Performers

Romanian pianist wins “Contemporary Piano” Award in Madrid

28 years old Romanian pianist Alexandru Belemuski was awarded the “Contemporary Piano” Award in Madrid, at the Annual Gala organized by the Miguel Ángel Colmenero Foundation for promoting young artists. The prize is due to the performance of the Piano Suite by Spanish composer Jesús Aranda, during and winner of the Carmelo Bernaola composition competition.

The “Contemporary Piano” Award was presented to Alexandru Belemuski by Spanish composer Sebastian Mariné, member of an elite jury. All the winners performed in a concert after the Gala. Alexandru Belemuski was invited to perform at the prestigious Auditorio Nacional in Madrid on January 16th 2016.

Alexandru Belemuski was born in Romania, in Giurgiu, în 1988. He has been living in Spain since 2000, having graduated from the Superior Music Conservatory in Aragon.

Bucharest Winds

Bucharest Winds ensemble (former “Ars Ventus”) has enjoyed the attention of important musical institutions right from the start. The National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Radio Orchestra, the Pitești Philharmonic, the Union of Romanian Composers and Musicologists, the “George Enescu”  National Museum, the Focşani Chamber Orchestra, the Botoşani Philharmonic or the “Clasic e fantastic” Foundation are just some of the partners with whom Bucharest Winds performed in various concerts. Designed with the stated purpose of promoting music for wind instruments, Bucharest Winds aimed from the beginning for diversifying instrumental combinations as to include as many chamber genres and species as possible.

Artists who contributed to Bucharest Winds projects are leading soloists of orchestras such as the National Radio Symphony Orchestra – Bucharest, the “George Enescu” Philharmonic – Bucharest, the Romanian National Opera – Bucharest, the “Moldova” Philharmonic – Iași, the Pitești Philharmonic, the “Paul Constantinescu” Philharmonic – Ploieşti. Among the praised conductors who have led the ensemble:  Tiberiu Soare, David Crescenzi, Vincent Grüger and Cristian Brâncuși.

In 2013 Bucharest Winds initiated, in partnership with the Romanian Union of Composers and Musicologists and the National “George Enescu” Museum, a project to promote Romanian modern and contemporary music for wind instruments. The project consists in cataloguing over 500 relevant titles and gradually recording these works.

Official website HERE.

SoundCloud HERE.

ATEM Ensemble

The Atem Ensemble, based in Timișoara (Romania), was formed in 2013, with the primary goal to promote, in various chamber formations, the modern and contemporary musical repertoire. Its founding members are soprano Valentina Elena Verlan, flutist Anca-Elena Negruț, violinist Cristina Constantin, clarinetist Cosmin Hărșian and pianist Victor Andrei Părău. The group also had the privilege to collaborate with esteemed musicians such as cellist Alexandra Guțu and pianist Sorin Petrescu. 

The ensemble made its debut in June 2013, playing modern French music at the Jecza Gallery, in Timișoara. Later that year, it participated in artistic events dedicated to the late Romanian composer Aurel Stroe, performing chamber works of his at the Banatul Philharmonic in Timișoara, during the Enescu-Bartók Music Days, at the 5th edition of the ”Aurel Stroe” International Festival in Bușteni and at the National University of Music in Bucharest. In October 2013, Valentina Verlan and Victor Părău offered an evening of French lieder at the Suțu Palace in Bucharest.

Official website: HERE

Facebook: HERE

Cristina Constantin

Cristina Constantin graduated The West University of Timişoara, Faculty of Music  (2003), MA in violin performance (2005), with prof. Graţiela Negruţiu, PhD; in 2013 she completed her PhD in violin performance under the direction of prof. Gabriel Banciu, PhD, within ”Gheorghe Dima” Academy, Cluj- Napoca. Since 2013 she has been a member of the Atem Ensemble. 

Cristina Constantin attended violin masterclass within Internationale Sommerakademie Prag- Wien- Budapest, Semmering, Austria, (2007, 2008);  Icon Arts International Summer Courses, Breaza, Romania, (2005); International Festival of Early Music, Timişoara and Brebu-Nou, Romania (2009); Experimental Studio Academy des SWR Freiburg, Germany (2011). 

