Program Report 2014

11th Crescendo Summer Institute

Tokaj, Hungary

28 July - 11 August, 2014

- report on the two weeks program -


Opening Ceremony

On July 28, 2014 the jubilee series of events began with a festive opening ceremony. During the day 300 people arrived from 30 countries, from 4 continents, and in the evening the 11th Crescendo Summer Institute officially commenced in the Tokaji Ferenc High School.

Beat Rink, founder and director of Crescendo International, as well as Timothy Bentch and Eszter Füzesséryné Dudás, artistic directors, welcomed the guests and announced the most special professional programs: the Bach Course, the Music History Lectures, the Teachers' and Students' Concerts, the Orchestra Concert (Mendelssohn: Reformation Symphony), the Opera Scenes, the Jazz Course and a number of further interesting events had been organized for the participants. Besides taking part in the solo courses, the beauty of working together as well as the opportunity of making new friends and creating international relationships were also emphasized.

As a musical word of welcome, the audience could hear the song called "Ach Gott, wie graust mir vor dem Tod..." ["O God, how I fear death..."] (No. 2) from Frank Martin's Six Monologues from "Jedermann" ["Everyman"] (1943/49) performed by Stephen Morscheck (USA, bass baritone) and Kristin Ditlow (USA, piano); then, Beata Halska (PL, violin) and Swetlana Meerman-Muret (RUS, piano) played Sarasate's virtuoso piece entitled Zigeunerweisen [Gypsy Airs]. Both performances had great success, foreshadowing the high quality of the master courses of the Crescendo Summer Institute.

Beat Rink (CH) and his wife of Finnish origin, Airi Rink, also welcomed the participants and invited them to the friendly programs of the Institute, namely the Tune In sessions, the small group discussions in the evenings and the Creative Church. The major theme of the Institute this year is "Real Life". The main goal of the Crescendo Summer Institute is to look upon its participants as whole persons and thus, as a result of the series of lectures, to inspire guiding thoughts concerning real life.

As a tradition, the different nations representing the contries of the participants were listed.

The countries and nations introduced were greeted with warm rounds of applause:

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, China, Finnland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of South Africa, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA

The leadership of Tokaj was also represented at the Opening Ceremony. István Dévald, director of the Cultural and Conference Center, told us that the municipal government of the town considers culture and tourism strategically important branches; therefore, it is a great honor for them that Tokaj can serve as the new host town of the Crescendo Summer Institute. They kindly invite the participants of the events to the Synagogue equipped with a Bösendorfer piano and converted into a concert venue and to the lately renovated Paulay Ede Theater. They also hope that the teachers and the students of the international Crescendo Summer Institute will spread the fame of the beauty of Tokaj and its environs, of the fine wines and of the Hunagarian passion for music and our hospitality. Representing the locals, Pastor Gergely Márton Kiss, minister of the Reformed Church, and Father Ferenc Kertész, Roman Catholic priest, welcomed the participants and prayed for blessing on the events of the week to come.


Weekdays at the Crescendo Summer Institute 

– Report from last Monday to Friday –

By the time the master courses begin at 10:00 a.m., our teachers have already started their days at the Crescendo Summer Institute spiritually recharged. At 8:15 in the mornings, we have prayer sessions for the teachers led by Hermann Rohde (D), guitarist. Between 8:45 and 9:30 we gather for a common worship, called TUNE IN. Besides the songs praising God, short pieces of classical music are also performed. Miniature performances with the contribution of our dancers and actors highlight the biblical messages of the Tune In sessions. The topics of the services focus on those of the evening small group discussions, which are based on the writings of Beat Rink and Dr. Marcel S. Zwitser. The topics of the sessions elaborated under the title “Real Life”: Loneliness and Community, Sensitive inner world – tough external world, Uniqueness and Perfectionism or Excellence? The preachers of the morning Tune In sessions are Beat Rink (CH), Timothy Bentch (USA), Eszter Bereczk (H), Dániel Hamar (H), Hermann Rohde (D) and Christian Studler (CH).

Each day, lectures and concerts enrich the lives of our guests coming to the master courses. These events are free and open to anyone interested.

