Carl Flesch International Violin Competition
x The second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century presented the music-loving audience with a lot of excellent musicians. Carl Flesch, who was born in Moson in 1873 and died in Luzern in 1944, outstands among them. He was not really taken into account in Hungarian music life. Despite of the fact that his music work extended to a lot of countries in the world, he considered himself Hungarian, a person from Moson. He played the violin in big concert halls. He became world famous for the posterity with his pedagogical work. Great musicians studied at his school such as Max Rostal, Tibor Varga, Maria Thoman, and last but not least Ida Hendel, who also gave a concert in Mosonmagyaróvár.
x Our town became aware of all these from Peter Csiszár’s study published in 1978. With him we saw a hope that our town could be known by not only its factories but its great musician as well. A relief was placed on the wall of the house he was born in. We also knew that an international violin competition bearing his name was organised every two years in London. We were dreaming about a competition in Mosonmagyaróvár giving a possibility for young Hungarian violinists to prepare for the competition in London. To fulfil our dream we were motivated by William Tátrai in conversations after the dedication of the relief.
x All these were followed by actions where Thomas Klejánszky and Beata Schanda, the secretary of the Hungarian Music Council of Young Music Lovers were a great help to us. With their contribution a discussion took place with university teachers, Esther Perényi and Franz Halász, at Franz Liszt Academy of Music. Then we decided to organise the first competition in June, 1985. The program of the competition was based on the competition announced in London.
x The members of the first National Carl Flesch Violin Competition were chairman Franz Halász, Esther Perényi, Maria Vermes, Thomas Klejánszky and John Pallagi. Among them it is Esther Perényi who organised the competition with us during the thirteen competitions. The first winner among the nine competitors was Julian Stuller. The encouraging words of the jury made us continue. Some questions came up about raising the standard of the competition. It would be great if the participants of the final could perform the compositions with orchestra. Due to financial difficulties, we could not realize it for the second competition. The winner of the second competition was Erika Tóth. It made us really glad that a young violinist in our town, who is now the concertmaster of the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra, won the shared second prize.
x With the help of the cultural management of Győr-Sopron County we got in touch with Győr Philharmonic Orchestra. Maria Kreiter, the secretary of the county party committee, was a great assistance to us. The management of the orchestra was willing, so in the third competition the young finalists could perform the chosen compositions with an orchestra. During the competition we saw Imre Nagy’s reburial together. The change was appreciable in both political and economic terms. During the evaluation, the question of how to continue was raised. At that time, the secretary of the executive committee of the town council, Doctor Joseph Adorján, informed us that a citizen in our town was going to utilize his real estate for public purposes. The donatrix, Mrs Fejes, accepted Joseph Adorján’s proposal to establish a musical foundation. The Mrs Fejes Musical Foundation was established with the capital of 600.000 forints. The money from the interests at that time and some support ensured the organisation of the next competition. It was raised still in 1989 that the participation of young violinists form the neighbouring countries should be made possible. The proposal was followed by actions, and the announcement of the fourth competition reached Austria, Romania, Ukraine, Yugoslavia and Slovakia. The jury became international too, with Boldizsár Csíki from Romania, Chistos Polyzoides from Austria as well as Ukrainian, Romanian and Yugoslavian members.
x One year before the forth competition, in 1994, the foundation had Flesch’s ashes from Luzern and the ashes of the mother of his son, who lives in London, taken from America to Mosonmagyaróvár for Cral Flesch’s fiftieth anniversary. After more than fifty years they were together in their ashes. At the three-day ceremony a lot of members of the family from South-America to Europe were present, where the guest of honour was Ida Hendel, the world famous disciple.
x After several financial difficulties, the competition had a new period in 2008. The management of the town considered the high standard organisation of the competition extremely important and provided a significant amount of support. This and other resources made it possible to organise the twelfth competition by the collective agency of the professional and internationally recognised Philharmonic Budapest and Upper-Transdanubian Institution of Public Utility. As a result of this, seventy entries were received from twenty-four countries. The competition lived up to Carl Flesch’s memory.
x Citing the words of the chairwoman of the jury, Esther Perényi: “The endeavour by the foundation and the town’s local government to save Carl Flesch’s violin artistic and violin pedagogic life-work from oblivion and to consider him a great Hungarian musician in both Hungary and abroad deserves all recognition.” Taking this into account, the foundation continued organising the next competition, which was the twelfth Carl Flesh International Violin Competition (2013) which 110 young violinists entered for from 35 countries around the world. In front of the international jury led by the chairwoman, Esther Perényi, and with members Radu Blidar, Bartosz Brila, Stephen Kertész, Yair Kless, 56 young violinists showed their talent. The largest number of the participants ever in this competition proves both the importance of the competition and the success of the active work that the organising foundation performs. Especially as the violin competition named for Carl Flesh born in our town has not been organised for several years in London. These facts encourage us to organise the next, the thirteenth competition between 3rd and 10th June 2018.