Archives for December2012

Anca Vartolomei

Born on the 1st of February 1955, in Bucharest, Anca Vartolomei studied at the Conservatory (presently the National University of Music) in Bucharest, under Aurel Niculescu (cello) and Nicolae Brandus (chamber music). She improved her skills at the International Seminaries in Weimar (studying under Galina Kossolupova) and in Budapest (under Vilmos Tatray). Afterwards, she was also invited to teach at the International Summer Courses in Darmstadt (she was already a cello teacher at the George Enescu High School in Bucharest).

Winner of the Brasov Interpretation Contest (1976) and of four editions of the National Festival (1983, 1985, 1987 and 1989), she was awarded several Music Critics Prizes (awarded by the Association of Theater and Music): in 1982, as a member of the Musica Nova ensemble, in 1986, as a soloist and in 1987 as a member of the Archaeus ensemble. As part of this last ensemble, she also received the Prize of the Romanian Union of Composers and Musicologists (1990), the Prize of the Romanian Music Critics (1991), the Actualitatea Muzicala magazine Prize (1996) and the SOROS Foundation Prize (1997).

Cellist Anca Vartolomei performed in concerts and recitals in Bucharest and the main cities in Romania, but also in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the United States of America etc. Her repertory is mainly based on contemporary music, many of the most important Romanian composers having dedicated their works to her. The majority of her interpretative creations are now part of the library of the Romanian Radio Broadcastung Company  (either recorded in concert or specially recorded) and some of them can also be found on discs recorded by the Electrecord House (Bucharest), Attaca Records (Amsterdam) or EMEC (Madrid).

Along her career, several Romanian or foreign music critics have issued opinions in regard to the interpretative art of this cellist:  “Outstanding technical virtuosity was shown by cellist Anca Vartolomei in the UK premiere of Celliphonia (Calin Ioachimescu)…” (Reviews, Huddersfield, November 29, 1990);   “…the soloist participation of a cellist not only gifted and expressive, but a cellist that we may call a true cultural element: Anca Vartolomei.” (Alfred Hoffman, Actualitatea Muzicala, no. 24, March 1991). (source)



Dorin Gliga

Oboist Dorin Gliga was born on June 7 1959 in Rastolnita, Mures (Romania). He graduated fron the Music Highschool No.1 in Bucharest and the National University of Music in Bucharest (at the time, the Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory) where he studied with Pavel Tornea, Radu Chisu si Francisc Laszlo. He specialized in Italy and Germany with Renato Zamfini, Antonio Bachelli, Arturo Sachetti. He played in the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra under the great conductor Sergiu Celibidache, collaborating with the orchestra between 1979-82. Between 1982-91 he was solo oboe at the Bacau Philharmonic. He is founding member of the Syrinx Trio, the Ethos trio and the Archaeus Ensemble, together with musicians such as Iancu Vaduva, Dorel Baicu, Pavel Ionescu, Liviu Danceanu. He taught chamber music and oboe classes at the National University of Music in Bucharest (1992-2007) and the Brasov Faculty of Music (1994-2003).

He held masterclasses in Romania and abroad and he was part in different national and international juries. He played as soloist with prestigious orchestras and held numerous chamber recitals in Romania, Austria, Albania, Italy, UK, Ireland, Russia, Czechia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, Denmark, Finland, Japan, USA. He won international prizes in Ancona, Stressa, Capri (Italy), Llangollen (UK), Martigny (Switzerland), Tokyo(Japan). He was awarded the Romanian Critics Prize, the Prize of the Actualitatea Muzicala journal, the ATM Prize, the Soros Prize, the Prize of the Union of Romanian Composers and Musicologists. He recorded LPs and CDs at Electrecord (Bucharest), Edi-Pan (Rome), BBC London, Emec Madrid, Radio Koln, Radio Bucharest, Radio Bratislava, Canal 9 Valencia, TVR Bucharest. He was dedicated a lot of concerts and solo oboe works. He is currently member of the National Radio Orchestra in Bucharest.

Virgil Francu

Flutist Virgil Francu (1942, Codlea –  2011, Bucharest) studied at the National University of Music in Bucharest with professor Vasile Jianu. In 1966 he became member of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra and, since 1991 he had been a flute professor at the National University of Music in Bucharest. He gave numerous concerts in Romania and abroad, while also collaborating with the Musica Nova ensemble and with Concertino. He was awarded prizes at international flute competitions in Prague (1968) and Barcelona (1972).