On Tuesday, 29 July, Christian Studler, professor of the Music Academy of Bern, held a lecture to our teachers entitled “Pedagogical Methods – From a Christian Perspective,” which was followed by a consultation and an open exchange of experience.

Our students Anna Buslidze, Natalia Kokorina, Maksim Rogozkhin, Vladislav Kuproyanov (RUS, voice), Isa Halme (FIN, violin) and Pauliina Haustein (FIN, cello) performed some of the works of Gounod, Verdi, Einojuhani Rautavaara (Finnish composer), Halvorsen and Respighi at several venues across Tokaj, including the squares of the pedestrian precincts as well as the yards of the coffee houses.

The “Candlelit Worship” is considered to be a tradition here. With the contribution of the teachers and the students of the Jazz course, the participants of the night programs could be part of an intimate musical experience and community.

Beginning at 17:00 on Thursday, 31 July, the first teachers’ concert took place in the Paulay Ede Theater. The Faculty of the Crescendo Summer Institute of an international composition of more than 40 members consists of soloists and chamber musicians of world-famous orchestras and teachers of prestigious universities. At the event the audience could hear a compilation from the special repertoire of our virtuoso teachers ranging from baroque to contemporary music. Bernard Le Monnier (F, violin), Beata Halska (PL, violin), Allar Kaasik (EST, cello), Steven Gross (USA, horn), Andreas Henkel (D, piano) and Ye-Ree Kim (South Korea, piano) performed pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach, Kuldar Sink, Vincent Persichetti, Schumann, Michal Spisak, Rossini and Verdi.

On Friday, 1 August, we could be part of the special programs of the Jazz course. The workshop of István Grencsó (saxophone) offered an unforgettable experience both to the participants of the course and to those interested in jazz. We arranged one of our most significant programs, the Jazz concert, for 20:00, where the following pieces of music were performed: Sticks vs 7 Strings, Infinite Melody, Interlude, On Bach, Solitude, Tryptichon: In Thee is Gladness, the improvisation of the Grencsó Pisti & Szilveszter Miklós duo and the Evening Song. Contributed: Amelia Tionanda (Indonesia, violin), Elinor Speirs (USA, violin), Ilze Gagaine (EST, violin), Magdalena Szczebiot (PL, viola), Lauren Franklin-Steinmetz (USA, cello), Uwe Steinmetz (USA, saxophone), Greg Pascuzzi (USA, trumpet and piano), Simon Wunderlin (drums, electronics), John Featherstone (F, 7-string guitar), Grencsó István (saxophone), Miklós Szilveszter (drums), Timothy Bentch and Jonathan Bailey – reading.


The first common weekend at the Crescendo Summer Institute

The morning tune-in event called Sostenuto took place between 8:30 and 9:30 on Saturday, August 2, where Dániel Hamar gave an account of the plans of Crescendo Hungary for next year, and Beat Rink told us about the activity of Crescendo International throughout the year, which goes far beyond the periodic activity of the Summer Institute in both time and space.

The morning session continued in narrower circle led by Airi Rink. The leaders of the evening small groups shared their experience and prayed for the successful continuation of the spiritual work.

Led by Tina Bailey (USA, dance), the next program, between 12:00 and 13:00, was the Lectio Divina, which has been very successful for years and highly popular with our participants.

The closing recital of the violin section of Bernard Le Monnier (F) and Beata Halska (PL) took place at 15:00. The performers were Nándor Burai, Csenge Dósa, Violetta Haraszti, Klára Ittzés, Patrik Gergő Oláh, Miklós Papp, Hanna Schneider (D), Gyula Várady, Debora Ungureanu (RO) and Patricia Harasemiuc (RO). The concert closed with two flute duos performed by Kinga Csizmadi (RO) and Mihai Vaida (RO). Several masterpieces of the instrumental literature were also played (works of Bach, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Bloch).

At 16:30 Simon Wunderlin (CH, percussion) held a lecture entitled “Mental hygiene, stress handling and performing arts” at the Paulay Ede Theater, where our young performers were given useful pieces of advice and guidance as to how to deal with performance anxiety.

