HARMONICA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BARCELONA 1960

Triumph of the Spanish contestants.
Honor Cup of S. E. the head of state to Spain.

A truly spectacular triumph for the Spanish contestants who managed to conquer the most ambitious places in this great competition in the various categories. We announce the top three classified in each category:

Chromatic Soloists
-Campeón, Ramón Bote (Spain); Cup of S. E. the minister general secretary of the movement and trophy F. I. H.
-Subcampeón, Ramón Closa (Spain); Cup of the Deputy Secretary of Trade Union Works.
-Third-ranked Franz Chmel, (Austria); Provincial Movement Cup.

Soloists of Harmonetta
-Campeón, Manuel Beneyto (Spain); Excma Cup Provincial Council of Barcelona.
-Sub champion, Douglas Tate (England); Provincial Delegate Cup Trade Unions.
-Third Classified, Rolf Linke (Germany); Provincial Chief Cup O. S. Education and Rest.

Category Sets (Bands)
-Campeón, ‘Los Melómanos’ (Spain); Cup of S. E. the minister general secretary of the movement and trophy F. I. H.
– Sub-champion ‘Neixer’ (Spain); Excma Cup Provincial Council of Barcelona.
-Third classified, ‘Cuarteto Portuges’ (Portugal); Provincial Delegate Cup Trade Unions.

Trio Category
– Champion, Dixie (Germany); Copa Excmo. Barcelona’s town hall.
-Subcampeón, Andrey (Spain); Copa Excmo. Civil Governor
-Third classified, ‘Los Malandros’ (Spain); Copa Excmo. Captain General of the IV Military Region of Catalonia.

Diatonic Category
– Champion, Douglas Tate (England); Copa Excmo. Barcelona’s town hall.
-Subcampeon, Fernando Dos Santos (Portugal); Excma Cup Provincial Council of Barcelona.
-Third classified, Kaarlo Reinikainen (Finland); Delegate’s Cup for Spain of the F. I. H.

For nations, the S.E. Cup, the Head of State, Generalissimo Franco, corresponded to the Spanish delegation, following in second place Germany and in third place France.

1960 World Harmonica Championship

We want to make a brief account of the development of the championship, so that our readers who have not been lucky enough to be able to attend, may have an idea of ??this great harmonic event.

On Thursday, September 29, early in the morning, transfer the secretary of the Spanish delegation of the FIA ??to the Hotel Colon. From early on, the foreign contestant harmonica players began to arrive, as well as the delegates of the F. I. A. of the participating and juried countries, who had to qualify the contestants. That seemed like a small UN. You could hear German, English, French, Portuguese, etc. In those moments more than ever I would have liked to know the languages ??of each and every one of the contestants and participants of this contest. The only language that united all was the love and great love for music that does not understand borders. At nine o’clock at night the delegates and jury met, as a preliminary to the Congress that was to be held the next day. The meeting lasted until the wee hours of the morning. At nine o’clock on Friday morning, day 30, the session of the congress began in the rooms of the Hotel Colon. At its opening, Mr. Manuel Sancho Vecino, provincial head of OS Education and Rest in our city, after some eloquent words, delivered a commemorative plaque of the championship to Dr. Meyer, president of the FIH, and another to the doctor Karl Hohner, who had the courtesy to honor us with his presence in all the events of the championship. In this important act it is agreed that the successive world championships are held every two years instead of each year, as it was done, and a new Congress was convened for March 1961, where it will be announced which was the nation chosen for celebrate the next world championship that will take effect in 1962.

At two o’clock in the afternoon the contest began in the ‘Casa del Medico’, with the categories ‘Diatonic’, ‘Trio’ and ‘Conjunto’. The contest was public; the room was occupied by armonicistas that followed with the greater interest and critical spirit the development of the Championship. At the end of the contest of these categories, there was once again a meeting of the delegates and a jury in the rooms of the Hotel Colon.

At the beginning of Saturday the contest of the categories ‘Soloist’ and ‘Harmonetta’ began. Again, the harmonicist fans were in the room of the ‘Casa del Medico’ pending to follow the march of the contest and judge, under their criteria, the contestants who were parading around the stage. The jury installed on the stage lost no note to qualify with due justice and give the prize to the one who proved to be the best and deserve it.

When concluding the contest, the president of the F. I. A., the provincial head of the O. S. Education and rest, delegates of the participating countries, juries and contestants, moved to the Excmo. City Hall, where they were offered a reception by the head of Ceremonial on behalf of the Hon. Mr. Mayor of the city, in which I congratulate the federation and vowed that the championship was crowned with success. In the hours that followed the contest proceeded to the classification of all the categories. At six o’clock in the afternoon the president of the International Harmonic Federation, the provincial chief of the O. S. Education and Rest, Mr. Manuel Sancho Vecino, were again gathered in the halls of the Hotel Colon; delegates from participating countries and contestants to publicize the results of the event.

Nervousness, uncertainty, anxiety, all these feelings were reflected in the faces of the harmonics who tried in vain to know the classification that had corresponded to them. One by one the contestants were called, starting with the last one to finish by the champion. Each time that one was called, they cut off the breath of those belonging to that category, taking a deep breath again after verifying that it was not for them that the last post belonged.

