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14th International ESTA Congress in Leeuwenhorst/Netherlands, 21 – 27 April, 1987

Already in 1980 the Congress Centre of Leeuwenhorst had proved to be an ideal venue. ESTA Netherlands celebrated its 15th anniversary and chose the motto: “The Normally Talented Child”. This topic gave rise to numerous discussions, triggered by most diverse demonstrations by children, adolescents and adult Congress participants. At the opening ceremony the Dutch children’s group “Academia Filarmonica” from Utrecht provided the musical framework, and Coosja Wijzenbeek gave a life and video-taped demonstration of her work with 3-7-year olds. In the evening we heard the finalists of the national Oskar Back Competition, a few days later 14-16-year old soloists. I myself had the opportunity of presenting my little 4 – 10-ycar-old violinists under the motto ‘The Bow Makes the Music”. Phyllis Young (USA) – “Playing the String Game” – (cello) and Rodney Slatford (GB) – “Children and the Double Bass” – shared their methods with children and adults with entertaining games and comprehensible rhythms.

The lectures:

Urs Frauchiger (CH) “Who Is Listening, After All? Reflections on How to Improve Musical Communication”
Thomas Füri (CH) “Kreisler Pieces – Still Up-to-date?”
Fritz Händschke (A) “Lost Values and Forgotten Traditions”
Klaus Hertel (GDR) “Motivation and Incentives for Exercising. Education towards Self-reliance”
Eddo van der Hoog (NL) “Oriental Theory of Motion for Musicians”
Gerhard Mantel (FRG) “Strategies in Teaching”
Petru Munteanu (FRG) “Teaching Beginners and Master Classes – a Contradiction?”
Peter Vogler (GDR) “Acoustic Problems of the Violin”

Workshops were run for all four groups of siring instruments by Dutch and British lecturers- Amsterdam – in this year “World Capital of Music” – shared with us numerous concerts. In the small hall of Concertgebouw the “Schönberg Quartet” played works by John Cage, Ruth Crawford and Arnold Schönberg. After a boat trip through Amsterdam’s canals, the grachten, and some hours with Yehudi Menuhin in the English Church, we saw and heard the famous “Netherlands Dans Theater” with the ballet version of Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat”. Ben de Ligt, President of the Dutch Branch, committed himself in particular to one of his favourite areas and shared with us Old Music on Original Instruments, playing on the Baroque cello and the viola da gamba instrumental music from Southern Netherlands from non-printed manuscripts. Jos Koning familiarised us with folk music from Netherlands. “Camerata Trajectina” gave a concert in the old English church of the historical “Begijnhof with works by Sweelinck, Huygens and Vallet, and “Broken Consort von Groningen” took us back to even earlier times.

The Congress ended amusingly with Thomas Füri’s “Soloist for Two Parts” with pieces by Kreislcr with violin and mouth-organ and the famous cabaret duo “Mini and Maxi”.

General Meeting of the Delegates on 25 April, 1987, in Leeuwenhorst.

The General Meeting of the Delegates had been preceded by a Meeting of the Central Committee on 23 April at the home of the violin-maker Möller in Amsterdam. President Yehudi Menuhin was present as well and discussed with us three items, which were not raised any more in the General Meeting:

  1. The matter of reimbursement of costs for speakers was handled quite differently: in 1982 in Graz three days were paid; in Berne in 1984 and in Copenhagen in 1986 die entire stay was paid; in Leeuwenhorst in 1987 only two nights and one day. Speakers from Eastern-bloc countries got all their expenses for board and lodging as well as their travelling costs ex border refunded. Now a uniform solution was sought – and is still being sought (1996)…
  2. Füri (CH) brought along 125 pieces of the new ESTA record by Max Rostal (works by Busoni, Debussy and Schoeck).
  3. Fritz Händschke explained his idea of an international ESTA leaflet, for which, however, numerous elements were still missing.

Unfortunately, the General Meeting of the Delegates on 25 April could not be attended by President Yehudi Menuhin.

I would like to draw particular attention to some of the items on the agenda of the General Meeting:

  1. The incumbent Central Committee was re-elected unanimously (according to the Statutes new elections are to be held every three years).
  2. News from the Branches:
    The next International Congress to be held in Rome made itself already felt. Lilia d’Albore, President of ESTA Italiana, was already working with great enthusiasm but with unrealistic figures. An Italian tourism manger, who attended the Meeting, could not really sort things out either. It was hoped that matters would be clarified by the next Meeting of the Central Committee in October in Trossingen.
    Antonin Morawec reported about the positive response by the Czech Ministry of Education in Prague; he was now waiting for the reaction of the Slovakian Ministry and was positive that ESTA could be founded in 1988.
    Zlatko Stahuljak from Zagreb said that there were promising signs that his country would join ESTA.
    Elspeth Iliff from Madrid said mat language barriers presented a difficulty and that French should be included as well. France pinned its hopes on two young violinists from Lille, who would give new impulses to the French Branch.
  3. Seiffert considered the idea of an international ESTA journal and said that French should be included as a third language.

Most refreshing and a welcome novelty at a General Meeting was a musical interlude given by four young Dutch cellists.

On the occasion of the 3rd. International Fritz Kreisler Competition from 20 – 30 September, 1987, in Graz I invited all members of the jury to a sociable get-together in the southern part of Styria to deepen old and establish new contacts with ESTA. These were:

Zakhar Bron(USSR)
Zenon Brzewski (PL)
Stefan Gheorghiu (RO)
Sven Karpe (S)
Ernst Kovacic (A)
Oleg Krysa (USSR)
Chongsuk Li-Song (South Korea)
Wolfgang Marschner (FRG)
Zenzo Matsumolo (J)
Antonin Morawec (CSSR)
Christos Polyzoides (A)
Kurt Rapf (A)
Max Rostal (CH/GB)
Werner Scholz (GDR)
Karl Suske (GDR)
Roman Totenberg (USA)
Helmut Zehetmair (A)

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