In Memoriam: Zoltán Kodály
With music, one's whole future life is brightened.
This is such a treasure in life that it helps us over many troubles and difficulties.
Music is nourishment, a comforting elixir. Music multiplies all that is beautiful and of value in life.
On Saturday, October 21, 2017 in Moscow, ID a concert commemorating Zoltán Kodály was given by Belgian pianist Gilbert De Greeve, Past-President of the International Kodaly Society. It was sponsored by New Saint Andrews College (NSA) and was the inaugural concert on their Artist Series in their newly formed Conservatory of Music. The concert began with performances of various choral selections by different NSA choirs: Pater Noster, Psalm 150, and Kyrie from the Missa Brevis. Mr. De Greeve performed five movements from Kodály’s Sieben Klavierstücke op.11, Kodály’s Marosszéki Táncok, Schumann’s Kinderscenen op.15, and accompanied tenor Cody Laun on Schubert’s Der Vater mit dem Kinde and Erlkönig.
While there were, no doubt, many such concerts given around the world given it is the 135th anniversary of Kodály’s birth and the fiftieth anniversary of his death, how Mr. De Greeve came from Belgium to perform in a small north central town in Idaho is an interesting tale. Only a few months earlier a most surprising and unexpected meeting occurred at the Chenaniah Summer Music Institute (Christian/Classical/Kodaly/Teacher Training). After years of dreaming and planning, a newly established summer Kodály training course was instituted. On the faculty was renowned Kodály teacher, Lamar Robertson, author of An American Methodology: An Inclusive Approach to Musical Literacy. Providentially, Mr. De Greeve was concertizing in the Pacific Northwest which put him in the “relative vicinity” of his good friend, Lamar Robertson. So between concerts in Seattle and Salt Lake City, he drove to Moscow, Idaho for a visit. This led to the meeting between Mr. De Greeve and David Erb, NSA Fellow of Music and director of the Chenaniah Summer Music Institute.
After some food and fellowship, Mr. De Greeve agreed to address the students at the institute. Discussions also began about his return to Moscow to perform the Kodály commemoration concert. A little over three months later, Mr. De Greeve returned giving a piano master class, a lecture on Kodály, Orff, & Dalcroze, and a stunning concert to the great delight of the audience.
In light of the newly formed summer institute, the concert weekend, and above all the new connections made, I have to believe that Kodály would be most pleased that his vision for music education is flourishing in Moscow, ID and that it was the reason for the creation of new national and international friendships.
It is our firm conviction that mankind will live the happier
when it has learned to live with music more worthily.
Whoever works to promote this end, in one way or another, has not lived in vain.
Dr. David Erb
Director of the Kodály Summer Course and fellow at the New Saint Andrews College
Our Kodály Summer Course 2018 will be from July 23rd to August 3rd in Moscou, Idaho. More information at https://music.nsa.edu/cmi/