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6th International ESTA Congress in Stockholm, Sweden/Helsinki, Finland 5 – 12 June, 1979

What was special about this Congress was that, for the first time, two cities were involved – Sweden, as the host country, with 5 days in Stockholm, and Finland with one day in Helsinki. Moreover, the past Congresses had traditionally been held before or after Easter. Stockholm had to choose June, because the universities were then already closed for the summer and accommodations were available at lower prices. Everybody enjoyed the long days and the light nights, with the almost hot summer weather contributing its share.
The Congress logo, a dancing fiddler, immediately brought back memories of Klagenfurt, where we had been woken up every morning by Swedish fiddlers!

The lectures:

Ingmar Bengtsson (S) “J. H. Roman and His Violin Compositions”
Joan Dickson (GB) “The Musical Bow”
Anund Hallen (S) “Phases in the Development of Young Students of Music”
Marianne Kroemer (A) “Practical Examples of the Use of Audio Cassettes with a Group of Children from Graz”
Jan Ling (S) “Folk Music Instruments in Scandinavia in the Past Three Centuries
Radovan Lorkovic (CH) “Violin Technique between Sevcik and Flesch”
Max Rostal (CH/GB) “The Interpretation of Beethoven’s Violin Works”
L. Silverstolpe (S) “Medical Aspects of String-Instrument Playing”
Erik Tawastjerna (SF) “The First Version of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto”

At the end of Marianne Kroemer’s lecture the children from Graz played an ensemble piece that had been specifically composed for this occasion by Viktor Fortin. The “Happy Suite” with the movements: “Like a March”, “With the Windjammer”, ‘The Troubadour”, “At the Haunted Castle”, “At the Western Saloon”, “Steppe Song”, “Petite Valse”, “Two Styrians” and “Zeppelin-Jet”, which was a particular experience for the youngest (5-year-old) player, and which took the audience on a journey around the world on foot, by sea or by air. The evening concert programme offered, with the exception of the Beethoven evening with violin/piano sonatas played superbly by Max Rostal and Greta Erikson, exclusively Scandinavian music: The Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra at the concert hall with a chamber concert, another chamber concert at the broadcasting building followed by a reception, young talents at the Museum of Art History, and a concert by young artists with Finish music.
An unforgettable spectacle was presented by four minstrels, who welcomed their ESTA colleagues at the sweeping stairs outside Stockholm’s city hall with the typical stamping- swaying rhythm of Swedish folk music. Before, we had visited the famous Baroque theatre of Drottningholm Castle, had a picnic in the Park and a romantic boat ride across Lake Mälar. The two sightseeing tours, one through Stockholm on the first and through Helsinki on the last day, had been scheduled very wisely. Hardly anyone slept during our night’s passages from Stockholm to Helsinki and back – after all the sun had disappeared on the horizon for barely one hour.

The General Meeting of the Delegates was held on 9 June at Hotel Foresta.

First, a minute of silence was observed in commemoration of Paul Rolland.

Most sincere thanks were expressed to the organisers of the current Congress – Harald Thedeen and Johan Falk.

Items on the agenda:

  1. No new Branches were admitted.
  2. On 28 October, 1978, the Central Committee had met in Braunschweig. It discussed the final account of the Vienna Congress in 1978 and the preparations for Stockholm 1979.
  3. The debate on the budget resulted in the following: A basic amount of 20% was decided upon as a contribution to the umbrella organisation. The Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria volunteered to pay an extra of 13 1/3%, Great Britain plus 2 1/2%, Denmark SFR 300.-, and Netherlands SFR 1.400.-.
  4. Following the example of ASTA, which includes among “string” both bowed and plucked instruments, the Austrian Branch moved that guitar teachers be admitted as well. This motion was postponed.
  5. The Central Secretariat was in charge of the administration of the ESTA record sale (a recording by Max Rostal). The amount of SFR 1,700.—, which lias meanwhile accumulated, is held in a separate account.
  6. Louis Cams (GB) put forth three requests by the British Branch:
    1. An annual summary of national activities of the Branches in the form of a circular for all members that are unable to attend the European Congresses together with a President’s message in three languages.
    2. A circular listing the string pedagogues’ activities, with a timetable of courses and events.
    3. A list of all European ESTA members for the attention of the ESTA Secretariat.
  7. Finally, M. Kroemer deposited her wish that a report be prepared for publication in the ASTA journal.
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