by Ruben Marzà
Francesco Mengascini, son of the founder Arnaldo, tells us the story of Beltuna Accordions; a story of passion and courage, tradition and innovation, which this year for the first time will find space at Cremona Musica, with novelties of great interest to the world of the accordion.
How was Beltuna Accordions born?
The company was founded in 1982 - so this year we are celebrating our 40th anniversary - by Arnaldo Mengascini and Elio Baldoni. My father was immediately able to give it a highly innovative imprint: first of all, he introduced a painting technique (until then the wood was covered with celluloid) which remains one of our strengths. And this curiosity was passed on to all of us: over the years we have produced numerous patents in the field of sound as well as mechanics, we have made very light accordions in wood and carbon fiber, and even an innovative electromechanical movement managed by software, but always with strictly acoustic sound.
How did you manage to combine tradition and innovation?
We are a young company compared to many of Castelfidardo's competitors, who can also boast a century of history. So it was important for us to have aspects that differentiated us, our sound and therefore our identity; a peculiar trait of our instruments is also the fast response of the sound, very ready and reactive. All characteristics that have allowed us to emerge and create a brand synonymous with high quality.
Among the thousand souls of the accordion (popular, jazz, classical ...) which one do you favor most?
We serve all markets, the advantage and merit of our instruments is precisely the versatility of the sound. By making the necessary adjustments in tuning and timbre, with our accordions you can really do everything.
What do you expect from the Cremona Musica experience?
It will be our first year as exhibitors. Recently I have noted Cremona Fiere's great enthusiasm in involving the world of the accordion, and we can only be pleased about this. Cremona and Castelfidardo are similar, from certain points of view, both are distinguished by a quality production recognized all over the world; and the fair is an important opportunity to create synergy, especially today when many similar events are disappearing, a precious moment of meeting for musicians and enthusiasts.
It is also a context with a profoundly international dimension. How is the accordion market moving?
Our company sells a little all over the world, although Europe certainly remains the main market; there is also a lot of interest from the United States, and the Asian market is constantly growing. Of course, speaking of high-quality products with a certainly not insignificant cost, certain contexts are penalized by the high prices and import taxes that are really too protective. The largest producer in the world in terms of quantity is China, and it is good that there are low-cost products on the market, it is a way to bring many young people closer to the instrument; in Italy we tend to look to professionals and to high quality.
What will you present in Cremona?
We will have accordions for all styles, from world music to folk, but also our Grand Convertor for classical. But above all I would like to mention the novelty of this year, the Matrix, an evolution of the Grand Convertor that will allow the accordion to do things never heard before ... Impossible to describe it in words, we invite you all to Cremona to find out for yourself!