Once again, a year of preparation preceded the Crescendo Summer Institute and Festival. However, it was worth all the effort as there are 4 continents and 39 countries represented in the program:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The participants, having arrived after a long journey, first took part in the Opening Ceremony that started on 24th July at 19:30 in the Hall of the Tokaji Ferenc High School, the central venue of the Summer Institute during these two weeks.
As a tradition, the event opened with a fanfare, which was performed by dr. Jānis Porietis, the professor of Jāzeps Vītols Academy in Riga, Latvia. The directors of the Crescendo Summer Institute greeted the participants. First, Eszter Dudás director and co-founder of CSI said that there are teachers who have been part of the Summer Institute ever since the very the beginning. Likewise, there are many returning students to whom CSI is a vital part of their lives. She also greeted the first-time visitors to the Institute or first-time visitors to Hungary, then conveyed the greetings of Timothy Bentch, dean and co-founder, who will be arriving on 30 July. Then, Beat Rink, co-founder and director of Crescendo International, emphasized the importance of nurturing international relations, community and the cohesive power of differences between people. Tamás Tarjányi, opera singer, the new artistic director of the Summer Institute, shared highlights of the professional program. There will be master courses, commemoration of the Monteverdi Anniversary, a Bartók concert, a performance on Russian Impressions, the Teachers’ Concert, the ‘Opera, Oratorio and Chamber Orchestra’ concert and the prestigious Gala Concert. Tarjányi Krisztina, leader of the Sostenuto department and Master of Ceremony shared some highlights from the program and invited participants to remarkable community programs, which will run simultaneously with the professional work conducted at the Crescendo Summer Institute, such events include the morning ‘Tune In’ or the Small Group Discussions in the evening. This year, Crescendo invites young artists to a real adventure, in order to experience the beauty of pursuit as they seek to answer the important question ‘Who am I?’
In addition to the greetings and the announcements, there were also several artistic performances. French cellist, Béatrice Petit-Riebel joined the Crescendo Summer Institute as a teacher for the first time this year. She performed movement 2 (Andante) of Edvard Grieg’s Cello Sonata together with Russian pianist, Swetlana Meermann-Muret. Later, Norwegian violinist, member of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Dag Anders Eriksen, staged movements 1 (Dolce) and 2 (Allegro) of Telemann’s Fantasia in E-Flat Major.
Afterwards, director of the Tokaj Cultural Centre and Wine Museum, Katalin Nagyné Bősze addressed the participants on behalf of the city. The 57-member strong teaching staff was also presented and organizing staff members and volunteers received a huge applause for their hard work and dedication to technical details.
The first small group meeting took place immediately after the Opening Ceremony, where the small group members got to know each other. The main issues discussed in the subject of ‘iCreative’ included ‘Who am I as a creative person?’, ‘What kind of powers help or obstruct my creativity?’ Many people might face these questions for the first time when they actually speak about them. It could be a real challenge to anyone, regardless of age, especially when their life goal is to find an answer to these questions through their arts.
cofounder and president of the Crescendo Summer Institute and the Song for the Nations Cultural Foundation