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21st International ESTA Congress in Salzburg/Austria, 9 – 16 April 1994

“On the Occasion of the 350th Birthday of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber” the cover of the attractive programme book read. Bruno Steinschaden and his team had succeeded in winning important co-organisers: the Musical College Mozarteum, the University of Salzburg, the Salzburg Music Schools, the Salzburg Museum Carolina Augusteum, the Salzburg Convention Centre and the event management agency G. Steinschaden and K. Hiller. The Congress opening ceremony was held in the staterooms of the Salzburg Residence with a musical setting given by the Ensemble Paris London and a reception by the city and the land of Salzburg. At the special service in the Cathedral we heard “Missa Bruxellensis” by H. I. F. Biber conducted by Janos Czifra, the following matinee took us to the Marble Hall of Mirabell Palace, where the ensemble “La Follia” played works by Schmelzer, Muffat, and others. At the University we met for an interdisciplinary panel discussion “Salzburg at the Time of Biber” chaired by Reinhard Heinisch. A special event was the concertante performance with semi-scenic elements of Biber’s only preserved opera. “Salzburger Hofmusik” played under the conductorship of Wolfgang Brunner, and Sibylle Dahms conducted the ensemble “Musica et Saltatoria”.

Some events ran for several days, such as the symposium by Sibylle Dahms on musicology and dance and the workshops with:

Hiro Kurosaki (A) The 12 sonatas “Fidicinium sacro-profanum” with students of the Musical College Mozarteum and a final concert in the Knights’ Hall of the Residence
Jürgen Hübscher (CH) “Introduction to Playing Through-Bass” for guitarists and lute-players and “Baroque Chamber Music” with guitar and lute
Helga Thoene (D) “The 12 Fantasies for Violin Solo” by G. Ph. Telemann

A special highlight was the workshop with Nicolaus Harnoncourt with Biber’s “Rosary Sonatas” Nos. 1, 4, 10 and Passacaglia.


Kurt Brisk (A) “Salzburg Music instruments from the Time of Biber”
Gerhard Scroll (A) “Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber” (opening lecture)
Thomas Drescher (CH) “Violin Playing in the Context of the Social Classes towards the End of the 17th Century.”
Dieter Haberl (A) “On the Symbolism of Numbers in the Rosary Sonatas”
Claudia Jeschke (D) Body Concepts in the Baroque Age”
Silke Leopold (D) “On the Relationship between External and Internal Motion”
Eduard Melkus (A) “The Precursors and Contemporaries of Biber in Italy”. At the last concert of the Congress in the collegiate church Nonnberg we heard several of the Rosary Sonatas played by Eduard Melkus
Alfred Planyavsky (A) “The Violone and Biber”
Marianne Ronez-Kubitschek (A) “On the Question of the String Bow in the 2nd Half of the 17th Century”

A speciality was the “Round Table Concert” in the Vienna Hall of Mozarteum. Annegret Siedel (Baroque violin), Wolfgang Brunner (harpsichord) and Christian Horn (violone) played and discussed G. Muffat’s “Sonata Violino solo”. The young Salzburg violinist Benjamin Schmid, who had been a special protégé of Yehudi Menuhin’s since he had won the competition in Paris in 1985, played solo violin music from Biber to Bartok. The great interest taken by ESTA Austria in contemporary music and guitar music was manifested by the first performance of Paul Walter Fürst’s “Fantasia representativa”, a work commissioned by ESTA, for string quartet, 2 guitars and electric bass guitar with the Seifert Quartet, Herbert Mayr double bass, Leo Witoszynskyj and Walter Würdinger guitar, and Heinz Hromada electric bass guitar.

Folk music from the Salzburg region delighted us at a convivial evening at Stieglkeller tavern. Lute music from the time of Biber was presented by Joachim Held with a concert in the Estates’ Assembly Hall of the Residence, and the “Purcell Ensemble” from London rendered works by H. I. F. Biber, M. Locke, O. Gibbons and J. H. Schmelzer.

Of course, guided tours of Salzburg’s musical and architectural attractions were offered in several languages. Although we could not all be lodged under the same roof, we felt at home in the narrow streets and lovely squares of the city and met ESTA friends and colleagues everywhere, also in cosy cafes where we sought shelter from Salzburg’s typical “Schnürlregen” or persistent rain.

General Meeting of the Delegates on 15 April, 1994, in Salzburg

At the beginning of the Meeting the first recipient of a scholarship of the “Dr. Ernst Koch Foundation”, Rebecca Ruso from Bratislava (Slovakia), played two viola da gamba improvisations by Abel. Since it is not possible to study viola da gamba in Bratislava, she was granted another SFR 2,000.— to continue her studies in Brussels.

As far as the budget was concerned it was decided to leave the subscriptions unchanged. The amount of FF 500.- had to be paid to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, a small sum, which was worthwhile.

From the Branches it was reported that ESTA Ireland had been newly founded with Hugh Maguire and Ronald Masin.

The following new Branches were admitted by unanimous vote:

Letvia with Juris Svolkovskis and Spain, which had been constituted in November 1993, with Francisco Comesana.
From Croatia Kristijan Petrovic was welcomed as representative.
Elspeth Iliff proposed that a “Junior ESTA” be established in all Branches.
Tamás Kedves presented the next International Congress to be held in Budapest and on the topic “Bartók and Kodály”.

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