Artistic experience includes performances within international festivals, such as Rieti Elettroacustica, strumenti e musica del presente in  Rieti, Italy (2013), Musica Coronensis, Brașov, Romania (2011, 2013), Aurel Stroe Intermational Festival , Bușteni, Romania (2013), Matrix 11, Freiburg, Germany (2011), Timișoara Muzicală, Timișoara, Romania (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014); first performances of the following contemporary music works by: Luigi Pizzaleo: Quattro Meditazioni for violin and electronics; Gabriel Mălăncioiu: Profanul şi Sacrul for two violins and clarinet, Bhava for flute, violin, cello and piano, Sanran for clarinet and violin, Naticris for solo violin, Mitra for solo violin, Shudi for violin and electronics, Profanul şi Sacrul for two violins and viola, Hommage a George Enescu for solo violin.

Official website HERE.

Ştefan Diaconu

Stefan Diaconu was born in 1990 in Radauti, Romania and started learning piano at the age of 6, then began studying flute at the age of 10 as a student of the “Octav Bancila” National College of Arts in Iasi. During the time spent in Iasi he participated in many national and international competitions where he was awarded a large number of prizes.

He took his bachelor’s degree in both Flute Performance and Orchestral Conducting at the National University of Music in Bucharest, where he studied with prof. Ion Bogdan Stefanescu and prof. Petru Andriesei.

Stefan participated in an Erasmus Exchange project at the “Frederic Chopin” University of Music in Warsaw, Poland in 2011. He studied flute with prof. Agata Igras-Sawicka and conducting with prof. Monika Wolinska, during which time he had the opportunity to discover a large variety of pieces by Polish composers, which he afterwards premiered in Romania. As part of his musical education he took part in many masterclasses with teachers such as  Gerglely Bodoky, Michael Cox, Jean Claude Gerard, Dieter Flury.

Since 2010 he has been collaborating with national and international orchestras and chamber ensembles leading to his debut as a soloist in 2012 with the “George Enescu” National Philharmonic Orchestra of Bucharest.

Guided by prof. Ion Bogdan Stefanescu he discovered his passion for contemporary music and premiered a large number of pieces by both Romanian and international composers. In 2013 he he was invited to perform in a contemporary music festival in South Korea where he premiered compositions by Korean composers.

He broadened his artistic vision by playing with various jazz ensembles, recording movie soundtracks and shows for national radio and television broadcasts. He founded two chamber ensembles, “Silver Sound” flute sextet and “AEROS” woodwind quintet with which he performs at many cultural events.

Alongside being a member of the “Profil” chamber orchestra, “Camerata Regala” orchestra, “Icon Arts” contemporary music ensemble and “Archeus” ensemble he is a permanent principal flute assistant  at the “George Enescu” National Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

Florin Estefan

Baritone Florin Estefan was born in Oradea on April 10, 1982. In 2004 he graduated the University of Music in Oradea, where he studied with professor PhD Alexandru Farcas and assistant professor PhD Gheorghe Mogosan. As a second-year student, at the age of 20 years, he was offered a position as soloist with the Romanian National Opera in Cluj, where he was employed for four years. 

He participated in numerous competitions including: The International Singing Competition Hariclea Darclee (First Prize), Toti dal Monte International Competition (Special Prize), Ionel Perlea International Festival of Lied (Grand Prix), Sabin Dragoi International Competition (Grand Prix) and the National Festival of Romanian Lied (where he received the Award of Excellence for promoting the Romanian Lied). 

During his career Florin Estefan has performed on numerous stages, both in Romania and abroad (Greece, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Japan, United States, Australia and the UK).

Vocal symphonic repertoire includes: L. van Beethoven (9th Symphony), J. Haydn (Cecilien Messe), W.A. Mozart (Requiem), G. Rossini (Petite Messe Solenelle), C. Orff (Carmina Burana). 

