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29th International ESTA Congress together with the Kodály Society from 6 to 11 August 2001 in Helsinki/Finland

The “super father” of Finish music, Jan Sibelius, has dominated the education of string players in Finland throughout history up to the present. Today, influences not only from Central Europe but also of immigrant musicians of renown are undeniable. Contemporary music has produced a number of remarkable composers, whose works were presented. The close vicinity of neighbouring Russia as well as of the Baltic states was brought to life in several concerts. The opportunity of a post-congress tour to St Petersburg was seized gladly by many participants, especially the American ones, who had attended the Kodály Congress.

Einojuhani Rautavaara, Finland The Beauty in Music
Tuomas Haapanen, Finland Some Thoughts on the Interpretation of Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto
Satu Jalas-Risito, FIN/Italy Finish Characteristics in the Music of my Grandfather, Jan Sibelius, with Demonstration
Anna Marton, CH New Perspectives of Playing Shifts and Placing the Thumb on the Cello
Lajos Garam, FIN Training and Educating a Gifted String Player
H. Lehto
M. Järvelä, FIN
Presentation of Various Forms of String Instrument Teaching
Felix Forrer, CH Presentation of “Forrer’s Shift Puzzle”
Géza Szilvay
Csaba Szilvay
Lasse Lagercranz
Jussipekka Rannanmäki, all FIN
Colour Strings and Colour Keys
Matti und Silja Murto, FIN Introduction to Teaching Material for String Players
Harri Wessman, FIN New String Music for Young Players
Ihar Vedzenin, Belarus Education of a String Teacher
Phyllis Young, USA Workshop

Combining the events of ESTA and of the International Kódaly Society had the benefit that the musical focus was not only concerts by young and established string players but also on national choral work presented by outstanding choirs from Hungary, Estonia, Poland, Japan and Finland. ESTA contributed symphonic music (Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony), string quartet (the Bartók-Quartet with Kodaly’s No. 2), the Violin Concerto by Sibelius played beautifully, with concentration and unsurpassed skill by Réka Szilvay, daughter of Géza Szilvay. A grandiose success – the Total Cello Show, a cello sextet conducted by Hannu Kilski, entertaining their audience with amusing pieces in virtuoso and witty manner. The ESTA Student of the Year Prize went to 19-year-old Kirsi-Marja Alanen from Finland, who thanked us by rendering part of her competition program.

General Meeting of the Delegates in Helsinki on 11 August, 2001

As always at the General Meetings of the Delegates, the finances were disclosed and found to have been properly conducted. It was requested again that the respective membership lists be submitted by 31 December. Werner Schmitt, CH, who had served as Treasurer for many years, resigned and passed on this office to his compatriot Käthi Gohl Moser, who was elected into the Central Committee unanimously. There followed a discussion on the forthcoming election of a successor to Siegfried Palm. Candidates proposed by the various Branches had to be announced 90 days prior to the election.

Another point of discussion was the question of split membership fees for well-off and less well-off countries. It was decided by vote to maintain them at the same level for all members. A further issue was how to “attract back” Russia into ESTA. The professors Jelinek, Slovkia, and Murdvee, Estonia, resigned from the Central Committee to be replaced by Schmitt and Gohl Moser. Last but not least, the countries hosting the ESTA Congresses until 2006 presented themselves.

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