The Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center, a member of the American Cello Council, was established shortly after cellist Eva Janzer's death. The purposes of the center are to: 1) honor the memory of a great artist and a much loved teacher by providing support for cello performance, teaching, and research at Indiana University, across the nation, and throughout the world, 2) honor the members of the cello community through the awarding of the "Chevalier du Violoncelle" or "Grande Dame du Violoncelle" Award, 3) to provide scholarships for outstanding cello students, 4) to work closely with other organizations having similar purposes, such as the American Cello Council and the American String Teachers Association.
Eva Czako Janzer was born in India and studied cello at the Academy of Music in Budapest where she received a Diploma of Virtuosity. Twice winner of the Geneva Competition, she had a brilliant career as soloist and chamber musician. She and her husband, famed violinist Georges Janzer, were members of the Grumiaux Trio and Vegh Quartet. She taught at the University of Hanover before coming to the United States where she and her husband joined the faculty of Indiana University in 1972. She died in 1978.
Since 1979, honorees of the "Chevalier du Violoncelle" or "Grande Dame du Violoncelle Award" have included: Pierre Fournier, Bernard Greenhouse, Raya Garbousova, Margaret Rowell, Fritz Magg, Aldo Parisot, Antonio Janigro, Zara Nelsova, Gabor Rejto, Samuel Mayes, Eleanor Slatkin, Harvey Shapiro, Paul Tortelier, Lev Aronson, Jacques Francais, Janos Schulz, and Shirley Treple, Samuel Mayes, Eva Heinitz, Richard Kapucinski, Laszlo Varga, Daniel Saidenberg, David Soyer, Etienne Vatelot, Erling Blondal-Bengtsson, Eleonore Schoenfeld, Takayori Atsumi, Jules Eskin, Martin Ormandy, David N. Baker, Lawrence Block, Robert La Marchina, Louis Potter, George Neikrug, and Uzi Wiesel.
From September 12-14, 1997 noted cellists and teachers gathered in Bloomington, Indiana at the School of Music. They came to celebrate the outstanding careers in cello performance and pedagogy of three distinguished cellists and to celebrate past honorees. This year's honorees included Guy Fallot, Professor of Cello at the Geneva Conservatory of Music, Mihaly Virizlay, Professor at Peabody Conservatory and Principal Cellist of the Baltimore Symphony, and Alan Schulman, distinguished cellist, composer, and conductor formerly of the NBC Symphony and Stuyvesant and Kreiner String Quartets. Alan Schulman was a founder, president, board member, and editor of the newsletter for the New York Cello Society.
The conference opened Friday evening with a tribute recital to the hundredth anniversary of the birthday of legendary cellist Gaspar Cassado. Daniel Grosgurin, Professor at the Geneva Conservatory, offered a lecture recital featuring the music of Cassado.
Saturday's activities included an open master class by Janos Starker, the renowned Hungarian cellist and Professor at Indiana University. Following the master class, there was a cello ensemble rehearsal comprising former cello students and colleagues wishing to pay tribute to the late Fritz Magg (1914-1997). As the closing work for the afternoon recital honoring the memory of Mr. Magg, the ensemble performed Julius Klengel's Hymnus for 12 celli (for this occasion by 24 celli). Fritz Magg, who was 83, suffered a fatal heart attack in July of 1997 while adjudicating at the Leonard Rose Competition in Maryland. He had been a noted soloist, a principal cellist of the Vienna Symphony and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a member of the Gordon and Berkshire String Quartets, and a professor of cello and chamber music at Indiana University for 36 years. He was the string department chair at IU and developed the guidelines to which the string division still adheres. His teaching legacy can be viewed in a ten-part video series called "Cello Sounds of Today."