A few roles from the opera repertoire of Florin Estefan’s work are: Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni) – Mozart, Cosi fan Tutte (Gugliermo) – Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro (Count Almaviva and Figaro) – Mozart, Il Matrimonio Segretto (Il Conte Robinson) – Cimarosa, Iphigenia in Aulis (Agamemnon) – Gluck, Lucia di Lammermoor (Enrico) – Donizetti, Don Pasquale (Malatesta) – Donizetti, L’Elisir d’Amore (Belcore) – Donizetti, Il Barbiere di Sevilla (Figaro) – Rossini, La Boheme (Marcello) – Puccini, Madama Butterfly (Sharpless) – Puccini, La Traviata (Germont) – Verdi, Il Trovatore (Il Conte di Luna), etc. 

In 2006 he starred in the filmed version of the opera The boss, by A. Sienberger, and had a secondary role in Transylvania, directed by French director Tony Gatlif (a film nominated for the Cannes International Film Festival). 

Florin Estefan graduated in December 2007 at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice, having as professor of singing the famous tenor Dennis O`Neill, and participated in numerous courses of artistic mastery of renowned personalities in opera music: Dennis O’Neill, Sherrill Miles, Ileana Cotrubas, Dame Ann Murray, Jane Eaglen, Bernd Weikl, Elizabeth Connell, Carol Vaness and last, but not least, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Official site here 

Antifonia Choir

In 1969, Constantin Rîpă founded the Antifonia choir, a choir specialized in performing contemporary music that has had a very rich activity in Cluj-Napoca and other major cities in Romania. The tours they made, the festivals, contests and the Radio and T.V. recordings transformed Antifonia into the first laboratory, the first contemporary music workshop in Cluj, both for Romanian and foreign music.  

In 1979 Antifonia started its international activity, participating in the most outstanding competitions and festivals and eventually achieving 12 international prizes. These awards brought not only worldwide acknowledgement, but also invitations to the most important international festivals, as well as Radio and TV recordings in Belgium, Germany, France and Austria. 

The choir was invited to sing most difficult contemporary scores. Thus, in festivals like Wien Modern, Musique d’Aujourd’hui – Strassbourg, Chaise-Dieu – France, Wiener Musiksommer, Cluj Modern, Modern Music Festival in Bucharest (Romania), Antifonia interpreted impressive musical works like: Nekuia – Iannis Xenakis, Requiem – Alois Zimmermann, Requiem – Gyorgy Ligeti, Grande Messe des Morts – Hector Berlioz, Fragende Ode – Mauricio Kagel, In Cauda – Franco Donatoni, Und Gott der Herr Sprach – Francisc Burt, IX-th Symphony – L.van Beethoven, Janne d’Arc au Bucher –Anton Honneger, Canti di LIberatine – Luigi DallaPiccola, Coram Requiem – Ivan Fedele, The sevengates of Jerusalem – Krisztoff Penderecki. For these works, Antifonia cooperated with the Philarmonic Orchestra ofBratislaw, the Radio France Orchestra, the 20 Yahrhundert, Ensemble of Vienna, the Symphoniker of Vienna, the Philarmonic Orchestra of Basel, the National Orchestra of Lyon, the Philarmonic Orchestra of Cluj, the Radio Symphonic Orchestra of Bucharest, the Hua XiaChamber Ensemble from Beijing. 

The concerts were conducted by personalities like Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Peter Burwik, Zoltan Pesko, Richard Edhinger, Alain Lombard, Yehudi Menuhin, Gheorghe Costin, Walter Haupt.

Mihai Murariu

Born in 1984, Mihai Murariu has studied piano at the George Enescu Music Highschool in Bucharest. During this time, he was awarded numerous prizes at national and international piano competitions and has sustained recitals and concerts throughout the country both as a soloist and a member of chamber ensembles.

In 2003 he started studying Classical Composition at the National University of Music Bucharest with Dan Dediu, Doina Rotaru, Octavian Nemescu, Nicolae Coman, Dan Buciu, etc. Since then he has won several prizes at national and international composition competitions (Paul Constantinescu, Ştefan Niculescu, IconArts, De la romantici la contemporani, Concursul naţional de creaţie corală, etc) and his pieces have been performed in some of the most important festivals in the country (SIMN, Meridian, IconArts, etc) and on many other stages, including abroad (Rome, Helsinki, etc).

