The 22nd edition of the “George Enescu” International Festival, to run until September 20 in Bucharest, opened on Sunday with George Enescu’s “Romanian Rhapsody No.1.” The concert was given by the Romanian Youth Orchestra made up of the most talented young musicians of the country. Kristjan Jarvi, known to the public for his cross-cultural repertoire, was the conductor, joined by violinist Sarah Chang in performing Jean Sibelius’s Concerto No 2 for Violin precisely in the year that marks 150 years since the birth of the Finnish composer.
The show ended with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana featuring Max Emanuel Cencic, one of the world’s currently most praised countertenors.
President Iohannis attended on Sunday evening the opening of the Festival and the concert given on that occasion. This was the Head of State’s first public appearance in almost a month.
Also on Sunday, the “Marin Constantin” National Madrigal Chorus for Chamber Music opened the series of Midnight Concerts that are included in the Festival.
Kristjan Jarvi: “The time has come for Enescu to join the repertoire of the world’s biggest orchestras”
Orchestra conductor Kristjan Jarvi says composer George Enescu is Romania’s equivalent of Norway’s composer Edvard Grieg and the George Enescu Music Festival is Romania’s best ambassador.
Attending a meeting on Saturday at Palace Hall in Bucharest for the opening of the 2015 edition of the George Enescu Festival, Jarvi said George Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 he will conduct at the festival bears the soul, landscape and spirit of Romania.
“The time has come for Enescu to join the repertoire of the world’s biggest orchestras,” he added.
Violinist Sarah Chang and countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic voiced satisfaction over returning to Bucharest and to the beautiful country that Romania is to perform with the National Youth Orchestra, while orchestra conductor Tiberiu Soare praised the spirit of Enescu’s music that changes people, saying that “after a contact with his music, you cannot be the same as before.”
“I still believe in the basic mission of the Enescu Festival, which is to popularise Enescu’s music in Romania and the world,” said Soare.
Deputy Secretary General of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) Cristina Liberis said that ICR, through its 18 representation offices abroad, shows the world what Romania is, while also promoting Enescu’s creation and all that means Romanian festivals.
“The Enescu Festival continues to be included in ICR’s strategy for the next three years. The affirmation of an organisation such as the Romanian Cultural Institute and implicitly of a country cannot be done without a medium-term strategy, without promotion in international cultural media,” said Liberis.
Also attending the meeting were representatives of the partners and sponsors of the Enescu Festival, including Sorina Goia, Radio Romania, Marius Constantinescu, TVR, Raiffeisen Bank President and CEO Steven van Groningen, who said he wants to contribute to Romania getting reconnected to the European and global cultural life, along with Radu Cosarca and ENEL Romania, with the discussions moderated by Oana Marinescu, the event’s public relations manager.
2,500 foreign artists and 500 Romanian artists
Approximately 2,500 foreign artists and 500 Romanian artists are expected at the 2015 edition of the George Enescu Festival, the most important international cultural event organised in Romania and also the strongest promoter of the creation and values of the great 20th century composer. At the festival, 22 works by Enescu will be performed by the world’s most important orchestras.
The 2015 edition of this event, which has a long tradition, was saluted by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who said that the George Enescu Festival is a reason of pride for Bucharest and Romania. Likewise, the Head of Government congratulated the festival’s organizers and supporters.
“The George Enescu Festival – Truly a reason of pride for Bucharest and Romania!!! Congratulations to the organisers and the constant supporters of this idea!” Ponta wrote in a Facebook posting.
Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu believes the George Enescu Festival is turning the city into a capital of music.
“In my opinion, the festival is turning Bucharest into a European capital of music for three weeks. That cannot but engage the local administration,” Oprescu told a meeting on Saturday at Palace Hall in Bucharest for the opening of the 2015 George Enescu Festival.
He added that they tried to experiment with organised street social forms.
“We have tried to experiment with organised street social forms because classical music is not appreciated by the musically-trained alone, but also by other people. We had a revelation in 2008, when I joined my colleagues in organising a classical music concert outside the National Bank of Romania,” said Oprescu.
He said that the Bucharest City Hall has a team that has overcome vanities in order to provide an opportunity to foreign guests to express themselves at a European event such as the Enescu Festival.
On Monday, music fans will be able to listen to pieces by Vivaldi, Bridge, Sostakovici, Burch, Barriere, Ysaye-Amitie and Spohr at the Romanian Athenaeum, starting at 5 p.m., and to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the Palace Hall starting at 8 p.m., the orchestra’s programme including pieces by Schonberg and Bruckner.