The called ones approached the presidency, they retired between applauses of the presents. The prizes were awarded to the top finishers except for the champions, which was done in a symbolic way, to be delivered definitively during the gala festival to be held at the National Palace. There was enthusiasm, joy and also sadness and disappointment; everyone can not be the first, it’s a shame! They have so much enthusiasm inside, but they all knew how to overcome each other and congratulated the winners with all their heart.

After this act, everyone dispersed and prepared to prepare to attend the gala evening festival. At ten o’clock it was dark. The National Palace enveloped him with a halo of light. The fountain and cascades of Montjuich ran singsong illuminated by multicolored lights, giving the atmosphere something unreal, as if we were in front of a fairy tale enchanted palace, it seemed that we were going to wake up from a fantastic dream. The championship could not have more wonderful framework.

In the presidential box were General Hon. Mr. Francisco Bergareche, on behalf of the Captain General of Catalonia; His Excellency Mr. José Maria Gutiérrez del Castillo, national head of the O. S. Education and rest; Ilmo. Mr. Gonzalo Marcos Chacon, Provincial Delegate of Trade Unions; Ilmo. Mr. Emilio Martinez de la Guardia, on behalf of the Hon. Mr. Enrique Ramos, Deputy Secretary of O. S .; Mr. Manuel Sancho Vecino, provincial chief of the O. S. Education and Rest; the president of the F. I. H., doctor O. H. Meyer, and the delegate for Spain, Mr. Don Dionisio Chiappo.

Some silk fabrics of gold, descended from the ceiling to open in a fan on the stage, the effect was surprising. A network of microphones and lights were installed everywhere, were those of NO-DO, TVE, Radio Nacional de España, Radio Lisboa and even an American, Mr. Williams Evans, had installed his shed to record the entire festival and send it to Radio Miami (Florida).

The first part of the festival was opened by the “Folkloric Dance Group of E. and D.” of Sabadell in homage to the foreign nations that participated in the championship. They demonstrated the sardanas danced with panache and elegance; They liked it very much The Harmonietta 1959 World Champion, Ángel Maria García, who played with this difficult instrument ‘Asturias’, by Albeniz, was accompanied by Miss Mary Carmen Aznar on piano. The interpretation of Ángel Maria García was excellent and Miss Aznar was very successful in the piano accompaniment. I finish the first part with the performance of the Chamber Orchestra of Accordions of Barcelona, under the accurate direction of Pepita Selles. This performance was a triumph but that the orchestra scored in its career of successes. All the works performed were very applauded giving rise to the most flattering criticism, both Spanish and foreign.

After a brief interval the second part began. The authorities that presided over the festival, descended to the stage to make the definitive delivery of the trophies to the champions of each category. The Cup of Honor granted by S. E. the Head of State, was granted to the delegate of the F. I. A., Don Dionisio Chiappo, as Spain was the nation that obtained the highest score in the general classification. Returned the authorities to the presidential box, continued the festival with the performances of the champions of the categories ‘Soloist’, ‘Trio’ and ‘Conjunto’, which were received with great enthusiasm by the public.

Then it was presented in quintet ‘Niehues’ (Germany), electronic instruments, which caused huge sensation by the sonority and effects achieved. He followed the trio ‘Herold’ (Germany), already known by many Spanish harmonists who had the good fortune to see and listen to them in the past national contest. Dynamism, action and great virtuosity is the characteristic of this harmonic trio. The accordionist Christian Di Maccio, showed his great artistic value, leaving everyone with little flavor, but time ran and the festival had to continue. Then there was Albert Raisner (Paris), who made a show of his art and excellent humor, enthusing everyone.

As a finishing touch to this festival, the performance of the ‘Die Engel Familia’, from Vienna, took effect; there are no words to define all the charm, delicacy, grace and art of this lovely Tyrolean family. In their numbers there is a continuous change of instruments (up to about eighty), typical dances of the Tyrol, the voices that, more than human, seem angelic, makes one feel transported to an atmosphere of peace and enchantment.

In short, a festival very difficult to match, and it can be said that impossible to overcome, given the category of all participants.

On Sunday, October 2, at eleven o’clock in the morning. The second festival took effect in the sumptuous setting of the National Palace of Montjuich. This festival was of a popular nature, with the aim that nobody would be deprived of attending and admiring this great program. The program of the night was repeated (without the distribution of prizes), and the success was as great as the previous one.

The two festivals were presented by the well-known radio broadcaster and friend Don Juan Viñas Bona, who with his characteristic sympathy gave more prominence to them

At four o’clock on Sunday afternoon there was a bullfight in honor of the contestants and participants of the championship, and that was the invitation of the O. S. Education and Rest.

The events of this great championship ended with a grand gala dinner offered by the F. I. A. to the Barcelonese authorities, delegates from the countries participating in the championship, jury and collaborators in the organization of the 1960 Harmonic World Championship.

The president of the FIA, Dr. OH Meyer, to the desserts got up offering a toast to Spain, to which the Barcelona authorities responded by thanking Dr. Meyer for his toast and congratulating everyone for the organization and success of the championship, and wishing that everyone would return to their respective countries taking a fond memory of our country and that if another World Championship were to be held in Spain one day they would be welcomed with the same enthusiasm.

Used with the consent of the author. Copyright: Joaquin Fuster

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