Anthony Galla-Rini Passes Away

A couple weeks ago, we mentioned the annual Galla-Rini Accordion Camp and wrote about Anthony Galla-Rini’s incredible career as a performer, arranger, teacher, and all-around promoter of the accordion. So we were sad to hear that the maestro passed away on Sunday, July 30, at the age of 102. Galla-Rini was one of the undisputed masters during the accordion’s “golden age” and co-founded the American Accordionists Association with fellow accordion legends like Pietro Frosini, Charles Magnante, and Pietro Diero. A memorial service will be held for Galla-Rini on Saturday, August 12, in Corona, CA.


  1. I had the distinct pleasure of corresponding with Mr. Galla-Rini for over thirty years! When
    I last saw him at a 1997 G-R
    Summer Camp — he remembered this – and vividly, too!!
    Anthony Galla-Rini remains my
    foremost influence, not only due
    to his affable, and generous nature – but, the fact that his understanding in every facet regarding the piano accordion was/is unequalled! To this day, many accordionists do not have knowledge on the real purpose of
    registration — or understanding the concept of ‘orchestration’ re: 120 stradella bass system, for that matter!
    It comes to mind, also, that
    as early as the 1940s Anthony had already analyzed the inner
    workings of accordion reed set combinations and pioneered his
    development of a multi-register system – which, we take for granted to this day!
    His transcriptions and
    arrangements for piano accordion
    (also, accordion band )leave the accordion world a rich legacy and repertoire that will
    stand the endurance and tests of
    time — no matter the prevailing
    fashions or trends in music!!
    We should be grateful that
    the genius of Anthony Galla-Rini
    had graced the accordion and
    music world, in general!! He
    is ( to date ) unchallenged as the only pioneer of our instrument to have embraced musicologists and serious, dedicated musicians worldwide
    serving to generate a love and
    new respect for the instrument!
    I recall that in 1986 Mr.
    Galla-Rini reviewed several of
    my accordion trans. and arrs.
    complimenting me and would not
    accept any remuneration for his
    valuable time! ( He was a true mentor and ‘saint’ to many of us….)
    Personally speaking, I regret having not attended his 100th birthday celectration –however, not a day passes, that
    I fondly reminisce about all his
    diverse accomplishments – borne with utmost taste, imagination, and versatility for the piano accordion – legitimizing its
    May God Bless and honor this great man, forever!

    – Garry Rosen H.

    [ CANADA ]

  2. I was greatly saddened to hear of Maestro Galla-Rini’s recent passing. I had attended a clinic which he gave at Tony Rozance’s studio (my former teacher) during the summer of 1956 in San Antonio while I was an accordion student there. I feel, as he did, that the accordion is the most expressive of all the instruments. His passing marks the end of an era. The best tribute we can make to this great man is to play our accordions–often and
    with the greatest precision we can muster; I know this would please him. Galla-Rini is no longer with us, but his spirit lives on in the hearts of accordionists everywhere.