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12th International ESTA Congress in Braunschweig/FRG, 30 March – 4 April, 1985

Inspired by the “European Year of Music”, the general topic chosen by the Braunschweig organisers. President Friedrich v. Hausegger and his Secretary Gerhard Müller-Seidlitz, for the Congress was “How to Learn Playing an Instrumental as Music?” It lies in the nature of this topic that it required numerous demonstrations of teaching such as:

Conrad v.d. Goltz (FRG) “The First Lesson with an Unfamiliar New Teacher: Demonstration with Three Unknown Students”
Claus Kanngiesser (FRG) “Rehearsing the Fantasy Pieces for Violoncello and Piano with One Student”
Igor Ozim (FRG) “Rehearsing the Sonata for Violin and Piano by Debussy with an New Student”
Max Rostal (CH/GB) “Insight into the Workshop of B.Bartók’s 2nd Violin Concerto”, as a complement to the analysis of the 2nd Violin Concerto
Ursula Scholz (GDR) “Ideas on How to Develop Imagination in the Creative Process of Exercising in the Instruction of Beginners”

The lectures:

Gerald Fischbach (USA) “Interpretational Eloquence by Intelligent Dividing of the Bow”
Fritz Händsclike (A) “The Position of the Musician in Today’s Society from a Sociological Point of View”
Friedrich v. Hausegger (FRG) “Training in Playing an Instrument: The Longest of all Disciplines – but also the Most Effective One?”
Yehudi Menuhin (GB) “Music and the Violin”
Max Rostal (CH/GB) Analysis of the 2nd Violin Concerto by B.Bartók
Helga Thoene (FRG) “Direct and Indirect Ways of Approaching J.S.Bach – Attempt of an Early Confrontation”
Helmut Zehetmair (A) “Transcendence in the Theory and Methodology of Violin Education”

The concerts, too, bore reference to methodological-educational aspects: The Denhoff Trio, for example, played the Piano Trio No. 2 by Michael Denhoff. In the evening the Gewandhaus Quartet redeemed a promise given in Dresden. The rendering of A. Berg’s op. 3, Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue K 546 and Schubert’s Quartet in D minor marked a first highlight of versatile string culture. The Verdi Quartet with Susanne Rabenschlag, Christian Lüken, Karin Wolf and Hans-Christian Schweiker delighted us with works by J. Haydn, R. Schumann and D. Shostakovich. Thomas Füri (violin) and Gerard Wyss (piano) served a most varied programme with works by W. A. Mozart, F. Schubert, and E.v.Dohnányi, with exquisite encores by F. Kreisler. A chamber music programme presented by the German violinist Martin Dehning, the British pianist Christoph Oakden and the cellist Ulf Tischbirek with Inge-Susann Römhild on the piano fascinated their audience. In the Sunday matinee the orchestra of Braunschweig’s Jeunesse musicales gave a wonderful demonstration of its ability with “Fin al punto” by Wilhelm Killmayer, “Bachianas Brasileiros Na. 5” by Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Paul Hindemith’s “Five Pieces” op. 44/4 under the conductorship of Uwe Präkelt. On the final evening the “Menuhin School London”, conducted by Peter Norris, presented Bach’s Double Concert, with Yehudi Menuhin and a young lady student of his playing the solo part.

Thus, the concerts always maintained a direct relationship to the theory and methodology of string education, and the discussions and talks during the breaks were livelier than ever.

The General Meeting of the Delegates was held on 3 April, 1985.

President Yehudi Menuhin stressed in his welcoming address that he would use his best endeavours to ease the difficult situation of France, Spain and the Eastern-bloc countries. Prompted by the presence of ASTA President Gerald Fischbach, he underlined the importance of exchanging speakers between ASTA and ESTA countries. Gerald Fischbach reported on the organisation and activities of ASTA. Then Menuhin had to leave the Meeting for a concert rehearsal.

The detailed report of activities of the Branches had been submitted in writing. ESTA Italiana with President Lilia d’Albore had extended its activities to Sicily, and the appreciation of ESTA in this country found its expression by the awarding of the order “Commendatore della Republica Italiana” by President Pertini to our Honorary President Max Rostal. The presentation of the first volume of the 100 Capricci by Nardini, which had been unknown in Italy before they were edited by Elena Geneva in Bulgaria and handed over to ESTA Italiana, was a particularly noteworthy gesture.

The first 100 copies of the European Catalogue of Members were already out of print, so that Secretary Fritz Händschke was able to have another 100 copies printed.

The Treasurer reported a gap of SFR 6000.- in the central budget, fifty per cent of which was filled generously by the FRG. It was discussed how to tap private financial sources. In spite of the considerable deficit, the subscriptions remained unchanged.

The time allotted to the important General Meeting of the Delegates, which is the only annual gathering of members after all, was considered to be too short by all attendees, and it was proposed that more time be reserved for it at the next Congress in Copenhagen.

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