Press room

Our Press Room provides current and background information about Euphonia and gives you the opportunity to read past press reports about the orchestra. We are happy to respond to inquiries by representatives of the press. Contact for journalists: Tel. +49 30 61 28 04 61, E-Mail: info[at]auris-berlin.de


Berliner Woche, May 30, 2007:

Musicians achieve a breakthrough – accordion orchestra gets top marks at the World Music Festival in Innsbruck

At the ninth World Music Festival in Innsbruck Euphonia was awarded the highest possible marks.

300 orchestras and musical groups from all over the world took part in the World Music Festival in Austria. This festival is held every three years and is considered one of the most significant competitions for harmonica music.

In the category “advanced level”, in which more than 70 orchestras were competing, Euphonia decisively won first prize with the rarely awarded highest possible marks. The orchestra conductor Sonja Merz received the winning certificate for her musical interpretation of “Die Galerie” (The Galery) from the hands of the Württemburg Finance Minister Pfister.

Approximately 25 devoted amateurs from various walks of life, ranging in age from 18 to 69, play under the name Euphonia. After various good results in competitions in previous years, the success in Innsbruck represents an international breakthrough for the orchestra.


Harmonica International, 1/2006:

The Royal Albert Hall stands in Berlin
Accordion orchestra Euphonia celebrates its 20th anniversary

Under the motto „Accordion with Passion“, the accordion orchestra Euphonia staged its yearly concert in November 2005 and celebrated its 20th anniversary at the same time.

Playing to a full house, the orchestra, conducted by Sonja Merz, the founder of the orchestra, took the audience on a musical journey through the last 20 years. Often it were the impressions and experiences from performances in France, the Czech Republic or China that characterized the unmistakable “sound” of Euphonia. The 25 musicians ranging from 14 to 65 years in age brought a piece to the concert from each country.

Sonja Merz created the following route: Euphonia opened the concert (which was heard by many guests of honor and even a Fan Club from Switzerland) with the well-known Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s fifth Symphony – with harp accompaniment. The journey continued with Astor Piazzolla’s Escualo and French accordion sounds from Lydie Auvray. With an Asiatic sketch that was visually enhanced by a slide show, Euphonia called up memories of appearances in Peking and Shanghai. Riverdance and melodies from Walt Disney films brought the trip to an end before Euphonia congratulated itself with “Pomp and Circumstance.” The mood could not have been better in the Royal Albert Hall itself: To a slide-show of firework displays, the exuberant audience joined in with a powerful vocal accompaniment, waved luminous flags and cheered the orchestra with standing ovations.


Berliner Woche, November 2, 2005:

Everything except folk music –
Accordion orchestra celebrates its 20th birthday.

Whoever automatically associates accordion music with Karl Moik and the ‘Musikantenstadl’ has not yet heard the orchestra Euphonia.
For the last 20 years the repertoire of the orchestra of the Music School Steglitz-Zehlendorf has featured tango, classical music and popular works.

Sonja Merz brought the orchestra into being 20 years ago and still conducts it today. „No other instrument can produce such a variety of sounds“, says the 45-year-old enthusiastically. Nevertheless, the accordion is not the most popular choice of young people who want to learn an instrument. With Anja Staeck this was different.

The 14-year-old Anja is the youngest player and has been with the orchestra now for two years. “We don’t play folk music,” she says, when asked about the repertoire, and looks a bit piqued. Pieces like the Star-Wars melody – she learned this one while playing in the youth orchestra “Knallbonbon”, which is, as they say, the forerunner in the concert. Anja even plays a song from the Pet-Shop-Boys. Griet Bockhagen prefers the classical repertoire. The 65-year-old is the oldest member of the orchestra and has played the accordion ever since she was a small child. “But I had a long break before I started up again in 1994,” relates Bockhagen. “Playing in the group simply brings tremendous fun.” The accordion orchestra has carried this fun out into the world.

The 17 women and four men have already performed in the Czech Republic, in France and in China. And they brought back a piece from every country for the anniversary concert.


Berliner Morgenpost, June 12, 2004:

Tango Nuevo
Buenos Aires in Berlin

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 Wochenblatt , March 12, 2003:

Three Concerts in the Middle Kingdom
Accordion orchestra gives guest performances in China

Invited by the Chinese Ambassador, the accordion orchestra Euphonia from the Music School Steglitz-Zehlendorf spent ten days visiting China.

Sonja Merz, the conductor of the orchestra, recalls enthusiastically: ”We were treated almost like state visitors.“ Twenty-five people, including the musicians and their traveling companions, journeyed in China from the February 3rd to 13th.

Three concerts in Shanghai and Peking, the partner city of Berlin, were scheduled. The first concert in Peking took place during a conference for accordion teachers. In the second concert, the orchestra played together with young Chinese musicians. Sonja Merz was impressed by the self-discipline of the children, who learned all of their pieces off by heart.