This year marked the eleventh Crescendo Summer Institute, which welcomed 300 participants from 30 countries on 4 continents to Tokaj, Hungary at the end of July 2014.
The institute has three primary goals. First, it is designed to offer students of music multiple opportunities to improve their craft by learning from renowned teachers and to perform with peers in a variety of settings. This year, program offerings included a Bach Course, music history lectures, teachers' and students' concerts, an orchestra concert, opera scenes and a jazz course. Secondly, the beauty of artistic collaboration and the opportunity to make new friends in an international network are also emphasized. Another focus is on helping participants adopt a well-rounded approach to life that includes exploring the spiritual aspects of their art and lives in daily “TUNE IN” sessions.
Beat and Airi Rink, the leaders of Crescendo International, an Agape ministry launched in Switzerland in 1985 and now active in around a dozen countries around the globe, spearhead the movement and use their pastoral gifts and love for music to coach young musicians and share life wisdom. They are supported by a team of talented artists, that helps make the Institute a success and the movement growing and vibrant.
One of the highlights of this year’s Institute was the Creative Church service. This trademark offering of the Crescendo movement was initiated more than 25 years ago. This special form of worship designed to underscore the link between faith and the arts has already become a tradition at the Crescendo Summer Institute. The unique combination of a Biblical message with artistic elements makes for a truly unforgettable experience that involves audience members and speaks to the heart.
The number of talented artists on hand for the Summer Institute in Hungary meant that this Creative Church service was filled with beautiful music offered by a variety of international performers including: József Kiss (HU, oboe), David Danel (CZ, violin), Eszter Draskóczy (HU, violin), Claudia Michaelsen (DE, viola), Allar Kaasik (EST, cello), Arnold Gregorian (USA, double bass), Stephen Morscheck (USA, bass-baritone) and János Pálúr (HU, organ).
All activities were supported by a prayer team who helped create the welcoming, faith-filled atmosphere. In between artistic activities, participants met in one of 25 small groups, where they discussed relevant issues concerning personal spirituality using a booklet called “Real Life”. These groups bore fruit, and this year’s institute saw participants reach new musical heights as well as making significant decisions of faith that will last a lifetime. Now the artists will return home with new understanding of their art and their relationship with the Creator God.
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