The concert of the international youth orchestra started at 17:00 at the main square of Tokaj. The young Chinese, American, Polish and Hungarian musicians had been practicing for it a lot in the previous days. The works of Haydn, Ferenc Farkas and Chinese composers learned for the common performance were conducted by Nick Hu (China, conductor). The performers of the chamber pieces of the concert also come from different countries. The audience of the event could get a taste of the music ranging from Purcell to Bartók.

One of the highlights of the Crescendo Summer Institute, the Creative Church, took place at 20:00. Dating back to the beginnings of the movement, it started on the initiative of the leaders of Crescendo International more than 25 years ago. This special form of worship born at the meeting point of faith and art has already become a tradition at the Crescendo Summer Institute as well. What make this occasion so unique and unforgettable are the completion of the biblical messages of the service with artistic elements and the interactive involvement of the audience. At the event realized with the contribution of the virtuoso teachers and students of the Crescendo Summer Institute, Beat Rink, founder and director of Crescendo International, preached the Word of God, the central topic of which was “Real Life”.

During the Creative Church, József Kiss (oboe), David Danel (violin), Eszter Draskóczy (violin), Claudia Michaelsen (D, viola), Allar Kaasik (EST, cello), Arnold Gregorian (USA, double bass), Stephen Morscheck (USA, bass-baritone) and János Pálúr (organ) performed works by Gregory Pascuzzi, Bach and Mendelssohn. As a musical reflection on the sermon, we could then listen to a wonderful organ improvisation by János Páúr.

At 9:00 on Sunday, August 3, soloists Anna Szentes, Xénia Sárközi, Luca Bojtos, Anna Jánoshegyi and Adriána Kalafszky (soprano) performed Iván Madarász’s Missa brevis at the Catholic mass with the participation of Bálint Bress, Dániel Bögös and William Buchanan (UK) on the guitar.

At the Reformed church service starting at 10:00, Bence Kozák, Zita Tar and Ted Bikisch (USA) played pieces by Bachs and Frescobaldi on the organ, and Fuchs’s Romance was performed by Kruchió Rebeka (flute), Agnieszka Sobolewska (PL, violin) and Hanyuda Shiho (J, piano).

Furthermore, an international service took place in the morning with the contribution of Hermann Rohde (D) and his prayer group.

The leaders of the praise team of the Tune In sessions and the Crescendo worships are Joshua Allain Bouillon (USA, opera singer) and Leana Alkema (Republic of South Africa, cello). In the mornings, the participants of Crescendo perform several songs and chorals, involving a number of instruments accompanying in different chamber formations the praising choir consisting of hundreds of singers.

On Sunday afternoon, the teachers and the students of Crescendo had the opportunity to take part in free-time activities and several outings: boat trips, wellness, bathing in the river Tisza, a fish soup dinner at Bonchidai Csárda, cellar-visiting tours, canoe trips in the Bodrogzug and trips to the Kopasz [Bald] Hill. In the evening, the participants, already enriched with new experiences, were invited to a bogrács and grill party; then, we closed the evening as well as our first week at the Crescendo Summer Institute learning Hungarian folk dances. 


The second week of the Crescendo Summer Institute

Recharged after a wonderful first week, we started the eagerly awaited second week of the Crescendo Summer Institute. The morning praying sessions for teachers continued, as did the special series of events of the Tune In sessions. The preachers of the second week’s morning services were Beat Rink, Eszter Bereczk, Rudolf Geigy (CH), Dániel Hamar and Hermann Rohde (D), and, similarly to last week, the topics (Embracing the Truth, Failure – Success, Meaningful Life) were in tune with those of the evening small group discussions.

