Romano Viazzani studied accordion with Frank Lilley and Prof. Owen Murray. He was bandleader and arranger of L’Orchestra Rara and The High Society Dance Orchestra between 1981 and 2002. During this time he composed several soundtracks for TV including the BAFTA nominated documentary Stranger at the Gate (BBC2). His solo career has included many concerts at festivals, concert halls and accordion clubs all over the UK from the National Portrait Gallery to Aberdeen Arts Centre as well as in Europe. In 2001 he composed and performed his Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra at Wembley Conference Centre with the BBC Concert Orchestra under the direction of Nick Davies which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Between 2002 and 2007 he was part of the hugely successful Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble, who won the BBC Jazz Award for best Album of 2003 and received further nominations for Best band in 2004 and best album in 2005. During this period they appeared at venues such as Leipzig Opera House, Hamburg Opera House, Barbican Hall (London), the Queen Elizabeth Hall (London) as well as on TV and Radio broadcasts in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Greece and Romania.
He has adjudicated accordion competitions both nationally and internationally as well as for accordion department performance exams at the Royal Academy of Music.He released three solo albums in 2007: “Piazzolla - Angel Suite/ Bobic - Liturgical Suite, Viazzani takes Stok and Encore.
He has made many appearances both on stage most recently for Songs From A Hotel Bedroom at Covent Garden Opera House’s Linbury Theatre with Frances Ruffelle, with Steve Ross and Gregory Moore in Pennies from Heaven –The Street Singer and in the pit for theatrical productions in UK such as Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma and The Beggar’s Opera (Davis) and in the Rock and Pop world has worked with Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music) and Grace Jones. Recently work has included starring in The Accordionist at Poole Lighthouse in February, the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter in March, New End Theatre, Hampstead (London) for which he has also wrote the music; playing at Bath Festival with Frances Ruffele, Joanna MacGregor and Roger Lloyd Pack playing Kurt Weill; playing Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No.2 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.
The Romano Viazzani Ensemble is a new project which has brought together outstanding musicians from around the world to perform not only the music of Piazzolla and other tango composers but also new music in a similar vein and music that can be played by this combination. The Ensemble currently lists Simon Mulligan (Piano), Yaron Stavi (Double Bass) and Melody Castellari (Vocals) as well as Viazzani amongst it’s members and has performed in Aberdeen and Milan with great success.
He plays a Beltrami 5/6 -voice accordion from Stradella, Italy. It has a 45 key piano keyboard with straight-tuned reeds in the usual arrangement but with and added set of 32’ reeds giving the instrument a similar range to a button accordion. The 4 chord rows of the 120 basses convert to 4-row c-system free-bass system, which has a 58-note range and employs 3 sets of reeds. He is also the UK demonstrator for the Roland V-Accordion the world’s first modelling digital Accordion.