Adrian Buciu

Flutist and conductor Adrian Buciu is a graduate of the National University of Music in Bucharest (Instrumental Performance, Flute Department and the Faculty of Composition, Musicology and Music Pedagogy, Conducting Department). Since 2000 he is a Ph.D. lecturer in the department of Chamber Music and Orchestra. He gave many concerts as soloist and conductor, on important stages from Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia, Hungary, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, France, Norway, USA, Italy. He obtained the  “Erasmus” Scholarship at the Hochschule fur Musik “F. Liszt Weimar (2002-2003). He made various recordings for radio and television.

Adrian Buciu is member of the succesful world music fusion group Imago Mundi and one of the founders of the Old Music Center in the National University of Music, Bucharest. He is the founder and the conductor or the BAROCkers Orchestra (website, here) at the same University. He has also collaborated frequently with new music composers and new music or ensembles in concerts and multimedia shows.

Matei Ioachimescu

The flutist Matei Ioachimescu is one of the finest musicians of his generation. He was born in Bucharest – Romania in a musical family and he started playing the piano at the age of five. Later he studied the flute in Vienna with prof. Barbara Gisler-Haase at the University of Music and Performing Arts, where he graduated with honours. Matei was also influenced and supported by outstanding teachers like Pierre-Yves Artaud, Ion Bogdan Stefanescu, Renate Armin Greiss and Heidi Peter Indermuhle. He holds Magister Artium – Soloist Diploma of the Music University in Vienna and is prize winner of several awards and grants worldwide. One of them is Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (Vienna).

Since 2003, Matei is co-principal flutist of the “George Enescu” – Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra. Besides his active solo and chamber music career, he is also performing as a freelance solo flutist with orchestras like Metropolitan Kammerorchester Wien and Vienna Donauphilharmonie. He is member of several chamber music ensembles like Metropolitans Ensemble, Trio Spirit of Vienna, Ensemble Wien-Helsinki and DOT.Duo.

Matei recorded for Romanian Radio and Broadcasting and in 2012 – a debut CD with music by Debussy, Ibert, Jolivet, Saint Saens and Poulenc is planned to be released.

Matei Ioachimescu is guest professor at Up-Bow Summer Academy in Vienna as well as at Summer Academy in Bistrita, Romania which takes place every July.

Matei plays on a 9 k Muramatsu flute.

Official website, here.

Fernando Mihalache

Fernando Mihalache ( born May 31, 1979) is a well-known Romanian accordion player. He begun to study the accordion at the age of 7 and also studied pan flute at the Dinu Lipatti Music Highschool. He then studied composition at the National Music University in Bucharest, where he’s been closely guided by his teachers,  Liviu Danceanu and Dan Dediu (Master in 2005). He completed his PhD studies in 2011, the title of the dissertation being Romanian Film Music.

As a member, Fernando has been playing with local prestigious ensembles like Traffic Strings, Accord Vibes or Maxim Quartet, teaching as well accordion within the National Music University in Bucharest.

He is among few of the Romanian accordion players to be able to perform successfully in musicals and jazz shows but also in chamber recitals. His remarkable skills allowed him to approach quite a variety of musical styles and genres.

Fernando Mihalache was invited to perform in 2011 Edition of the George Enescu Festival in Romania.

Ars Nova

The Cluj based Ars Nova Ensemble was founded in 1968 by renowned composer Cornel Ţăranu and became, in the totalitarian years, an “alternative institution” that promoted creativity, both Romanian and universal. As the liberty of expression was gradually restricted between 1971-89, Ars Nova miraculously succeeded in maintaining its high level of repertoire, the most representative works from the 20th century. In an era of censorship and ideological obscurantism, the Ars Nova concerts in Cluj were small oases of liberty, the ensemble regularly playing works by composers such as Stravinsky, Ravel, Schonberg, Enescu, Bartok, Berg, Webern, Varese, Berio, Cage, Xenakis, Stockhausen, Boulez, Nono, Bussotti, Stroe, Kagel, Ligeti or. Gorecki and many others.

This ensemble was created based on the model of Ars Nova from Paris, where Cornel Ţăranu had a chance to complete his studies between 1966 and 1967 with Olivier Messiaen and Nadia Boulanger. It can be considered for Cluj as a pioneer and an impulse for other interpreters to establish contemporary music groups, such as „The Percussion Ensemble”, founded and led successfully to date by Grigore Pop.