The second teachers’ concert was arranged for Monday, August 4, where works by Joseph Haydn, Eric Ewazen, Olivier Messiaen, Erik Morales, Gregory Pascuzzi, Maurice Ravel and Francis Poulenc were performed by István Dominkó (H, piano), Eszter Draskóczy (H, violin), Csilla Dominkó Sallai (H, cello), Carla Leurs (NL, violin), Reto Reichenbach (CH, piano), Arnold Gregorian (USA, double bass), Gregory Pascuzzi (USA, piano), Richard Stoelzel (USA, trumpet), Melinda Bozay (H, piano), Judith Ermert (D, cello), Bethany Brooks (USA, piano), Christian Studler (CH, flute), József Kiss (H, oboe), Brian Hysong (USA, clarinet), Julie Gregorian (USA, bassoon), Steven Gross (USA, French horn), Katherine Stubbins Rodriguez (USA, trombone) and Paul Carlson (USA, tuba).

Marcel S. Zwitser DLA (NL) held his music history lecture entitled “Bach in Köthen” in the Synagogue of Tokaj on Tuesday, August 5. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) lived and worked in Köthen from 1717 to 1723. What makes this period unique in his biography is that, employed as a court musician by Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, he wrote primarily court music, like the famous Brandenburg Concertos, and that the composition of cantatas and organ music characterizing the earlier Weimar period faded into the background. Besides, this is when Bach wrote his main educational work, Das wohltemperierte Klavier I [The Well-Tempered Clavier I], too. Dr. Marcel S. Zwitser gave an overview of these six years of Bach’s life, thus placing in their historical contexts works like the Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo and the Suites for Cello, which constitutes a prominent part of the curriculum of the master courses of the Crescendo Summer Institute 2014.

János Pálúr performed an improvisational organ recital at 22:00 on the Angster organ of the Catholic church.

At 17:00 on Wednesday, August 6, several musical events took place in several towns. Sárospatak had been functioning as the location of the Crescendo Summer Institute for the first ten years; therefore, we organized a concert in the chamber hall of the Saint Elizabeth House for the local audience as well. Works by Bach, Saint-Saëns, Rautavaara (Finnish composer), Debussy and Spohr were played by three of our Finnish participants: Isa Halme (violin), Pauliina Haustein (cello) and Juulia Pölönen (kantele, Finnish national musical instrument). At the same time, there were joyful promenade concerts in Tokaj again, where the young musicians of the Violin Section flashed their talents.

At an open podium discussion starting at 22:00, we were searching for answers to the questions arising at the meeting point of career, faith and arts with the participation of István Dominkó (H, piano), Constance Fee (USA, voice), Carla Leurs (NL, violin), Steuart Pincombe (USA, cello), Simon Wunderlin (CH) and Timothy Bentch (USA, tenor) as the moderator.

On Thursday, August 7, those interested could attend the closing concert of the church music course of the Voice Section. Kristin Ditlow’s students had been treating the church songs of Hugo Wolf as well as Antonín Dvorak’s Biblical Songs on her course in German. The performers of the closing concert were Edina Békefi (H), Monica Banco (RO), Anna Molnár (H), Zsófia Mózer (H), Julie Nemer (F), Iwona Siemieniuk (PL) and Annamária Szabó (H) with the participation of Jin Xiaoyun (China) on the piano.

Beginning at 20:00, the closing concert of the highly successful Bach course took place in the Synagogue, where the following pieces were performed by Kristin Ditlow (USA, harpsichord); Ana Atalaia, Sarah Cooper and Adriána Kalafszky (voice); and Paolo Paroni (conductor): Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and No. 5 and the cantatas entitled Ich habe genug [I have enough] and Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke [I am content with my good fortune].


The final days 

A number of concerts were offered in Tokaj to those interested in the programs of the last three days of the Crescendo Summer Institute. The participants of the Piano Section played on the Steinway piano of the Paulay Ede Theater at 11:30 on Friday, August 8; the students of the Violin Section gave a concert in the Reformed church at 14:00; furthermore, we could join the performance of the pianists in the Catholic church at 15:30 and the flute concert taking place in the Reformed church again.

