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Merit Award Presentation to Prof. Li Cong

28 January 2017
NZAA Reception at Auckland central venue provided by
NZAA Life Member, composer, conductor and arranger Gary Daverne.

Citation

Two people have previously received the NZAA Merit Award:
- 1988 Dr Willard Palmer (Palmer-Hughes) when he visited NZ and presented again at a concert in Houston, Texas in 1988.
- 2009 Kevin Friedrich (then CIA President) presented at the 2009 Coupe Mondiale.

China and New Zealand have had a very close international relationship beginning with the Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra tour to China in 1988.

In 1998, Prof. Li came to New Zealand to our South Pacific Accordion Championships and from there, he set up the accordions.com/china website which has run the Weekly News in Chinese every week since then and also published many other articles in Chinese about accordion.

Prof. Li was a key organiser of the 2006 Shanghai Spring International Accordion Festival, which at that time was the largest pageant of international accordionists ever in China. New Zealanders were prominent supporters with CIA President Kevin Friedrich and CIA Public Relations Harley Jones attending and both invited to give lectures.

Prof. Li Cong is the President of the China Accordion Association (CAA) which is the China member of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA). New Zealand was also involved in supporting the China Accordion Association CIA membership at the 2007 Winter Congress in Fiji.

Prof. Li lead a very strong delegation of teachers, competitors and jury members to the 2009 Coupe Mondiale in Takapuna, New Zealand strongly supporting the event.

Prof. Li Cong was elected a Vice-President of the CIA in 2014 (Austria) and has just retired as Dean of Music of Shanghai Normal University. Prof. Li was the main organiser of 2011 Coupe Mondiale in Shanghai where New Zealand was very prominently presented.

Prof. Li has arranged over the years, concerts in Shanghai (North Shore Accordion Orchestra – Lionel Reekie conductor, Maurice Jones 1990 MIDI accordion concerts), tours (concerts and seminars) to China about 5 times for multi world champion Grayson Masefield. Also invitations and jury positions for New Zealand accordion teachers at various Chinese festivals.

Prof. Li Cong and the CAA is also an organiser of the Shenzhen Festival, a major festival held every two years in Shenzhen City with the support of the China Government cultural departments.

Students of Prof. Li have achieved 4th placings in the Coupe Mondiale entertainment category and another student achieved 3rd place in 2016 Castelfidardo competitions ahead of 3 previous entertainment world champion winners.

Prof. Li Cong has been a key person helping promote the major leap in accordion standards of performance in China in recent years including nominating the CAA to become the Chinese member of the CIA.

The New Zealand Accordion Association (NZAA) wishes to thank Prof. Li Cong for all his successful efforts for the advancement of the accordion both in New Zealand and internationally over many years.
Merit Award presentation by NZAA President Sonja Palinich to Prof. Li Cong
NZAA member Lian Jones translated a speech of thanks from Li Cong, in which he spoke about the many years of accordion relations between New Zealand and China.
Many of the accordionists attending the presentation had been on concert tours
to China or attended major accordion events in China and were personally, a part of
the history that Prof. Li spoke about.
Today was also the Chinese New Year and event host Gary Daverne proposed a toast with Prof. Li and Harley Jones for all enjoy a wonderful 2017 year.
Pictures with Li Cong: New Zealand Acccordion Association committee members attending:
back row (left to right) Megan Jennings, Heather Masefield, Bork-Kuan Song, Amber Masefield,
front row (left to right) Sonja Palinich, Prof. Li Cong and Harley Jones.
Pictures with Li Cong: back row (left to right), Bork-Kuan Song, Alanah Jones, Lian Jones, Sophia Yang, Mrs Li Cong, Dun Zhang and Sylvia.
front row (left to right) Sonja Palinich, Prof. Li Cong and Harley Jones.
Pictures with Li Cong: back row (left to right) Megan Jennings, Allan Reekie, Gisela Resch, Amber Masefield, Gary Daverne, Heather Masefield, Lionel Reekie, Stephanie Poole, Joan Reekie
front row (left to right) Maurice Jones, Sonja Palinich, Li Cong, Harley Jones and Renee Brennan.
 
Many thanks to our host Gary and Sophia for hosting the presentation.
 
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