By Ioana Petrea, Director of Communication and Fundraising The Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation
The noble cause of the Royal Charitable Concert: “Our belief is that together we have the power to create a harmonious future for as many artistically talented children and youth as possible, guided and inspired by the masters. Our young people need support and confidence. Romania needs art!”, says Her Majesty Margareta – President of The Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation.
Many gifted children come from families whose financial means do not allow them to pursue their talent. Even if their grace is discovered, even if they are accepted in art or music schools, young people from modest families have no real chance of affirmation. Some drop out, being forced to do that because as performance increases, so do learning requirements and expenses. Thus, Romania loses dozens of talented young people every year, who could become cultural ambassadors, but who, due to lack of financial resources or guidance, cannot develop their artistic talent. In response to this problem, The Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation created a national program to support and promote these talented young artists from modest families who need financial support to develop their potential and express their artistic value. Through the national program Young Talents, The Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation offers scholarships, mentoring and promotion, thus supporting these young people to follow their path and build an artistic career.
The holistic approach of the project makes it unique in Romania. The project provides the necessary material support in the purchase of materials and creative tools, but it also offers many other learning opportunities, to participate in the masterclasses organized by the Foundation, to meet people in the field of art from whom they learn, to promote their art and talent through events organized by the Foundation. From 2009 until today, almost 400 scholarships have been offered to young people studying classical music or visual arts in high schools and universities in Romania, to help them overcome the financial limit and continue their artistic development. Young Talents is considered the best Art and Culture project in Romania, laureate at the Civil Society Gala in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2022.
For many young people at the beginning of their journey, the scholarship represented an essential step in their evolution and affirmation, an opportunity for knowledge and artistic exploration, but also the opportunity to relate to people of culture recognized at national and international level, who guided them in the career. With the support of mentors and sustained promotion, they have achieved extraordinary performances nationally and internationally, being laureates at prestigious international competitions and applauded and admired today in the cultural capitals of the world for their music and art. Today, young musicians are soloists in orchestras, employees of prominent cultural institutions, and visual artists exhibit their works both in the country and abroad.
The cellist Andrei Ioniță, the composer Sebastian Androne, the pianist Mihai Ritivoiu, the composer Sebastian Androne, the painter Sabina Dragomir, the visual artist Silviu Preda, the artists Laura and Livia Greaca, but also Cristina Uruc, current director of the George Enescu festival – are just some of the former scholarship holders of the Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation. Personalities from the world of art and culture are involved in the Young Talents program, as members of the scholarship selection jury and as mentors who generously share their experience and create contexts and opportunities for them to assert themselves. Among them the conductor Tiberiu Soare, a valuable consultant for the program, the artist Oana Pellea, the pianist Alexandra Dariescu, the violinist Remus Azoiței, the maestro Marin Cazacu, the conductor Gabriel Bebeșelea, the tenor Teodor Ilincăi.
The Royal Charitable Concert – the history of gala evenings
“It is not enough for a country to give talents; she must know how to keep them alive.” (Nicolae Iorga)
Following the tradition started by Charles I and Queen Elizabeth through the royal foundations, then continued by Queen Maria and Charles II, the Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation assumed the mission of supporting and promoting the talent of young Romanian artists.
Over time, the Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation has been involved in numerous social, cultural and support projects for education and artistic talent, through fund-raising galas. The Royal Charitable Concert is organized annually, since 2008, in order to create and develop the national Young Talents program. Traditionally, the Royal Charitable Concert takes place symbolically on October 25, the birthday of King Michael I of Romania, founder of the Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation alongside Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown.
The gala evenings enjoyed a remarkable presence every year: over 800 guests, members of the Royal Families, members of the Diplomatic Corps, cultural and business personalities, donors, sponsors and supporters of the Foundation. The Royal Concert is an event with a successful media coverage to an annual audience of over 5 million people via TV and radio, being broadcast live by the TVR and Radio Romania channels.
Each edition of the Royal Charitable Concert brought to the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum the most valuable musicians of the moment and great orchestras, in support of young Romanian artists. The Romanian Athenaeum as host of the event, TVR as co-producer and Radio Romania as media partner contributed to the exemplary organization of the gala evening.
A collection of emotional moments and uplifting generosity took place every evening of October 25, and the 12 gala evenings brought to the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum the most valuable musicians of the moment and great orchestras, in support of young Romanian artists. Pianist Dan Grigore (2008), Radio Chamber Orchestra and conductor Cristian Mandeal (2009), soprano Nelly Miricioiu, baritone Yuriy Tsiple and conductor Horia Andreescu (2010), violinist Remus Azoiței, Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra joined this prestigious event. George Enescu” and conductor Christian Badea (2011), violinist Alexandru Tomescu, Stradivarius Ensemble and conductor Gabriel Bebeşelea (2012), violinist Giuliano Carmignola and Stravaganza Ensemble (2013), pianist Alexandra Dariescu, Orchestra of the Royal Margaret Foundation of Romania and conductor Tiberiu Soare ( 2014), tenor Teodor Ilincăi (2015), violinist Roman Kim (2016), violinist Anna Tifu, pianist Mihai Diaconescu and conductor Constantin Adrian Grigore (2018), soprano Cellia Costea and tenor Teodor Ilincăi, Romania Youth Orchestra and conductor Gabriel Bebeșelea ( 2019) have all joined this prestigious event.
