Irene Tillung (Norway) — Filigree compositions of Nordic beauty
Norwegian accordionist and composer Irene Tillung is trained in classical music, but has also been playing traditional and folk music for years.
Since 2002 she has earned her living as a touring musician in the genres of classical music, folk/traditional music and theatre music.
In recent years, Irene has increasingly devoted herself to composing. In addition to her own music, she has written for theatre, film and television, radio and symphony orchestras and composed a commissioned piece for the Vossa Jazz 2021 festival.
She has her own ten-piece ensemble, Ti på Taket, a duo with saxophonist Tore Brunborg and plays with folk singer Eli Storbekken, among others.
Djordje Davidovic (Serbia) — Precision and vivacity at the highest level
At the age of three, little Djordje begged his parents to make him an imaginary cardboard accordion. When he finally got a real instrument, he was barely big enough to hold it. Today, the Serbian Djordje Davidovic lives in Vienna, his accordion has become his closest companion and his musical career is paved with 30 first awards at international accordion competitions.
He regularly performs as a soloist, with orchestra and as a chamber musician in Asia, America and Europe, plays with various ensembles for new music, various well-known Balkan musicians, his Djordje Davidovic Trio and the Avido Duo.
Marcello Squillante (Italy) — Serenata from the soul of the South
Marcello Squillante originates from Naples and is musically deeply connected to his hometown.
The trained accordionist and singer is co-founder of the band Ars Nova Napoli, whose repertoire ranges from the music of Campania to Apulian pizzica, Sicilian serenades, Neapolitan classics, Calabrian tarantellas and Greek rembetiko.
Despite playing countless festivals, Marcello believes with conviction in the importance of street art as a means of sharing pop culture and free artistic expression.
Marcello has collaborated with numerous traditional and ethnic music groups and artists from all over the world, as well as with various theatre productions.
Paul Schuberth (Austria) — Experimental surprises in a melodious robe
Paul Schuberth's fast-paced and multi-faceted training on the accordion began at the age of seven, followed shortly afterwards by piano and composition.
From the beginning, the Austrian was inspired by unconventional accordion masters such as the group Accordion Tribe - which spurred his inclination to improvise and compose. A unique blend of classical music, jazz and experimental sounds emerged.
His favourite projects include his duo with the Czech violinist and singer Tomáš Novák and the trio akk:zent. In addition to his solo career, Paul has performed in various projects in the fields of theatre, literature, contemporary dance, new and classical music and jazz.
Servais Haanen (Germany/Netherlands) — The Master of Fine Sounds
As a musical maverick, Servais Haanen is the mastermind and organiser of the Akkordeonale. The master of fine sounds composes and arranges the ensemble pieces of the festival and leads through the programme. His moderations, peppered with bone-dry humour, have cult status.
Servais has long been working on breaking the boundaries of the accordion and integrating elements from new music, minimal structures and other unusual sounds. Thanks to his band work (including Appellation Contrôlée, Quatro Ventos, KlangWeltenFestival) and composing for music theatre productions and documentary films, Servais brings a wide variety of musical material into play.
In addition to the Akkordeonale and his work as an accordion teacher, ensemble work with unusual to impossible instrumentation is one of his favourite passions.
Kaya Meller (Poland), Flügelhorn
The Polish Kaya Meller is a jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn player, composer and arranger and currently lives in Graz. She studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and completed her master's degree at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.
Kaya performs with numerous ensembles such as big band, symphony orchestra and small jazz formations and has already collaborated with several jazz legends.
Besides the projects she is regularly involved in, such as the brass band Groove'n'Move, Kaya also leads her own ensemble - the Kaya Meller Quartet, based on her original compositions.
In 2019, she already enriched the Akkordeonale once.
Esther Swift (Scotland), Concert Harp
A prolific, boldly innovative harpist, composer and singer, Scotland's Esther Swift works in genres as diverse as classical chamber music and free improvisation, writing for ensembles large and small. She has travelled with her music to Vietnam, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mongolia and beyond, collaborating with musicians and other artists around the world.
In her virtuoso harp playing and songwriting, Esther explores ritual, relationships, isolation and nature. The result is an eclectic mix of jazz, folk, classical and everything in between.
She performed with the duo Twelfth Day at the 2017 Akkordeonale.