (Bill) A. Palmer was a child prodigy. At 13, he played the piano on the radio. He studied both piano and accordion which were to form the basis of his musical endeavors.
After the war, Willard A. Palmer and his former student, Bill Hughes joined forces. They can be credited with the high point in accordion performance in the USA. Palmer collaborated with Hughes in producing a series of accordion method books which have had world wide impact. Sales ran into the millions making it the cornerstone of the Alfred Publishing Co. empire.
As an educator, Willard A. Palmer was ahead of his time - instrumental in carving an indisputable niche for the accordion at the university level. He and Hughes took the accordion beyond mere college acceptance, into the realm of establishing an actual accordion department within the University of Houston, where they were faculty members enabling young accordionists to earn both Bachelor's and Master's degrees with their instrument. Palmer also founded the "Palmer-Hughes Accordion Symphony", a superb orchestra which appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York.
During his period as a professional accordionist, Willard A. Palmer sought to perfect his yet-evolving instrument and contributed significantly to the development of the stradella-free bass "convertor" accordion. He designed the "Palmer Emperor Convertor", and collaborated with Titano Accordions to achieve the realization of his creative ideas.
Willard W. Palmer eventually became one of the most important editors of keyboard music in the United States. His editions of works of the masters are highly acclaimed and respected in the most elite music circles. Palmer is noted especially for his painstaking detail and care in the scholarly researching of original editions. He became Alfred Publishing Company's Senior Editor in 1964, researching the original manuscripts of the great masters of keyboard literature, with special emphasis on the study of performance practices in the Baroque, Classic and Romantic eras. He achieved recognition as the leading authority on Baroque ornamentation and lectured on the subject at various colleges, universities and music festivals throughout the country.
While achieving accolades for his educational works for other instruments, Willard W. Palmer remained a steadfast supporter of his beloved accordion. Willard A. Palmer's revolutionary teaching principles were reflected in 789 of his published works, which included an accordion method, several piano methods, a method for Hammond Chord Organ, a guitar method, hundreds of solo pieces and many choral works.
In 2013 his son, Willard Palmer, III, donated his father’s musical estate that includes one of the finest accordions of the museum (Titano Super Emperor V, 1996) and the decorous two-manual, eleven-pedal harpsichord (A. Cecil Taylor, 1979) that graces the concert hall.
American Accordionists Association
|American Accordionists Association (AAA) (founded 1938)|
American Accordionists Association (AAA) was established on March 9,
1938 with Pietro Deiro serving as the first President. The organization
holds an annual accordion festival. It has also commissioned works for
accordion from more than 50 composers
The Deffner Legacy
|Faithe Deffner (17 March 1931 - 3 June 2014)|
Deffner was one of the most important spokesperson for the accordion was
one of the first people to recognize the significance of our American
accordion museum. As international manufacturer of Titano and Pancordion
instruments, industry supplier, and publisher she stood as example and
the birthplace of the accordion, Castelfidardo, Italy, come the world
famous Titano Accordions. Over the years, renowned craftsmen have
fashioned the superb Titano musical instruments, blending modern
technology with the time-honored techniques handed down from one
generation to the next.
In 1965, Ernest Deffner purchased the Titano Accordion Company and gave the task of redirecting its scope to his wife, Faithe Deffner who had a solid background in publicity and public relations as well as working knowledge of instrument design and performance requirements. Over the years, the Ernest Deffner firm expanded the line, worked to develop accordion study programs at universities and colleges, and made great strides in broadening the Titano channels of distribution.
American distribution grew substantially through a network of the
foremost music schools and teachers serviced by the Deffner firm.
Canadian sales mushroomed through the efforts of Fred Kent who operated
Mid-West Musical Instruments of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with his
partner, Loren Cartwright.
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