In 2008, the first fundraising recital was initiated, performed by pianist Dan Grigore. An evening of grace, under the title “Dan Grigore – 50 seasons on the stages of the world told in musical jewels”, attracted the audience in an atmosphere emanating warmth, harmony and solidarity. Donations and sponsorships of approximately 80,000 euros laid the foundations for the creation of the Young Talents project.
In 2009, the Radio Chamber Orchestra performed a perfect musical program under the baton of maestro Cristian Mandeal, in the second edition of the gala concert. The event was also attended by members of the diplomatic corps, cultural personalities and top managers of Romanian companies. The concert raised approximately 40,000 euros and enabled the continuation of the scholarship program for talented young people without financial means.
In 2010, in the presence of 800 spectators, there was an extraordinary charity concert offered by soprano Nelly Miricioiu, one of the most important names of the world lyric scene, baritone Yuriy Tsiple and conductor Horia Andreescu. The amount collected from sponsorships, donations and the sale of tickets, worth approximately 70,000 euros, made up the scholarship fund of a new edition of the Young Talents project. The event was broadcast live by TVR Cultural and rebroadcast by TVR1.
The gala concert in 2011, in the presence of King Michael I, who turned 90 years old, and many representatives of European royal families, marked a landmark in the history of this prestigious event. 2011 is the year of a triumphant concert that marked the jubilee of King Mihai, who was 90 years old. The soloist of the evening was violinist Remus Azoiţei, internationally recognized for his extraordinary qualities, who performed with the Symphony Orchestra of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic under the baton of master Christian Badea, winner of a Grammy award. The hall of the Romanian Athenaeum proved insufficient for the public who would have wanted to participate in the event, the tickets being sold out long before. The event, organized for the fourth consecutive year, collected 85,000 Euros and allowed the development of the project dedicated to the young artists of Romania.
In 2012, the violinist Alexandru Tomescu and the sounds of his Stradivarius violin fascinated the audience present at the Romanian Athenaeum in the fifth edition of the long-awaited royal charity event. Accompanied by the Stradivarius Ensemble, conducted by the talented Gabriel Bebeşelea, the musical program of the evening included “The Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi and “The Four Seasons” by Astor Piazzola. The concert raised approximately 70,000 euros to support a new generation of talented young people through scholarships, mentors and promotion.
2013 was the year in which the famous Venetian violinist Giuliano Carmignola offered magical moments in baroque style with the girl ensemble La Stravaganza conducted by the prestigious Christian Badea. The sum of 110,000 Euros was mobilized to support a new generation of talented young people. The complexity of the Young Talents project enshrines it as The Best Art and Culture project in Romania at the Civil Society Gala.
The year 2014 brings to the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum a youth concert – the pianist Alexandra Dariescu, an exceptional ambassador of classical music, and the Orchestra of the Princess Margareta Foundation of Romania, an ensemble composed and led by the conductor Tiberiu Soare. For the first time in the Royal Concert, three “Young Talents” – soprano Diana Alexe, mezzo-soprano Cosmina Stancu and tenor George Vîrban, performed arias from famous operas. A new generation of artists could apply for a scholarship the following year.
In 2015, the traditional charity event brought to the public famous arias and songs performed by Teodor Ilincăi, one of the most valuable Romanian tenors of his generation. The Orchestra of the Foundation, under the baton of maestro Tiberiu Soare, the cellists Izabela Ghergu and Cornelius Zirbo, two young laureates at national and international competitions and Olympiads, as well as the duets of the scholarship holders, offered a memorable show in the eighth edition of the grand charity concert.
In the same year, the Young Talents program reaches the number of 200 scholarship holders and is reconfirmed as The Best Art and Culture project in Romania, at the Civil Society Gala.
2016 brings violinist Roman Kim, one of the world’s most acclaimed violinists, together with the Princess Margareta Foundation Orchestra of Romania, conducted by maestro Tiberiu Soare, in a new exceptional concert. Roman Kim dazzled the audience with moments of exceptional virtuosity, being both composer and inventor, reimagining the way classical music can develop in the age of technology. Over 150.00 Euros were collected to support the talent of young Romanians, at the ninth edition of the Royal Charity Concert.
The 2017 event marks 10 years dedicated to young talents, 300 scholarships offered, over 1 million euros invested in Romania’s cultural future. The anniversary edition brings back to the public three of the artists who have offered unique and emotional moments throughout the ten editions of this event, successful musicians on major stages of the world: violinist Remus Azoiței, pianist Alexandra Dariescu and tenor Teodor Ilincai, accompanied by the Orchestra of the Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation, conducted by Tiberiu Soare. The Royal Concert thus becomes one of the longest-running and most successful fundraising events in Romania.
