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4th International ESTA Congress in Appenzell/Switzerland, 30 March – 6 April, 1977

Apart from the picturesque village itself located ideally at an altitude of 800 m, th-e choice of the Congress venue could not have been more appropriate after all the original Appenzell music is composed of two violins, violoncello, double bass and dulcimer. One could choose between private accommodation and a hotel – every lecture and every concert could be easily reached on foot.

The speakers came from six different countries this time, which we all considered to be great progress.

Paul Breuer (GFR) “The Different Forms of Double Bass Building, the Different Stringing and Tuning”
Eta Cohen (GB) “How I Teach Beginners”
Eduard Melkus (A) “Ornamentation in Baroque Violin Sonatas”
Jürgen Meyer (GFR) “Acoustic Aspects in Violin Playing”
Sheila Nelson (GB) “Motivation in Elementary Instruction”
Theo Olof (NL) “Rhythm”
Xavier Turull (SP) “Problems of Proper Intonation in Violin Teaching”
Sandor Veress (CH) “The Violinist, His/Her Instrument and the Composer of Today”

Erich Doflein (GFR) accepted the challenge of a podium discussion, with the attendees participating most actively. As always, music was played together with a lot of enthusiasm with Max Roslal as conductor of the Baroque programme. One concert with works by J. S. Bach, Richter, Tartini and Vivaldi was performed in the church. At the Sunday matinee we had the pleasure of listening to a wonderful string trio played by Hansheinz Schneeberger, Walter Kägi and Rolf Looser. Hansheinz Schneeberger played Bach’s solo sonata in G minor at a chamber concert after Yehudi Menuhin had cancelled his participation. The same evening we had to opportunity of listening to the Odeon-Trio from Munich playing works by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Shostakovich. We were shown through the lovely village of Appenzell and the museum of mechanical musical instruments. Particular interest was taken in a mechanical violin from 1910. A visit lo St.Gallen with its magnificent collegiate church and library and the famous lace museum was, of course, part of our sightseeing programme. At the farewell evening the Congress week was summarised in a cheerful review. The participant said good-bye to each other full of happy anticipation of the Vienna Congress in 1978.

The General Meeting on 1 April, 1977

Nannie Jamieson (GB) announced that Max Rostal had been conferred the title CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by the British Queen, an announcement that was most warmly applauded by everyone.

The General Meeting was of particular significance this time as the new Statutes had to be drawn up in conformity with the Swiss law governing societies and associations. Georg Krneta, a lawyer, was present to explain the Statutes. Maria Naef-Busato was appointed keeper of the minutes and was to draft a record later also in English together with Muriel Anthony (GB). The Articles were read out one by one, and the Statutes were then adopted unanimously. At that point in time, the following nations were recognised as member countries:

Great Britain
Federal Republic of Germany
German Democratic Republic

The following persons were elected members of the Central Committee:

President: Max Rostal (CH/GB)
Vice-President: Marianne Kroemer (A)
Treasurer: Wolfgang Stettler (CH) not present, subject to his consent
Auditors: Gerhard Müller-Seidlitz (FRG)
Sven Karpe, subject to his consent

A long debate followed on the issue of contributions to be paid by the Branches. At long last it was agreed that graded contributions should be remitted to the Central Treasury in Berne:

33%: Austria, Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, Switzerland
25%: Netherlands, Italy
20%: Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, German Democratic Repubic

Up to this very day it has been tried to take into account the different standards of living and income situations of the teachers in the individual member countries. A delicate matter…

The election of a Secretary was postponed.

A planned contract UE (Universal Edition) regarding the continued publication of the international ESTA journal could not be concluded for financial reasons.

The (ieneral Meeting was closed with the announcement of the next International ESTA Congress to be held from 28 March to 4 April, 1978, in Vienna.

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