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18th International ESTA Congress in Arvika (Ingesund), Sweden/Oslo, Norway, 8-14 June, 1991

The idea of holding the Congress in thinly populated Värmland proved to be an excellent one. The College of Music and the Adult Education Centre of lngesund were located in a picturesque forest region interspersed with beautiful lakes. Since both institutions were officially closed for vacations, everything was ideally at our disposal, from housing facilities and restaurants to conference rooms and concert halls, with the lake beckoning to take a short or longer break.

Swedish music ranging from the Baroque age to the classical and contemporary period, folklore and chamber music was given priority. We had the pleasure to listen to a concert given by young soloists with works by Lars Edlund, Jan Carlstedt, Emil Sjögren and Tor Aulin, to folk music with Fiol, Nyckelharpa and Bockhorn and again to Swedish art music with works by Emil Sjogren, Kurt Atterberg, Wilhelm Stenhammar and Edvard Grieg. How excellently Sweden’s violinists are able to render violin music from all over the world was proven with works by J. S. Bach, Francis Poulenc, Eugen Ysaye, Fritz Kreisler and Max Rostal (Fifths Etude for Violin and Piano). A special treat was the presentation by the “Stockholm Society of Chamber Music MAZER” by David William-Olsson: “Amateurs and Professionals ‘Together”. Johan Mazer, a merchant and lover of music living in Stockholm, (1790 – 1847), gathered professionals and amateurs in his home to make music together, thus promoting the approach to international string literature. Today the Society has some 350 members playing in a large number of different ensembles.

The Congress, which had at its disposal each and every technical conference facility, had been organised by President Harald Thedeen and Johan Falk with their crew consisting of Henrik Andcrsson, Per Ejeklint and Christian Jaderius, without any visible problems. It presented, on the one hand, Sweden as a showcase of its musical culture and, on the other hand, many interesting contributions by international speakers:

Sven Ahlbäck (S) “The Tonality of Older Swedish Folk Music”
Jan Albrecht (CSFR) “Problems in the Interpretation of Music on String Instruments up to the Period of High Baroque”
Sven-Erik Bäck (S) “The Swedish Composer Johan Helmich Roman (1694 – 1758) and His Music for String-Instrument Players”
Mats Falk (S) “Is It Dangerous to Play String Instruments? Ergonomic Recipes by a Physician”
Arild Hoksnes (N) “Ecology of Motion”
Peder Holm (DK) “Playing Together at Beginners’ and Intermediate Levels”
Ursula Looser (CH) “General Reflections on Playing and on Playing a String Instrument in Particular”
Helga Thoene (D) “Architecture and Word in the Work for Violin by J. S. Bach”


Ditte Andersson (S) “Key Fiddle”
Satoko Berger-Fujimoto
Lisbeth Vecchi (S)
“Posture – Respiration – Relaxation”
Jan Blom (S) “The “Action Studies” by Paul Rolland in My Own Way”
Tibor Fülep (S) “Vibrato Exercises”
Thomas Nyström (S) “Jazz Improvisation”
Jonny Soling
Kalle Almlöf (S)
“Swedish Folk Music – Attempts under Supervision”
Friedrich Weigel (S) “Muscle Relaxation”


Caroline Emery (GB) “How to Turn Double Bass Players into Musicians with the Help of Chamber Music”
Lars Jöneteg (S) “Practising in between Lessons”
Helena Raberg
lngvar Kullberg
Margareta Strömblad (S)
“Ensemble Playing of Violin, Cello and Piano with Beginners, an Attempt by a College of Music of Training Teachers”
Sven Sjögren (S) “What Is the So-called Suzuki Method?”
Phyllis Young (USA) “The Drama of Playing and Teaching String Instruments”

Panel discussion:

Max Rostal (CH/GB)
Klaus Hertel (D)
“Where Are We Heading for? Trends in the Development of Playing and Teaching String Instruments in this Century”

In a lecture at the Oslo College of Music we were acquainted with Norwegian composers and heard a string quartet playing works by W. A. Mozart, Edvard Grieg and Johan Kendal. With a tour of Oslo at the end of the Congress we said tins time “På återseende!” — “See you again!”

General Meeting of the Delegates on 8 June, 1991 in Ingesund.

