Founder and Director of the Young European Strings School of Music
Hungarian-born viola player Maria Kelemen left her country in 1956 and - with the help of a Ford scholarship - studied and graduated with a First Prize violin and viola diploma from the respected Brussels and Liège Royal Music Conservatories in 1961. She started her professional career at the age of twenty as the leader of the viola section in the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra where she remained until 1984. As a founding member of the Amsterdam Kern Ensemble piano quartet, she toured extensively throughout Europe, South Africa, Russia and Latin America and recorded for EMI.
Kelemen is co-author of a violin tutor entitled Violin Technique - The Natural Way, published in English in 1982, and a regular contributor to international magazines in the latest teaching methods for strings. In 1988, she founded the Young European Strings School of Music (YES). In the same year, she started to organise International Masterclasses and Festivals both in Ireland and abroad. While she devotes a lot of her time to fundraising and administering these projects, her first interest lies in researching and developing methods of teaching which overcome the barrier of language. She has developed new methods of instrumental teaching using interactive and creative elements which have contributed to the many successes of the Young European Strings School of Music over the past two decades.
YES Accomplishments (1989 - 2014) in Ireland and abroad:
- 1989 The First International YES Strings and Vocal Summer Masterclasses in Clonmel.
- 1990 The Second International YES Strings and Vocal Summer Masterclasses in Dublin.
- 1990 Hungarian Weeks, organised for the 'Dublin Cultural Capital of Europe' year, introduced Hungarian contemporary music, arts, books and cooking to Dublin.
- 1991 The Third International YES Strings Summer Masterclasses in Budapest.
- 1991 Music and Media Symposium in Dublin.
- 1991 'Dublin Days', a Festival of Irish Film (10 films by Jim Sheridan), Literature (Senator Davis Norris lectures at Hungarian universities on the Austro -Hungarian connections in James Joyce's literature), and Fashion (Kennedy, Lewis, Rocha and Donnelly present their collections on the catwalk in Hotel Kempinsky).
- 1991 Commission and world premiere of the Dublin Concerto by Sandor Szokolay at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.
- 1992 'Musical Messages' world premiere in the National Concert Hall of four new works, commissioned by YES Ltd.
- 1992 Symposium 'The Role of the Arts Council on the Promotion of Contemporary Music'.
- 1992 The Fourth International YES Strings and Keyboard Summer Masterclasses in Budapest.
- 1992 'Dublin Week' in Budapest: YES organised an Irish cultural festival in Hungary bringing together folklore (Siamse Tire folklore group), literature (children's books by John Quinn), lectures (for instance on James Joyce by David Norris), film (the films of Jim Sheridan), fashion (John Rocha, Louise Kennedy) and the music of John Field.
- 1993 The Fifth International YES Strings and Keyboard Summer Masterclasses in Budapest.
- 1994 The Sixth International YES Strings and Keyboard Summer Masterclasses in Budapest.
- 1995 The Seventh International YES Strings and Keyboard Summer Masterclasses in Waterford.
- 1996 The Eights International YES Strings and Keyboard Summer Masterclasses in Waterford.
- 1997 The Ninth International YES Strings and Keyboard Masterclasses in Waterford.
- 1998 The Tenth International YES Strings and Keyboard Masterclasses in Waterford.
- 1999 'Autumn Sound Fest' in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
- 2000 'When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Musician', an International Symposium in the framework of Culture 2000.
- 2001 The first international concert tour of the Young European Strings Chamber Orchestra under the guidance of Ronald Masin.
- 2001 'Autumn Sound Fest' in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
- 2002 'Christmas Greetings from Russia' in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
- 2003 'Newborn Irish Stars' in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
- 2004 Tour to Spain of Junior Orchestra members, with concerts and workshops in Barcelona, St. Cugat, and Palafrugell.
- 2005 Tour to Budapest of Junior, Intermediate and Chamber Orchestras.
- 2005 Maria Kelemen receives the 'Officer of the Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary' from H.E. President of Hungary, Dr. Ferenc Madl.
- 2006 Young European Strings takes part for the first time in the Irish Association Of Youth Orchestra’s annual Festival in the National Concert Hall.