Several hundred guests attended the memorial recital, which opened with Mozart's Overture to the Marriage of Figaro arranged for four celli by Douglas Moore. Performers included Douglas Moore, Charles Wendt, Deborah Davis, and Kirsten Whitson. The program continued with a performance by Karen Baranskas of Hindemith's Unaccompanied Sonata for Cello, Op. 25, No. 3. The Andante from Concerto for Flute (1934) by Jacques Ibert was performed by Kyril Magg (Fritz's son) and Kari Miller (his widow), a piece especially appropriate because Ibert composed it upon learning of the death of his father. Daniel Rothmuller offered three movements from the Bach Solo Suite in D minor and Kari Miller, gave a joyous performance of the Allegretto from Schubert's Sonata in G Major. The program closed with the Klengel Hymnus for 12 Celli led by Paul Biss, Professor of Music at IU and son of the late "Grand Dame du Violoncelle" Raya Garbousova.
Sunday's master classes were held by honorees Guy Fallot and Mihaly Virizlay. IU students performed the Brahms Sonata in F Major, Debussy Sonata, first movement of the Dvorak Concerto in b minor, Haydn D Major Concerto first movement with the Feuermann cadenza, and the third movement of the Kodaly Solo Sonata. Professor Fallot addressed three performers in the morning session. He showed great patience, a total involvement with the music, and illuminated a purpose for every phrase and note. He suggested: bell-like tones in the Brahms pizzicati passages with shaped lines and vibrato, immediacy of tone - not sneaking in, constant singing vibrato, proper placement of the bow for the passage in relationship to the end of the fingerboard and bridge, the appropriate vibrato speed, building toward appogiaturas, increasing variety of sound and espressivity, aiming for maximum power without sacrificing tone quality, variety in a sequence, and no tempo variation in the Finale:Vivace.
He related the Debussy Sonata to Pierot's quest to conquer Columbine, suggesting that the music should tell a story. He urged the performer to convince the listener without too many drastic tempi changes, aiming for precision on the opening five notes, not ritarding each time in diminuendi. Fallot commented further on maintaining equal bow pressure to sound each note in the closing double stop chord; arpeggiating accompaniment chords when the piano has the melody; and to make a convincing "con fuoco" to prepare the ending.
In the afternoon session, Janos Starker recognized and introduced cellists from all over the USA. Professor Virizlay then held the next master class. He described the opening of the Dvorak Concerto as an opera recitative for cello. He likened the cello to a grand heroic figure. He worked with the performer to have a clear, rhythmic opening phrase with the bow coming from above the string rather than beginning from the string. He encouraged long, full chords; fast "bird-like" trills; always being "incredibly expressive"; using a preparatory motion of the left forearm to insure high note shifts; and ending the V-I cadence on the C string for fuller power. For the first movement of the Haydn D Major Concerto, his emphasis was on line-- on making no unnecessary stops in the phrase and the simplicity of the work from the Classical Period. For the Kodaly Solo Sonata, he addressed exacting rhythm, with less rubato and playing more in tempo. He stated
"One can never compromise, but always give your maximum." For the left-hand pizzicato chords, he suggested using three fingers and being "wild."
The awarding of the certificates to the honorees followed. Jay Schulman (also a cellist) came to represent his father whose health prevented him from travelling. A short cello ensemble program performed by 45 cellists and led by cellist Emelio Colon closed the session. The opening Suite Miniature (derived from French Airs) written by Alan Schulman was chosen not only to honor Mr. Schulman's accomplishments, but for Frenchman Guy Fallot. The next selection, Impromptu, Op. 30 by cellist Julius Klengel, ended with a rousing performance of Mendelssohn's Wedding March. This was dedicated to David G. Woods, the new Dean of the Indiana University School of Music. Janos Starker charmed the audience by saying it was chosen to represent Dean Wood's new marriage to the school and the "honeymoon period." Hungarian Composer Bela Bartok's Roumanian Folk Dances, arranged by Emelio Colon closed the program.
The Janzer Conference is always held on a weekend in the Fall and lasts only a few days, but is jam-packed with enriching activities and warm fellowship. The Eva Janzer Home Page can be accessed on the World Wide Web at http://www.music.indiana.edu/som/ejmccf/
Barbara S. Hedlund is a professional cellist/teacher, publisher of MusiCelli and the Virtuoso Obbligato Publications, Principal Cello for the Champaign-Urbana and Danville Symphonies, the Baroque Artists, String Society Artists, and Opera Illinois. Her home page address is http://members.aol.com/vcello1/musicell.html
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