The Festival in Patagonia took place in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, from the 10th to the 13th of September, 2008. 40 participants attended the course on Suzuki Philosophy given by the Scottish teacher Caroline Fraser from Perú. Three participants traveled from Caracas, Venezuela, and the rest came from the Argentine cities of Mar del Plata, Neuquén, Cinco Saltos, Zapala, Caviahue, San Martín de los Andes, Villa la Angostura and Bariloche.
The workshop developed in a friendly atmosphere and took place at the Art Center Araucanía, whose owner Carlos, became an additional participant, taking pictures, filming and showing his interest in the Suzuki Philosophy. There was a grand piano and a digital piano on which my pupils took their Master Classes with Caroline, while the music teachers participating made notes of the teaching methods.
17 young violinists, students of Emma Ziganovsky, traveled with their parents from Neuquén, a city 500 km. from Bariloche to attend the course given at Araucanía on Saturday and to play in the Final Concert. Another group of 40 flute pupils came from San Martín de los Andes, 250 km. from Bariloche, with their teacher Fernando Formigo. They rented a van with the funds they raised giving concerts in their hometown prior to the Festival. They performed at Araucanía and Fernando Formigo also gave a group flute class. The evening of Saturday, Septem¬ber 13, we had a beautiful Final Concert at Fasta University with all the piano, violin and flute students participating.
The Festival took place in a very warm atmosphere with parents and teachers collaborating. The participants were so enthusiastic that they have already asked for the Festival to be repeated next year, with another Philosophy course and a Piano I course, since 15 of them were pianists. Adding to the event´s success, the weather in Bariloche couldn’t have been better! The sun shone all four days, enhancing the beautiful view of the snow-covered mountains and the clear blue lake.
This first Suzuki Festival was a very important event for our city, giving us a good understanding of the Suzuki Philosophy and emphasizing the importance of the teacher-pupil-parent triangle during the individual and group classes. As organizer of the Festival, I would love to have Caroline Fraser with us again next year. I am very thankful to her for nourishing us with her knowledge, experience and teachings. I also want to thank all those who helped make this event a success: especially teachers Emma and Fernando, as well as the students and parents involved.