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8th International ESTA Congress in Edinburg/Great Britain 9 – 16 April, 1981

First of all, it should be mentioned that Max Rostal had received two high distinctions: Minister of Science Hans Schwier awarded him Grand Cross for Distinguished Service of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Royal Academy of Music appointed him Honorary Member.

The 8th International ESTA Congress in Scotland was held in Edinburgh’s Pollak-Halls, a modem students’ residence centre of the University, which provided the ideal setting for congress activities and communication. Nannie Jamieson and Joan Dickson together with their many helpers had organised the meeting perfectly. Max Rostal was present tirelessly, last but not least as a competent, multi-lingual discussion moderator. The Congress languages were English and German, with the manuscripts translated in advance.

The lectures:

Hans Erik & Deckert (DK) “Chamber Music as a School for Ensemble Playing”
Yehudi Menuhin (GB) “The Violin – a Folk Instrument, too”
Roger Raphael (GB) “Re-learning”
Mary Remnant (GB) “British String Instruments of the Early Period”
Colin O’Riodan & Yla Steven (GB) “Scottish Fiddlers”
Rodney Slatford (GB) “The Race of Double-Basses”
Géza Silvay (SF) “Kodály’s Principles in Violin Teaching”
“Colour Strings Method with Video Films”
Helga Thoene (GFR) “Problems of Style in Pre- and Early Classical Music in the Teaching of String-Instrument Players”

Discussion rounds:

Max Rostal – Werner Scholz “On the Balance of Practising”
Caroline Coxon (GB) “The Possible Development of a Musically Talented Child in Great Britain”

The comprehensive programme was complemented by instructional video films by Sheila Nelson (GB), Paul Rolland (USA) and Suzuki (J).

In the concerts we heard the Scottish Baroque Ensemble under the direction of Leonhard Friedman and Hans Gal, who, aged 91! – conducted his mastery Concertino, which he had dedicated to Max Rostal, himself. Max Rostal, at his best as always, captivated the audience with his brilliant and virtuoso rendering of the solo part. At the studio of the Scottish Broadcasting Corporation we were fascinated by the commitment of the “New Music Group of Scotland”. At St. Cecilia Hall we listened to Jaye Consort and the humorous comments by Francis Baines and were impressed by the remarkable accomplishments of the pupils of “St. Mary’s School”, including the Guadagnini Quartet, which already counts among the national top. The “Max Rostal Trio” was one of the attractions at the farewell party. Bagpipe players in their national 41tartan-dress” had accompanied us cheerfully all the way throughout the Congress.

One major issue at the General Meeting of the Delegates on 12 April, 1981, was yet again the integration of Eastern European countries, in particular of Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, with which close contacts existed already. Negotiations were conducted also with Greece and Israel. The reports of the national Branches of their activities had been submitted in writing.

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