In its over 40 years of existence, Ars Nova gave over 200 world premieres of works by Romanian and foreign composers and participated in the most prestigious new music festivals in Romania, such as the Cluj Musical Autumn Festival (“Toamna Muzicală Clujeană”), the George Enescu Festival and the International New Music Week (Bucharest). The ensemble has toured all over Europe and gave numerous concerts and recorded music in cities such as London, Paris, Bruxelles, Berlin, Mannheim, Passau, München, Vienna, Bremen, Warsaw, Zagreb, Budapest, etc. Ars Nova recorded manu CDs at Electrecord (Bucharest) and Attacca (Amsterdam), as well as with the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company.

Ars Nova members are elite musicians, either professors at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj, or members of the Transilvania State Philharmonic Orchestra. The ensemble has very often realised challenging interdisciplinary avangarde shows – chamber operas, instrumental theatre, electronic or multimedia concerts, dance, theater or poetry projects, working with famous performers such as the French saxophonist Daniel Kientzy.

A constant feature of the ensemble and its leader is also a blending of generations; the founding members are: Agneta Kriza (soprano), Ion Budoiu (baritone) Alexandru Poduţiu (flute), Szövérdi Marton (oboe), Ioan Goilă (clarinet), Gabriel Simon (bassoon), Ion Olteanu (horn), Gheorghe Muşat (trumpet), Gheorghe Lungu (trombone), Grigore Pop, Adriana Chisu (percussion), Gregory Botár (violin I), Reinfeld Peter, Vasile Curta (violin II), Ioan Santa, Olimpiu Moldovan (viola), Török Béla (cello), Oana Caius (bass), Harald Enghiurliu (piano); some of the newer members: Ortenszky Gyula (cello), Adrian Filipescu (bass), Codruţa Ghenceanu (piano) Lavinia Cherecheş (soprano), Iulia Merca (mezzo-soprano), Marius Budoiu (tenor), Vasile Toda (bassoon), Alexandru Marc (horn), Mircea Neamt (trombone); soloists: Gheorge Roşu (bass), Anton Tauf (reciter), Aurel Marc (oboe), Gavril Costea (flute). (sources here and here)


Game Percussion Ensemble

It all started in 1995 as a challenge for Romanian composers, especially for the ones in Bucharest. GAME percussion ensemble functions as well as a worksop for contemporary music, in order to offer an open frame for students, young performers and composers. Nowadays, it is one of the most provocative and successful new music ensembles in Romania.

Since 1995 the ensemble has held more than 95 concerts and participated in prestigious festivals: The International New Music Week (Bucharest, 1996, 1998-2012), Meetings with New Music (Braila, 1999, 2001), New Music International Days (Bacau, 1995, 1996), T.I.A.V. (Bucharest), New Music Days (Chisinau, 2003), Archaeus International festival (Bucharest 2000), ISCM – World Music Days (Bucharest 1999).

The ensemble was founded by Alexandru Matei, percussion professor at the National University of Music in Bucharest, and its members are students or graduates of the University.

Their repertoire includes works by more than 30 Romanian composers (Stefan Niculescu, Liviu Danceanu, Tiberiu Olah, Adrian Iorgulescu, Doina Rotaru, Octavian Nemescu, Irinel Anghel, Mihaela Vosganian, Anatol Vieru, Dan Dediu, Adrian Ratiu, Sorin Lerescu, Lucian Metianu, Gabriel Irany, Serban Nichifor, Dan Voiculescu, Diana Voda, George Balint, Liana Alexandra, etc.) and over 40 foreign composers (Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, Luis de Pablo, Sostakovitch, Edgar Varese, Joji Yuasa, Andre Jolivet, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Siegfried Fink, Halyna Ovcharenko, Carmen Verdu, John Beck, Tomas Marco, Theo Loevendie, etc.). The ensemble offered more than 20 world premieres and more than 50 Romanian premieres to the public. GAME also held happening concerts, Latin music concerts, while participating at Radio and TV broadcasts and recording numerous works on CD.

In 1995 the ensemble received the SOROS Foundation Award. In 1999, the Actualitatea Muzicala  (“Music News”) journal awarded Alexandru Matei for his activity with GAME Ensemble.