We arranged plenty of open events for Saturday, August 9 as well. First, the violinists, the cellists and the chamber musicians gave a common concert in the representative exhibition room in the mansard of the Synagogue; later, the woodwinds (oboists, clarinetists, and bassoonists) showed their talent in the Reformed church. We could get an insight on the stage of the Paulay Ede Theater into the workshop secrets of the Opera Scenes Course, and in the afternoon our young opera singers actually showed what they had learned, so the audience could hear a special compilation of the most beautiful opera scenes of the music literature. As the result of the work of course leaders Tamás and Krisztina Tarjányi, their 40 students performed excerpts from, among others, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, Donizetti’s The Love Potion, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliette, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Händel’s Tamerlano and Rinaldo as well as Menotti’s The Medium, accompanied by Erika Dallos, Rita Termes, Sámuel Tóth accompanist-artists and Sladjana Acimovic (SRB), participant of the Piano Accompanying Course.

Later that day, the Brass Section concert took place in the Main Square of Tokaj, where the popular and modern brass music in various transformations brought further colors into the life of the Crescendo Summer Institute. Meanwhile, we could hear the performance of the winners of the Crescendo Gala Concert 2013 in the Synagogue. The performers were Benjámin Beeri (tenor), Áron Demeter (piano) and Máté Miklós (trumpet), with the participation of Anna Szentes (voice), Dániel Bögös (guitar) and Erika Dallos (pianist, teacher). The audience could hear works by Francesco Cilea, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Manuel de Falla, Ferenc Liszt, Gaetano Donizetti and Giuseppe Verdi.

At 22:00 we closed the day with a candle lit worship in the Synagogue. The heart-stirring and touching service of our praise team, our dancers and our creative group meant a real recharge for all of us.

On Sunday, August 10, the final day of the Crescendo Summer Institute, we started the morning with a musical service. Eszter Draskóczy (H, violin), Jozef Kolinek (PL, violin), David Danel (CZ, viola) and Fanni Gurgel performed two Polish dances in the Catholic church, after which we could hear Charpentier’s Salve Regina performed by Anna Molnár (H, voice) and Zita Tar (H, organ). Father Ferenc Kertész’s sermon was followed by Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E-flat major played by Ágoston Gedai (organ). The opening piece in the Reformed church was Camille Saint-Saëns’s Prelude and Fugue in H major played by Ted Bickish (USA, organ). As a preparation for the sermon, Anett Jóföldi (H, flutist, teacher) and Rita Termes (H, pianist, teacher) performed Mozart’s Andante in C major. After the closing song Bence Kozák (H, organ) played Bach’s Fugue in C major. Pianist and teacher János Pálúr’s improvisation and rich musical accompaniment to the beautiful Protestant church songs contributed to the sermon of Pastor Gergely Márton Kiss, providing with a wonderful artistic experience. Testimonies concerning the experiences of the last two weeks were shared at the International Service. Then we closed the last common service of the Crescendo Summer Institute with a sermon and a prayer.

The closing concert of the Choir Conducting Course took place in the Catholic church at noon and was followed by the concert of the Youth Section in the Paulay Ede Theater. The international team of the Youth Section, led by course leader Csilla Dominkó Sallai, showed a high-standard performance in various formations, in solo, with chamber orchestras and with their small orchestra.

The first Gala Concert was arranged for 15:00; the second for 17:30. Students were given the opportunity to participate as a result of the recommendation and decision of the teachers and the artistic leaders.

Simultaneously with the Gala Concerts, Jovana Raljic, winner of the Zemplén Festival 2013 and the Crescendo Summer Institute competition, played Mozart’s Violin Concerto in A major in the yard of the Rákóczi Castle in Sárospatak as the soloist of the Finnish orchestra Saimaa Sinfonietta, conducted by Tibor Bogányi.

The concerts were followed by the traditional Gala Party. Having expressed our gratitude to the leaders, the artistic teachers and the organizers, we continued with a reception. The participants of Crescendo, forged into a wonderful community during the two weeks, celebrated their successful series of events together at the local Cultural and Conference Center. The folk music band Zsindelyes also gave a concert; then, we went on to learn Hungarian folk dances. We had a great and joyful time at the Gala Party, the closing accord of the Crescendo Summer Institute and Festival, lasting until midnight. Everyone is looking forward to the 12th Crescendo Summer Institute, that is, the next international cultural forum scheduled between July 20 and August 3, 2015.

