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22nd International ESTA Congress in Budapest/Hungry, 6 – 11 April 1995

“Béla Bartók and His Compositions” – a programme like this was bound to focus on the “big four” of Hungarian Music – Bartók, Kodály, Ligeti and Kurtág – as well as on the accomplished string pedagogues Weiner, Hubay and Popper, but included also most interesting contributions by speakers from other member countries. Tamás Kedves and Györgyi Répássy, the untiring organisers, surprised us with many innovative ideas: for example, some violin duos by Béla Bartók were played every morning to get us in the right mood for the day. This gave us the opportunity to hear all 44 duos in the course of the conference week. Matinees with music from different countries were offered by the “Forum” every day.

Forum Germany: Kodály Duo with Anette Kernchen (violin) and Katja Gottshewski (violoncello)
Forum Switzerland: Honegger Sonata, Esther Hoppe (violin) and Márton Illés (piano)
Forum Poland: Szymanowski, 2nd String Quartet
Forum Russia: Arina Schewljakova and Sergej Didorenko
Forum England: Elgar Violin Sonata with Marylin Davies

Three scholars of the “Dr. Ernst Koch Foundation” were also supposed to present themselves at matinees. Thomas Pitt from Manchester only got as far as to Vienna and did not make it from there to Budapest. Rebecca Ruso (SK) played two recercadas by Diego Ortiz, the Sonata pour Viole de Gambe seule from “L’Echo du Danube” and a sonata by G. Ph. Telemann. Jamie Walton (GB) played Suite No. 3 for Violoncello solo by B. Britten. In appreciation of his excellent achievements during his studies he was awarded the scholarship SFR 2000.- for the second time.

At the opening concert we heard the “Weiner” Chamber Orchestra conducted by Richard Weninger with Honegger’s 2nd Symphony and Bartök1 s Divertimento. The chamber orchestra “Concentus Hungaricus” – playing without a conductor – delighted us with works by Britten (Simple Symphony), Weiner (1st Divertimento) and Dvorak (Serenade). The concert duo Attila Falvay (violin) and Maria Kovalszki (piano) had selected an imaginative programme including Bartók’s First and Second Rhapsody, Andante and Debussy’s Sonata. Esther Perenyi and her pupils played works by Weiner (F sharp minor Sonata), Farkas (Solo Sonata), Kodály (Adagio) and Partita by Lutoslawski. An extraordinary experience was the concert evening given by the Béla Bartók Youth Orchestra with the soloists Vilmos Szabadi – 2nd Violin Concerto by Bartók – and Tamás Varga – Cello Concerto by Dohnányi – and the Dances from Galáta by Kodály, where the young orchestra once more furnished proof of their outstanding ability. The folk music presented by the András Janosi Ensemble was complemented by the liveliest dances in various traditional costumes from different Hungarian regions. Most impressive for all of us – the Violin Workshop by Vilmos Szabadi, whom we had the pleasure of listening to later in a concert with the 2nd Violin Concerto by Bartók, or the presentation of the “Difficulties of Interpreting Bartok’s Viola Concerto” by Lasló Barsony.

Almost all lectures were interspersed with musical examples:

Jan Albrecht (SK) “String Instrumentation in Works by Bartók’s Friend Sándor Albrecht”
Christian Benda (CH) “The Christian Benda System”
Ivan Eröd (A) “Tradition and Innovation in the String Quartets of the Second Viennese School”
Csaba Deseö (H) “45 Minutes on the Jazz Violin with Words, Records and Musical Instruments”
Mieczyslawa Demska-Trebacz (PL) “The Violin Compositions by Szymanowski”, also participating Monika Jarecka (violin)
Sándor Devich (H) “The Bartók Duos”
Péter Halasz (H) “The Tradition of Violin Education in Hungary” (in memoriam Ferenc Halasz), also participating Violetta Eckhardt
György Kroo (H) “Bartók and His Epoch”
Mihály Ittzes (H) A Short Survey of Kodály’s Musical-Pedagogical Concepts and of His String Works”
Mikulas Jelinek (D) “Analysis of the String Works by Janacek and Suchon” with some violin examples
Ronald Masin (IRL) “The Hubay Tutor in Ireland”
László Mezö (H) “The Cello Solo Sonatas by Kodaly” with examples
Ferenc Mihaly (H) “The Popper Etude” with examples
Ilkka Oramo (SF) “Some Aspects of Bartók’s Notation”
W. Rudenko (H) “Bartók – Szigeti”
Olavi Sild (Estonia) “Bartók and New Paradigms in the Mind-Sets of Violin Players”

Particularly well received by the congress participants was die workshop held by the Béla Bartók String Quartet with Peter Komlos, 1st violin, Géza Hargitai, 2nd violin, Géza Nemeth, Viola and Lászlá Mezö, violoncello, on problems of interpreting compositions by Bartók, Kodály and Weiner.

The farewell banquet, which was garnished with fiery gipsy music, was the successful finale of an intensive week with Hungarian string tradition.

General Meeting of the Delegates on 9 April in Budapest.

With 15 member countries present, a most efficient meeting could be held.

Memories of four good friends will never die. The Genera! Meeting bid a last farewell by observing a minute’s silence to Joan Dickson (GB), Hannelore Koch (D), Rudolf von Tobel (CH) and Leena Siukonen (SF).

As always, the Treasurer’s report by Werner Schmitt and the Auditors’ Report had been prepared perfectly and were commented in detail, and the accounts were approved unanimously. A long discussion followed on an increase in subscription fees, which was deemed necessary. Fortunately, unanimity could be reached also on this issue. The following subscription scheme was agreed upon:

    1. Small Branches (up to 99 members)
      Branch contribution 0, per member SFR 6.-, minimum contribution SFR 50.-
    2. Medium-sized Branches (100 – 300 members)
      Branch contribution SFR 400.-, per member SFR 4.-
    3. Large Branches (from 400 members upwards)
      Branch contribution SFR 600.-, per member SFR 3.-

Subscriptions are always calculated in SFR.

News from the Branches:

The admission of Latvia was re-confirmed.

Ukraine, which had been visited by Werner Schmitt the year before, was proposed for admission provided the Statutes would be submitted.

Albania was represented by Edmond Sinani, who had had the chance to study the theory and methodology of music and the repair of instruments in Great Britain. It was emphasised that Albania needed urgently music, instruments and spare parts of any kind. (Adr.: June Emerson, Albanien Musicians Trust, Windmill House, Ampleforth, GB – North Yorkshire). “The Dr. Ernst Koch Foundation” was receiving more and more inquiries. It was stressed that, in order to be able to continue presenting young scholars at International ESTA Congress, financial support was required from the Branches, at least to cover part of the costs for travelling an accommodation. With great joy we were able to report that DM 43000.- had been donated by a German ESTA member.

The accession to IMC (International Music Council) was discussed and regarded to be important. The annual membership fee of US$ 600.- was considered to be a good investment.

Trude Spoun and Werner Schmitt had attended three meetings in Strasbourg and one in Paris and were now working on a paper on the significance of the theory of music in general education. Another pan-European initiative was the “European Campaign against Racism, Xenophobia, Anti-Semitism and Intolerance”.

The British Branch had set up a foundation for children and was active also within JESTA – JUNIOR ESTA.

Siegfried Palm reported on the next International Congress 1996 in Germany and the future plans: Great Britain 1999 and Helsinki 2000. Unfortunately, no proposals had been received yet for 1997 and 1998.

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