- 2007 Tour to Italy of Intermediate and Chamber Orchestras, with concerts in Udine, Venice, Latisana, and Portogruaro.
- 2008 Annual Irish Youth Orchestra Festival in NCH. YES premieres the Jewish-Hungarian Melodies, commissioned specially for the School.
- 2008 Drogheda Arts Theatre performance.
- 2008 Launch in the Oak Room of the Mansion House of the album The Marino Suite, a collaboration with John Sheahan of The Dubliners.
- 2008 Intermediate Orchestra travels to Sandness, Norway, to take part in the international music festival there.
- 2008 Chamber Orchestra participates in Carrick-on-Shannon Water Music Festival.
- 2008 YES presents a masterclass at Our Lady's Bower Secondary School, Athlone.
- 2008 YES Chamber Orchestra tour of Brussels.
- 2008 Twenty-First Anniversary of the School, celebrated with a Gala Concert in the National Library of Ireland.
- 2009 Chamber Orchestra participates in 'Jugend und Musik in Wien' International Orchestra Competition and obtains First Prize.
- 2009 Tour of Spain with members of Junior, Intermediate and Chamber Orchestras. Concerts in St Cugat, Barcelona, Lleida, and Palafrugell.
- 2011 YES Chamber Orchestra concert tour of Budapest, Hungary.
- 2011 YESCO takes part in the Irish Association Of Youth Orchestra’s annual Festival in the National Concert Hall.
- 2012 Launch of Third Edition at the Festival of Youth Orchestras; an album recorded by the YES Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Ronald Masin.
- 2013 YES Chamber Orchestra plays in Konsi, Bern, Switzerland, in aid of a childrens' hospital in Perm, Siberia.
- 2014 YESCO performs at the Freedom of the City Ceremony in the Mansion House.
- 2014 YES Intermediate Orchestra takes part in the Irish Association Of Youth Orchestra’s annual Festival in the National Concert Hall.
- 2002 "Five Piece Suite" for Strings
Composer Raymond Deane
- 2006 "The Marino Suite"
Original tunes by John Sheahan, arranged by Raymond Deane
- 2008 "Jewish-Hungarian Melodies" for Violin, Viola and Cello Solo with Strings
- 2009 "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 - Aria" for Solo Violin, Five Violas and Strings
Composer H. Villa-Lobos, arranged by Gergely Foldvari
- 2009 "A Baroque Session (with Carolan and Friends)"
Composer Raymond Deane
Mr. and Mrs. Ignacz Schoffan (pictured circa 1909, Budapest), parents of Emilia Schoffan
Ms. Emilia Schoffan, pianist (b. 1875), founder of the first private music school in Budapest. The school catered for all keyboard, strings and percussion instruments, as well as solfege classes, which were obligatory subjects for all instrumentalists.
Ms. Emilia Schoffan in 1930. Schoffan's music school was situated in the heart of the Pest side of the city.
Ms. Emilia Schoffan (seated, middle) surrounded by some of the pupils and teachers of the faculty of her school. Ms. Klara Juhasz, the daughter of Ms. Schoffan and a piano teacher, stands in the middle of the back row.
Ms. Klara Juhasz, circa 1920
Ms. Emilia Schoffan, circa 1948
Ms. Klara Juhasz, circa 1948. After the Second World War, Ms. Juhasz took over as principal of the Music School, which kept operating as a private school, the only school in Budapest which was not nationalised by the communist dictatorship.
Maria Kelemen, daughter of Klara Juhasz, circa 1954, in Budapest
Maria Kelemen and Klara Juhasz, circa 1954, in Budapest
Maria Kelemen (standing, second from left) in the class of Prof. Andre Gertler, Royal Conservatory of Brussels, 1958
Maria Kelemen in her studio in Brussels, 1965
Ronald Masin - violinist, senior teacher at the YES School of Music, and Artistic Director/conductor of the YES Chamber Orchestra
Maria Kelemen amongst some of her beginner pupils in Dublin, 2003
Dr. Gwendolyn Masin, violinist