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Competitions and concerts

Euphonia first Accordion Orchestra in the Berlin Philharmonie
In June 2014, together with its conductor Sonja Merz and soloist Rainer Wolters, first violinist of the Berlin Radio-Symphony Orchestra, Euphonia was the first accordion orchestra ever to give a concert in the large hall of the Berlin Philharmonie. With an audience of over 1700 attending the summer concert Soléa, the orchestra’s most ambitious project to date was a resounding success. For Euphonia and its conductor, performing in Berlin’s main concert hall was a long-standing dream come true. Sonja Merz was pleased that the positive resonance of the audience greatly exceeded expectations. She said that many, especially young members of the audience, were surprised by the sounds and possibilities of the accordion. She believes the orchestra will be greatly motivated, having experienced their own fascination for this instrument being taken up by so many enthusiastic listeners.

Standing-Room Only in the Holy-Cross Church for the Winter Concert “Polaris”
Clear, frosty nights, nature sleeping under a star-filled sky, a friendly snowball-fight perhaps? In January 2014, Euphonia presented a musical interpretation on the accordion of winter in all its facets. Under the unerring baton of their conductor, Sonja Merz, the 25 accordion players charmed the audience in the sold-out Holy-Cross Church with bewitching minor chords, rugged northern harmonies and wild rhythms.

New Year’s Concert with the Accordion Orchestra Euphonia in January 2012
The Euphonia accordionists ventured on to the Viennese dance floor with a New Year’s programme of classical music, tangos, polkas, czardas and waltzes. The orchestra was joined by the young cimbalom virtuoso Enikő Ginzery, who is known for her innovative, rousing style of playing this zither-like stringed instrument.

Gala concert with sheng-virtuoso Wu Wei in July 2011
On the occasion of the 10th Chinese and German cultural and musical exchange programme, Euphonia and master sheng soloist Wu Wei gave a formal concert in the Holy Cross Church in Berlin Kreuzberg. Wu Wei is considered to be the leading interpreter of this traditional Chinese wind-instrument in Europe.

EUPHONIALE - 25 years accordion with passion
The accordion orchestra Euphonia in Berlin celebrated 25 years of music with two anniversary concerts in November 2010. The programme comprised classical, tango and world music, including compositions by Bach, Galliano, Piazzolla and Brehme.

“Between the Games” – Euphonia gave fund-raising concert for the benefit of kickHIV!
Under the patronage of the former federal minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Euphonia and the Engelhardt-Zerbe Duo (piano and saxophone) gave a fund-raising concert “Between the Games” in June 2010 in the Church of the Passion in Kreuzberg in Berlin. The proceeds of the concert with tango and jazz went to the kickHIV!-Project of the young charitable organisation Go Ahead! The goal was to draw attention to the devastating problem of AIDS in southern Africa and to collect donations for a project which connects AIDS-education with soccer.

Euphonia achieves rating "excellent" in the category "concert level" at the 10th International World Music Festival 2010
At the 10th World Music Festival in May in Innsbruck, Austria, the accordion orchestra Euphonia achieved the rating "excellent" in the category "concert level" for its interpretation of Hans Brehme’s Ballet-Suite. Competing with 35 other orchestras, Euphonia, conducted by Sonja Merz, was entered for the first time in the highest category of the "unofficial accordion world championships". The festival, held every 3 years, is considered worldwide to be the most significant competition for challenging accordion music, with a total of around 10,000 participants. In 2007 Euphonia decisively won first prize in the category "advanced level".

Concert Tour in China with Tango and Film Music in October 2009
Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together. That was the motto of Euphonia’s second concert tour in China from Oktober 19th to November 1st 2009. The main reason for the trip was to participate in three concerts taking place within the framework of the event series of the same name, organised by the German Foreign Office, the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business, the Goethe Institute and the initiative "Germany – Land of Ideas." Euphonia performed together with Chinese accordion students on the German-Chinese Promenade. Further performances were given at concert halls in Yichang and Luoyang. The orchestra was accompanied by the dance pair Debra Ferrari and Emiliano Giménez. The two Argentines danced to tango and film music. Again, just as in 2003, the musicians were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for accordion music demonstrated by their Chinese audiences.

Tango concert with the legendary bandoneon player Luis Stazo in May 2009
On May 15, 2009 the tango enthusiasts of Euphonia and the bandoneon players Luis Stazo and Peter Reil made music together on stage in the concert “tango squared.” The performance of the tangos which Stazo arranged especially for Euphonia was a highlight of this concert in the Church of the Passion in Kreuzberg, Berlin.

First prize at the 9th World Music Festival 2007
In 2007 Euphonia took first prize at the ninth World Music Festival in Innsbruck in the category “advanced level”. In a contest with more than 70 other orchestras, Euphonia’s achievement was honored by the jury with the rating of “outstanding” and the rarely awarded highest possible number of points.
”Musicians achieve a breakthrough – accordion orchestra gets top marks at the World Music Festival in Innsbruck” (Berliner Woche, May 30, 2007)

Twentieth anniversary concert 2005
In 2005 Euphonia celebrated its 20th anniversary. Playing to a full house, the orchestra took the audience on a musical journey. Often it was the impressions and experiences from performances in France, the Czech Republic or China that characterized the unmistakable “sound” of Euphonia. The musicians played a piece from each country, among others the well-known Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s fifth Symphony with harp accompaniment, French accordion sounds from Lydie Auvray and an Asiatic sketch. For the final number Euphonia congratulated itself with “Pomp and Circumstance”. The atmosphere in the auditorium could not have been better: While a slide-show of firework displays added to the mood, the exuberant audience added a powerful vocal accompaniment to the music, waved luminous flags and cheered the orchestra with standing ovations.
”The Royal Albert Hall stands in Berlin” (Harmonika International 1/2006)

Tango concert in the Church of Zion in Berlin in 2004
In June 2004 Euphonia staged a joint tango concert with the bandoneon soloist Bettina Hartl and the “Jazz Vocals” in the Church of Zion in Berlin-Mitte.
“What does it sound like, when 20 accordions play Piazzolla? How do ten vocalists bring rhythm into a tango? And what answer comes from the bandoneon? Three interpreters approach Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Nuevo in their own particular ways. They ask questions and give answers which could not be more different.” (Berliner Morgenpost, June 12, 2004)

Third prize in the European Accordion Festival in Prague 2004
In 2004 Euphonia successfully took part in the competition of the third European Accordion Festival in Prague. In awarding Euphonia the third prize, the jury confirmed the high musical standard of the orchestra.

Euphonia on tour in Peking and Shanghai 2003
A special highlight for Euphonia was a concert tour to China at the beginning of 2003. By invitation of the Chinese ambassador, Euphonia gave guest performances in Beijing and Shanghai.

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