25 July - 8 August 2016
The thirteenth Crescendo Summer Institute officially opened its doors on July 25, 2016. It was preceded by the now traditional Sostenuto Conference, beginning on July 23, and attended by some of the academy’s teachers by invitation only. Its theme was the Holy Spirit. The two-week Summer Institute began on Monday.
Beat and Airi Rink, the directors of Crescendo International and its Summer Institute, as well as violist Eszter Füzesséryné Dudás, the founder of Song for the Nations Cultural Foundation and the director of Crescendo Festival welcomed the assembled participants and outlined the artistic and spiritual program.
The evening was embellished with performances by Crescendo’s instructors: after a fanfare by Janis Porietis of Latvia, the Institute’s new trumpet teacher, vocalist Gábor Bretz performed Figaro’s Aria in C major from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, accompanied on piano by Erika Dallos. Jozef Lupták of Slovakia then performed an original piece, Song Without Words, on the cello, followed by the Prelude from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G major.
Mayor György Posta, as well as Erika Molnárné Tóth, headmistress of Tokaji Ferenc Secondary School -- the Institute’s headquarters -- also welcomed Crescendo’s 60 teachers and 140 students from 40 countries.
The next two weeks will be centered around one-on- one, chamber, and orchestra courses. The master classes will conclude with numerous free concerts in Tokaj, from baroque to jazz, and from intimate sectional concerts to Dvořák’s monumental Symphony No. 9 “New World.”
CSI work began in earnest the morning after our Opening Ceremony. Here at the Institute, students have the opportunity to take part in both small and large ensembles besides their one-on-one classes. Both tutti and sectional rehearsals – for strings, wind, and percussion – began for Dvorak’s symphony. The chamber groups’ repertoire is based on more masterpieces: rehearsals are now underway for Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, as well as Bach and Vivaldi concertos. Group work is inspired by the melodies of the most beautiful duets, trios, string quartets, and piano four hands. Meanwhile, our students began learning, rehearsing, and developing the opera scenes, and CSI’s choir and conductors began their practices as well. Guitarist Mateus Dela Fonte’s “Choro” workshop brought the music of Brazil to our participants from across the globe.
A variety of concerts took place during the first week: Crescendo Festival had a wonderful opening with a night of music and literature by Eszter Kruchió (violin), Rose Chen (piano), and actress Krisztina Tarjányi. A brilliant concert by young talents Előd Gábor Ambrusz (piano), Vilmos Mohácsi (double bass), and János Ripka (cello) proved that our performers are not only technical virtuosos but are also capable of providing audiences with extraordinary musical experiences. Over the weekend, we introduced some promising talents to the community of Tokaj, its musically inclined tourists, and CSI participants at a concert in the Wine Museum. Creative Church, a service held in the Reformed Church, shared the values and relevance of the eternal at the intersection of faith and art with the congregation.
Our musicians added some musical inspiration to Sunday services at Tokaj’s local churches with solo pieces for voice, double bass, flute, clarinet, and French horn.
Community events are also a priority at CSI. Every morning at Tune In, our teachers, students, and visitors receive guidance in various areas of life, which they are able to discuss and process during evening small group time. This year, the presentations at Tune In touch on topics related to creativity: Creativity as a Lifestyle, The Origin of Creativity, Creativity and Fear, and Creativity and Grace. Sara Ascenzo, researcher at the Royal College of Music in London, gave one-on-one consultations and workshops, presenting research results to students with questions about careers in music. Topics included Dealing with Music Performance Anxiety, Effective Practice Strategies, and Enhancing Memory in Performance.
The Teachers’ Interview has been one of our most popular events, where our teachers tell personal – and sometimes humorous – stories, and answer questions from the audience. Conductor Delta David Gier (USA), cellist Jozef Luptak (Slovakia), violinist Dag Anders Eriksen (Norway), pianist Sylvia Thereza (Brazil), and trumpeter Janis Porietis (Latvia) discussed the differences and similarities between the lives of musicians in Europe and overseas.
Sunday was a well-earned day of rest for all. The summer weather was perfect for canoeing, hiking, excursions, and, of course, wine tasting. Our Grill Party, held on the banks of the Tisza River, was followed by live music and dancing.
The participants of Crescendo Summer Institute and Festival were treated to excellent concerts and performances during the second week. The faculty concert included solo and chamber pieces from Baroque to the modern era. Most of the featured teachers were invited to the summer institute for the first time, or they were teaching a master course in a new field. Our 2015 winners’ concert would have impressed audiences anywhere: Aleksandra Bilanović (soprano), Johanna Schwarzl (flute), and Elisabeta Furtuna (piano) performed masterpieces, virtuoso solos, and exquisitely composed works. Sectional closing concerts capped off the fruitful work of the week, providing everyone with an opportunity to perform, and leaving them with further guidance and evaluation. Wind players from our orchestra played Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Serenade in B-flat major, “Gran Partita”, K. 361 (K. 370a): a true challenge for those involved. The performance was outstanding, leading to an invitation to have the first movement presented as the opening act of the Gala Concert.
The concert of the opera section has traditionally been one of the highlights of Crescendo Festival. This year, voice students performed a 90-minute rendition of Henry Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen”, as well as several opera scenes. The opera was accompanied by our faculty chamber group, which was led by Erika Dallos, director of the opera section. Krisztina Tarjányi was the director of the show. The Gala Concert of the following day was another opportunity to shine for several of our voice students. Sharing the spotlight with them were excellent young pianists, string players, clarinet virtuosos, and the brass ensemble. As a closing movement of Crescendo Summer Institute and Festival, the institute’s symphonic orchestra performed Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”, Op. 95, B. 178), conducted by Delta David Gier.
Week 2 of Crescendo included a number of lectures about different fields, all drawing large audiences. Dutch musicologist Marcel Zwitser gave a presentation on Rachmaninoff, while Bálint Karosi held an interactive workshop about the piano and harpsichord pieces of Johann Sebastian Bach. Sara Ascenzo, Portuguese pianist and researcher at the Royal College of Music in London, talked about “The Power of Music” as well as its psychological effects. Her workshops during the day covered “Efficient Practice Strategies” and “Developing Performance Memory”. Game night was a new addition to Crescendo social activities, and it was a success, bringing together diverse teams from across the institute. The themes of the morning Tune In sessions were, “Creativity and Hard Work”, “Creativity and Careers”, “Creativity and the Holy Spirit”, “Creativity and Performing Art”, “3D Relationships”, and “Creativity as a Process”.
The second night of Candlelit Worship was organized midweek, whereas on Sunday, Crescendo artists played music in church services across town. Európa Radio was broadcasting from the Reformed church. The Gala Party concluded the week, followed by everyone’s return journeys, filled with with memories of friendships old and new, as well as hopes of another memorable Crescendo Summer Institute and Festival in 2017.