Book tells story of Enescu Festival under director Ioan Holender

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The Romanian Athenaeum hosted on Friday the launching of ‘George Enescu Festival in Holender Era’, a testimonial on the evolution of Romania’s most acclaimed cultural event.

The book published by ONB is a collection of texts by Ioan Holender, Livius Ciocarlie, Emil Hurezeanu, Dan Dediu, Ioana Marghita and Sever Voinescu, who tell their stories about the history of the festival.

Hurezeanu praised art manager Ioan Holender as “the artistic author of one of the most interesting characters of our past 15 years’ history, (…) a mix of modesty and superbity, (…) an optional, vocational Romanian who only changed his first name into renown; a Romanian who perfected the Enescu Festival.”

Professor Dediu resumed the “Holender Era” in a double V – vision and volition.

Holender credited the idea of the book to Razvan Ioan Dinca, the former manager of the ONB publishing house, and thanked all his aids during the 14 years of work for seven festivals – especially Artexim manager Mihai Constantinescu. He insisted, however, on “not thanking politicians,” while expressing his gratitude to taxpayers and to the public. He thanked, however, Prime Minister Victor Ponta “for normalcy” in keeping his word about the festival.

“I think bringing the composers of the 20th century into our home was the most important thing we did,” although not every time on the smoothest past, Holender declared, according to Agerpres.

Culture Minister Ionut Vulpescu appreciated the importance and quality of the texts, with a special mention to “the most empathetic one” signed by critic Livius Ciocarlie.

“I am absolutely positive the festival will continue to exist at the international standards set by maestro Ioan Holender,” Vulpescu added.

Attending the event were Romanian Cultural Institute President Radu Boroianu, Sibiu International Theatre Festival manager Constantin Chiriac and other cultural personalities of Romania.


Holender: “Enescu” Festival, a brand encompassing all that’s best in today’s Romania thanks to public enthusiasm

The “George Enescu” International Festival has become a brand encompassing all that is best in today’s Romania, thanks to the enthusiasm of the public that fills the concert venues, event director Ioan Holender said on Thursday evening.

“Your presence and enthusiasm along the seven editions since I had the honor to design the programme of the ‘Enescu’ Festival have implicitly turned it into a top-magnitude event of our country’s art and culture, a true brand of all that’s best in today’s Romania. Without your overwhelming presence, without the contribution of this country’s taxpayers, the ‘Enescu’ Festival would not have gained recognition and official support for these seven editions, the present one included,” Holender said in the speech delivered on the stage of the Bucharest Great Palace Hall before the concert of the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Ioan Holender welcomed the presence at this year’s edition of the festival, that also marks the 60th anniversary of the death of composer George Enescu, of the Berlin Philharmonic led by its music director Sir Simon Rattle, terming the event as “a personal accomplishment.”

“To us it’s a great joy, a personal accomplishment, if you allow me to put it like this, to have the Berlin Philharmonic led by music director, Sir Simon Rattle, performing for the first time here in the history of our country’s post-war history. This is the world’s most famous orchestra, I don’t want to engage in classifications. Let there never be rankings in art. Let them be just in football, where we fare worse anyway,” said Holender.

He also evoked the memory of another long-span conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Romanian Sergiu Celibidache, who led the Berlin orchestra for seven years between 1945 and 1952, saying that he is “spiritually present” in Romania through this ensemble.

Holender, who has been filling the position of artistic director of the “Enescu” Festival since 2005, announced that this is the last year when he acts under this responsibility, and deplored the fact that he is parting with the public in a “political party congress hall.”

“This is the last festival edition I see to. I’m sorry to part with you in this congress and party meeting hall. I’m sorry that despite all attempts and all interventions, of all the promises all the Presidents of post-Revolution Romania and almost all the Prime Ministers – including the Bucharest mayor – have made me, they haven’t moved for at least a plan to be developed for a decent concert hall that should really fit this country’s culture,” Holender confessed.

He urged the spectators to further stay “faithful to the ‘Enescu’ Festival.”

“Stay faithful to the ‘Enescu’ Festival. I don’t know who those in power will pick next to entrust the destiny of the festival to. But I hope it will be for its good and prosperity. And I conclude with the old saying: ‘May God Let it Happen’,” said Ioan Holender, who is retiring at the end of this edition of the festival from the office of event director.