The name of the ensemble is the title of the first work dedicated to them, by composer Liviu Danceanu.


Avant’n’Gard is an artistic collective reunited around the idea of improvised music and naturalness of the musical performance. With its mixture of spoken poetry, urban mystic stories, ambient rhythms, psychedelic sonorities, Avant’n’Gard it’s an unique project on the Romanian scene. Since its creation, the group was invited to participate in festivals such as The International New Music Week (2010, 2011, 2012), Astra Film Festival (2012), Bookfest (2012), FanFest (2012), John Cage 100 (2012), Sibiu Jazz and More (2011), Street Delivery (2010, 2011), Bran Castle Fest (2009), and sustained concerts in different spaces in Bucharest and other cities in Romania, among them The National Center of Contemporary Dance and Czech Centre, clubs (Art Jazz Club, Green Hours, Control Club, Shift Pub, Dianei 4, Londophone, Kulturhaus, Flying Circus Cluj, Moskva Café Oradea, Albion Chisinau), bookshops and tea houses. The croatian national radio broadcasted their albums (Landscape Painted in Tea, bootleg, 2010; Tinfoil Sun, official, 2012). In January 2012, Avant’n’Gard participated in the Art’s Birthday international celebration in the event organised by EBU group Ars Acustica. They develop different projects such as the live musical performing for Aki Kaurismaki’s movie Juha (Czech Centre, No Silence, please! program) and Perforated Romances. In December 2012 the group released a new album – Untepempered Carols. In spring we hope to release a new discographical production – the improvised interpretation, together with Monsieur Delagare & Co (France) of the text Fuchsiada signed by Urmuz.

Members: Maria Balabas – voce, keyboards; Mihai Balabas – violin, guitar, bass, effects; Calin Torsan – flutes; Gabriel Balasa – percussions.

Maria Balabaş studied Musicology and piano at the National University of Music Bucharest and is working right now as a journalist at the National Cultural Radio in Romania, where she is moderating and producing the programs called The Crossover Morning and The Sonorous Generation. She is awarded prizes in piano and musicological competitions, gave performances in Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam and her radio art creations where broadcasted by Resonancefm from London, Radio Zero in Lisbon and Radio Campus in Brussels.

Mihai Balabaş is a talented violinist, studying at the National University of Music in Bucharest and having activity both in the symphonic and in underground musical scene. He collaborats with bands such as Byron, Bucium, Trei Parale, Abis and is developing fully his talent as an improviser and as a musical thinker in the Avant’n’Gard project.

Călin Torsan is a legendary character, being one of the first musicians who played on the streets of the revolutionized Romania. He created and collaborated in lots of bands, among them Domnişoara Pogany, Einuiea, Jazzadezz, Nu şi apa neagră, he published volumes at prestigious publishing houses and has done tours in Germany, Japan and Romania. He collects flutes, clarinets and other wind instruments from all the corners of the world.

The percussionist Gabriel Bălaşa is starting to be one of the most desired musicians on the Romanian underground scene and not only, people admiring him for his energy and good vibe. His studies as a painter contributed to his personality as a good color musician and he is able to be personal and free in projects dealing with old music, rock, folk and world music.

“Together – we create and we share the state of being free as part of a group, in a true artistic communication. Even if in Romania this musical direction doesn’t have a big public yet, we are sure we will create one – with persons that have a great musical sense, are looking for originality and a society that fulfills their ideals.”

Facebook page, here. Soundcloud, here.

Trio Aperto

Trio APERTO was founded in 1990 by Dolores Chelariu – piano, harpsichord, organ; Ladislau Csendes – violin, viola, viola d’amore and  Dan Avramovici – clarinets, saxophones. The ensemble participated in international festivals and toured in Germany , Italy , Spain , Poland , Hungary , Yugoslavia , Egypt, while  opening gates to Romanian contemporary music. The enthusiast press reviews favoured the development of the ensemble’s career.
Since 1994, APERTO has also performed in enlarged formulas as a quartet, quintet and chamber orchestra. Their repertoire includes works by renowned contemporary composers – Joji Yuasa, Gyorgy Kurtag, Francis Burt, Anatol Vieru, Tiberiu Olah, Aurel Stroe, Stefan Niculescu, Doina Rotaru – all composer who directly collaborated with the ensemble.

Official website, here.