Dalla Foresta alla Musica
String teachers from all over Europe, interested in furthering their own professional development, keeping themselves informed, and making contacts, met this year in the very beautiful surroundings of the old north Italian city of Cremona, the bastion of traditional violin-making. The lectures on violin-making and its history took their due place, with speakers such as Charles Beare, Renato Meucci, and Andrea Mosconi, curator of the Stradivarius Museum.
The Conference featured well-known artists, renowned as both performers and teachers: Salvatore Accardo, Rocco Filippini, and Bruno Giuranna, who at the time was President of ESTA Italy and organiser of this Conference. Also present were teachers such as Sheila Nelson, Phyllis Young, Enzo Porta and Lenneke Willems among others, who introduced or reported on their work. Light was shed on string-playing history by speakers from Italy and Belgium who had known Enrico Mainardi and Giaconda de Vito. Baroque performance practice on authentic instruments was described and justified by Marianne Ronez and Giuliano Carmignola.
Many concerts took place, by instrumentalists great and small, from six-, seven- and nine-year- olds to the Quartetto di Cremona, and an evening of virtuoso violin music with orchestra, with Carmignola as soloist. Professors Accardo, Giuranna and Filippini joined forces with their students from the Stauffer Foundation to give a Gala Concert in Cremona’s charming Teatro Ponchielli. The programme included a moving performance of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht in memory of Elspeth Iliff.
Youth orchestras from Finland, Switzerland, Italy and Croatia demonstrated the fruits of their labours. Particular topics, such as intonation (Gerhard Mantel) and left-handedness (Martial Gauthier, former member of the Castagneri Quartet), were covered in detail. A social highlight of this Conference was the formal banquet on the last evening, held at the Aquila Nera (Black Eagle) restaurant in the splendour of the Palazzo Trecchi, and showcasing the best in Italian style and hospitality.