Gala Concert I


Arthur Honegger: Intrada
          David Koch (USA) – trumpet
          Bethany Brooks (USA) – piano

Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Grand Concerto for Bassoon, Movement I. Allegro moderato 
          András Földesi (H) – bassoon
          Rita Termes (H) – piano

Gabriel Fauré: Élégie
          Elena Korolenkó (UA) – cello
          Reto Reichenbach (CH) – piano

Camille Saint-Saëns: D major Sonata for Oboe and Piano, Movement 2 and 3
          Jovana Jevtic‡ (SRB) – oboe
          Bethany Brooks (USA) – piano

Sergei Rachmaninov: “Ne poi Krasávitsa pri mne”
          Anna Buslidze (RUS) – mezzo soprano
          Swetlana Meermann (RUS) – piano

Carl Maria von Weber: Grand Duo Concertant Movement 3.
          Noémi Sallai (H) – clarinet
          Bethany Brooks (USA) – piano

Nikolai Kapustin: Sonata–Fantasia, Movement 4
          Namkoong Hyuk (South Korea) – piano

Cécile Chaminade: Concertino
          Dávid Boglárka (H) – flute
          Termes Rita (H) – piano

Vincenzo Bellini: Aria from Romeo and Juliette
          Eszter Zemlényi (H) – soprano
          Erika Dallos (H) – piano

Pablo de Sarasate: Introduction and Tarantella
          Nándor Burai (H) – violin
          Bethany Brooks (USA) – piano

Jazz solo improvisation
          Elinor Speirs (USA) – jazz violin

Anne Ellerhein–Metsala: Improvisation on a theme of Mika Piiparinen ”In silence” (Arranged for 5 Cellos by Allar Kaasik (EST))
          Tatiana Tutynina (RUS)
          Csaba Zsolt Maksay (H)
          Elena Korolenko (UA)
          Csilla Nádas (H)
          Dóra Zsuzsa Tornyainé (H)

Gala Concert II


Béla Bartók: Contrasts, Movement I
          Fanni Fekete (H) – clarinet
          Eszter Kruchió (H) – violin
          Ádám Szokolay (H) – piano

Claude Debussy: Sonata d minor
          Pauliina Haustein (FIN) – cello
          Swetlana Meermann (RUS) – piano

Stjepan Sulek: Sonata „Vox Gabrieli” for trombone and piano
          Simon Schunn (D) – trombone
          Reto Reichenbach (CH) – piano

Richard Strauss: Allerseelen
          Norbert Antóni (H) – baritone
          Sámuel Tóth (H) – piano

Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata Nr. 2 op 94 Moderato
          Rebeka Kruchió (H) – flute
          Rita Termes (H) – piano

Alfredo Catalani: Opera La Wally, Aria of Wally
          Xénia Sárközi (H) – voice
          Dallos Erika (H) – piano

Ernest Bloch: Nigun
          Gyula Várady (H) – violin
          Melinda Bozay (H) – piano

Vincenzo Bellini “Qui la voce” from the opera Puritania
          Natalia Kukorina (RUS) – voice
          Swetlana Meermann (RUS) – piano

Felix Mendelssohn–Bartholdy: Symphony No. 5 “Reformation” I. Andante - Allegro con fuoco II. Allegro vivace III. Andante IV. Andante con moto - Allegro vivace

Presented by:  The Symphonic Orchestra of the Crescendo Summer Institute
Conducted by: András Vass 

Numerous students were awarded after the Gala concerts:
          - Stella Audiostudio Recording – Eszter Kruchió (violin), Rebeka Kruchió (flute)
          - Perfirmance opportunity as a soloist with the „Pannon Filharmonikusok” orchestra: Eszter Zemlényi (voice)
          - 100% tuition support and a concert at the Crescendo Summer Institute in 2015:
             Namkoong Hyuk (South Korea, piano)
             Xénia Sárközi (H, soprano)
             Gyula Várady (H, violin)


Timothy Bentch, Eszter Dudás

artistic directors
Crescendo Summer Institute


(Translated by Péter Őri)