In the centenary year 2018, the violinist Anna Țifu, the pianist Mihai Diaconescu and the Royal Chamber directed by Constantin Adrian Grigore excited the audience with the interpretation of established works by Romanian composers, such as “Balada” by Ciprian Porumbescu and “Moment Muzical” by Nicolae Kirkulescu. Awarded for excellence at prestigious international competitions, the young musicians celebrated 100 years of the Great Union through their musical repertoire. The documentary film “For the love of Romania” illustrated the historical contribution of the Royal Family of Romania to culture and art, as well as the way in which the Foundation continued the tradition of supporting and promoting Romanian talent.
In 2019, it is the last masterful concert at the Romanian Athenaeum offered by soprano Cellia Costea, tenor Teodor Ilincăi and the Romanian Youth Orchestra, conducted by Gabriel Bebeșelea, who excited the audience with an exceptional interpretation of the Italian opera repertoire.
Romania needs art!
The Romanian Athenaeum, a symbol of the national culture, was the host of the 12 memorable editions of the Royal Charity Concert. In the years 2020-2021, the period of the pandemic, the Royal Concert was interrupted as a musical event with an audience on the stage of the Athenaeum, and art acquired new unconventional forms of manifestation and became the bearer of social messages. Romania needed art, and to continue the Young Talents project, the Royal Margareta Foundation of Romania launched the media campaign “Romania needs art” and donations via SMS with the text ARTĂ to 8864, so that art lovers can continue to contribute to the destiny of young artists. Her Majesty Margareta and personalities from the cultural world joined the media campaign and conveyed their message of support for the new generation of Romanian artists right from the Romanian Athenaeum stage, through the show-event broadcast on TVR, Radio Romania Cultural and Musical channels. “Romania needs art” were conveyed to the public by Oana Pellea, Marcel Iureş, Paula Seling, Zoli Toth, Irina Margareta Nistor, Ștefan Câlția, Corina Șuteu but also the musicians Alexandru Tomescu, Tiberiu Soare, Nelly Miricioiu, Iulia Isaev, Felicia Filip, Marin Cazacu.
Being one of the longest-running and most successful fundraising events in Romania, the Royal Charity Concert mobilized more than 1,800,000 euros to support the national Young Talents scholarship program. Among the companies that have made an essential and constant contribution to this cultural project are Kaufland Romania, ISS Facility Services, BRD Groupe Société Générale, Vodafone Romania Foundation and Groupe Renault Romania Foundation.
The Royal Concert of October 25, 2022, the 13th edition
The Margareta of Romania Royal Foundation continues the tradition of supporting and promoting Romanian culture and talent through the thirteenth edition of the Royal Charity Concert.
The protagonists of this year’s event are young musicians appreciated on important stages of the world, from Carnegie Hall, New York, London, Shanghai, Munich to Vienna. Cellist Andrei Ioniță, soprano Diana Alexe and tenor George Vîrban, accompanied by the New Hope Orchestra conducted by David Crescenzi – reunite on October 25 to give an emotional show of classical music on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum.
Andrei Ioniță is one of the most valuable cellists in the world, designated by “BBC New Generation Artist” for the period 2016-2018, and considered by The Times publication as “one of the most exciting cellists to emerge in the last decade”. With an extraordinary talent, brilliant technique and musicality, Andrei is the first Romanian musician to win the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, one of the most significant musical competitions in the world.
Pianist, orchestra and choir conductor, David Crescenzi has a rich musical activity for over two decades all over the world, and is currently artistic director of the Romanian National Opera in Cluj and permanent guest conductor at the Deutsche Oper am Rheim in Düsseldorf.
Andrei, Diana and George were themselves scholarship holders of the Royal Margaret Foundation of Romania in the first generations. These successful artists are the ambassadors of the Young Talents program, and through their musical performance at the Royal Concert, in turn, they offer support to other artists at the beginning of their journey, as a gesture of generosity and recognition for everything they have received and become.
The Royal Concert takes place in the presence of the Royal Family of Romania. Keeping with the opening ritual, the orchestra will sing the Royal Anthem at the opening, followed by the speech given to the audience by Her Majesty Margareta. At the end of the concert, members of the Royal Family will visit the art exhibition and join the audience in the foyer.
The musical program of the evening will be composed of a selection of the most beautiful pages of opera and operetta, famous arias and duets extracted from the works of composers such as Gounod, Verdi, Donizetti, Lehar or Sorozabal, and, in the interpretation of the cellist Andrei Ioniță, you will be able listen to the Rococo Variations by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The gala evening is completed by a short video presentation of the Young Talents program, the visual arts exhibition of the scholarship holders in the foyer of the Athenaeum, the limited edition charity items that support the donations and the opportunity to socialize with the supporters of this noble cause.
The public can purchase tickets to the show on www.iabilet.ro, and the public at home can get involved by sending an SMS to 8864 with the text ARTĂ, thus supporting scholarships for Romania’s talented young people.
Funds raised from sponsorships and ticket sales at the Royal Concert will support the 2023 edition of the Young Talents project, for which the Foundation will launch a national selection among pupils and students from specialized high schools and universities. Scholarship holders will be selected based on their social profile, but also their demonstrated talent and artistic potential. They will subsequently be supported with scholarships, mentoring and promotion, for the period of one calendar year.