Despite his specialisation, Mihai Murariu has continued his activity as a performer in chamber and contemporary music ensembles (opus.Art, Propuls, IconArts, Sonomania, devotioModerna, European Conpemporary Orchestra, etc), as a soloist (performing with orchestras such as the Râmnicu Vâlcea Philharmonic, Sinfonia Bucureşti, the UNMB Orchestra) and as an accompanist (the Colla Parte award in the Maeştrii artei lirice – Petre Ştefănescu-Goangă” International Singing Competition). He has also collaborated with the Piteşti Philharmonic, the George Enescu Philharmonic, the National Radio Orchestra, the National Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Bucharest National Opera, the Bucharest National Theatre, etc. Since 2012, he is also an organist at the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Cathedral in Bucharest.

Mihai Murariu has just finished his doctorate studies at the National University of Music Bucharest and is now an Associate Professor in the same university.

SoundCloud HERE.

Photo: Mihai Benea / All rights reserved to UCIMR

 

Octavian Moldovean

Octavian Moldovean has graduated his Bachelor Degree at the National University of Music in Bucharest (2012), currently continuing his studies with the second year of  the Master’s Degree Program. Collaborator of the National Radio Orchestra and the “George Enescu” Philharmonic in Bucharest, he has attended numerous master classes of various flute players. Among these were Jacques-Pierre Artaud, Juliette Hurel, Benoit Fromanger, Philippa Davies, Michael Cox, Janosh Balint, Michael Martin Kofler. Former Erasmus student, he has completed musical training at the Conservatory of Strasbourg in 2011 with Mario Caroli.

During August 2010, Octavian was selected by the Kennedy Center Institute in Washington D.C.. He represented Europe and Romania at the Cultural Visitor’s Program, with five different musicians from all over the world. He took part in concerts, workshops and private lessons with musicians from different cities of America: Cynthia Meyers (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Stephani Stang (Kennedy Center Opera House), Carol Wincenc (NYC – Julliard School).  In 2011 and 2013, the Foundation “Princess Margarita of Romania” honored him with a royal scholarship, as well as he benefitted from the International Summer Academy’s” Scholarship offered by ISA’s 2011 Program in Vienna.  During 2012 he had full scholarship for “The Holter Music Festival” in Italy, the first recital held at the Romanian Athenaeum and the first concert as a soloist with the University Orchestra. For six months he became a part of “Emisia 2″ band, combining various music styles such as pop, rock and jazz through free improvisation. From 13 to 22 February 2013 he has been awarded with the scholarship for the European Improvisation Intensive Project in The Hague (NL). 

Eugen-Bogdan Popa

Cellist Eugen-Bogdan Popa was born in Iași, Romania, in 19 april 1980. He began music training at ”Octav Băncilă” Art Highschool in Iași, with prof.Eugenia-Liliana Baciu. He won first and second prizes at national performance contests (1994-1998). He attended several masterclasses held by prof. Marin Cazacu. He completed his studies – Bachelor, under the guidance of prof. Tiberiu Ungureanu, and Master degrees – at the National University of Music Bucharest. In 2010 he was awarded the title of Doctor at the National University of Music Bucharest, Thesis Title – ”Stylistic and performing aspects of the solo and chamber music for cello in the second half of the twentieth century”, scientific coordinator – prov.univ. dr. Nicolae Brânduș.

Since 2001, Eugen-Bogdan Popa works as cellist in the symphony orchestra of ”George Enescu” Philharmonic Bucharest. He also collaborated with the Chamber and Symphony Radio orchestras, with the ”Virtuozii” chamber orchestra, and participated as cellist in the musical part of some theatre and dramatic productions (Deceballo, Carmen`s Tragedy, The Journey of Orpheus). He is member of the ”ClavioArte” piano trio, of ”Noblesse” string quartet, of the ensembles  PROFIL,  PROPULS,  SonoMania  (contemporary music), ”Gli Studiosi di Sebastiano” (baroque music). Eugen-Bogdan Popa took part in CD recordings (Electrecord, Polish Institute in Bucharest, British Council), in TV and radio broadcasts/recordings (TVR Iaşi, Radio Iaşi, TVR 1, TVR Cultural, TV Trinitas). Since 2011 he has been associate professor with National University of Music Bucharest, teaching Cello and Orchestral studies (cello/double bass) classes.