|| Amongst musical instruments, the violin has always attracted exceptional attention. Its birth has been surrounded by some mythical obscurity. When hearing Stradivari’s name, everyone looks up in amazement.
What lies behind the secret of the violin?
The wood it is made of?
The master’s hands?
||Would we not all wish to be able to get closer to the core of this myth? Would we not all wish to be an invisible witness to the birth of something new? To peep through a window to watch the master’s hands moving the plane on the wood evenly again and again, always finding a spot to smooth, a spot that our ordinary eyes perceive as already perfect?|
To take a deep breath of the scent of the workshop, which is a mixture
of sweetish odour oozing from the shavings, and the fragrance of resin,
glue and various plants? To witness how wood becomes a musical
instrument that sounds to the soul?
| Would we not all wish it?
know Veszprém as “the town of the queens.” However, sadly, only a few
know that this is the town where one of the greatest Hungarian
violinists and music teachers, Leopold Auer was born.
Only a few meters away from the cathedral where, according to the
archiepiscopal archive, “little Auer” used to play the violin, you can
find a baroque building called the Bíró-Giczei House. Salesianum
Archiepiscopal Tourist Centre opened its office here in 2011. In the
very same year, Elemér Sümegi started his violin making shop in the
baroque atmosphere of the castle area provides the violinmaker with a
most inspirational environment. The basic idea was, following foreign
examples, to set up an open workshop that would become the central
place of the instrument, as well as that of string music.
workshop known as “Sümegi Violin” has received many visitors, run
interactive courses for schoolchildren and grown-ups, and organised
house concerts in the inner yard of the building.
2012, violinmakers from home and abroad were invited to commemorate
Leopold Auer’s birthday with an international gathering of
violinmakers, and with an exhibition. The name of the event was
“Masters’ Violins in the Town of Master Violinist.” It was a
meeting of forms, styles, colours, and sounds. The four-day festival
was exclusively about the violin. Our guest of honor was Gio Batta
Morassi. At splendid concerts, all segments of Veszprém string music
were present. Saturday was a “craft day,” which was broadcast live by
Hungary’s main classical music channel called Bartók Radio.
Forty-two violinmakers had accepted the invitation, and seventy-eight
instruments were exhibited. That weekend managed to fill Old Town with
In a violin making shop, visual and auditory aesthetics are both
present simultaneously. It was a natural thought to set up a
gallery where visitors could be witnesses to the birth of musical
instruments, as well as to mini-concerts and various forms of art. In
2013, a new era started in the life of “Sümegi Violin” with an
exhibition where István Szajkó’s paintings were displayed. Since then,
the open workshop has also been functioning as an art gallery inviting
and displaying various works of art.
|translation: Péter Korbel
by SHI 2014.