Since President Yehudi Menuhin was not yet in Ingesund during the first part of the General Meeting, it was up to me to chair, for the last time, this very difficult Meeting.

The most positive outcome of the General Meeting:

Hungary was constituted on 6 February, 1991, and was admitted by unanimous vote. The Slovak Branch submitted its application for membership, which was supported by a large majority.

Secretary Fritz Händschke read out his annual report and gave a personal review of Strasbourg, Leipzig and London. He said that the resolutions adopted in London were the “death-blow for the European idea” and were the reason for his immediate resignation. It was decided that Werner Schmitt should keep the Minutes. I myself was also taken aback by the decisions taken at the Meeting of the Central Committee in London and announced that I would terminate my function in the Central Committee by the end of the current business year.


    1. Joan Dickson commented the motion to confer Honorary Membership to Edward Jackson (GB). The motion was adopted unanimously.
    2. The new scheme for the subscriptions to be allocated ESTA was fixed. It defines three categories and consists of a contribution per Branch and per member (all subscriptions are payable in SFR, the figures serve as examples only).
      1. Small Branches: (up to 99 members): minimum subscription 50.-, Branch contribution 0, per member 5.-
      2. Medium-sized Branches: (100 – 399 members): Branch contribution 300.-, per member 3.-
      3. Large Branches (from 400 members upward): Branch contribution 500.-, per member 2.-

      The subscriptions will be determined every year by the General Meeting of the Delegates. For countries with non-convertible currencies a reserve fund will be set up.

    3. The Statutes were amended to the extent that henceforth each Branch shall have the right to nominate two delegates at the General Meeting.
    4. Henceforth the Central Committee shall again consist of five members: a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer and two additional members. The Secretary shall attend the Meeting of the Central Committee with deliberative voice. The Central Committee shall meet once a year.
    5. The two additional members were elected: Maria Grevesmühl (D) and Marianne Granvig (DK).
    6. A subcommittee for an international journal was set up, consisting of Mikulas Jelinck, Elspeth Iliff, Eckhard Linsel, Fritz Händschke, Igor Coretti and Adolfo Giuliani.
    7. Werner Schmitt reported that the “Dr. Ernst Koch Foundation” had been set up. The board of trustees was constituted on 3 February, 1991, in London and consisted of the following members:
Marianne Kroemer President
Hannelore Koch Vice-President
Werner Schmitt Secretary
Maria Grevesmühl additional member
Rodney Slatford additional member

The General Meeting was continued on 10 June under the chairmanship of President Yehudi Menuhin. In his short welcoming speech Menuhin emphasised how important it was to respect the cultural autonomy of a region and that this should be enshrined also in our Statutes.

Menuhin thanked Händschke for his work.

Werner Schmitt explained the financial statement 1990/91. CSFR was forgiven the debt of SFR 300.- because of the particularly difficult situation in the country. Fritz Händschke was released from the obligation to pay back SFR 2500.- for the ESTA brochure (Strasbourg) The last item on the agenda was the discussion about the International Congress 1992. Many arguments were raised in favour of Austria, however, the ultimate decision was up to the Austrian national board.

After the General Meeting the Central Committee met in its “downsized” composition of five members. There was a choice of two candidates for the refilling of the post of Secretary: Beatrice Gratwohl (CH) and Solange Eggermont, who was born in Belgium, but lived in Great Britain. Both had a sufficient command of languages and secretarial experience. The decision was made in favour of Solange Eggermont. Werner Schmitt was asked to prepare a work contract for her. Fritz Händschke was assigned the task to finalise ESTA’s membership in the Council of Europe.

Menuhin suggested amending the Statutes so as to enable regions to set up a Branch of their own, since our Association was more concerned with the cultural rather than the political situation. Three participants from Estonia were invited to join the Meeting and Menuhin repeated how important it was for us to respect the cultural autonomy of a region, and turning to our friends from Estonia he said, “And you are destined to see to it that that this cultural autonomy will be carried through. We have, therefore, decided to lay down the respect for cultural regions in a document so that there will be no difficulties should Estonia wish to become a member.” As Reinhard Seiffert announced that he would no longer act as editor of the German ESTA News, they will be edited by Ursula Grimm (D) in future.

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