Ensembles

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

devotioModerna

Founded in December 2005 by composer and conductor Carmen Maria Cârneci together with her close collaborater, cellist Dan Cavassi, the devotioModerna ensemble aims to embody the devotion to modern music. Its programs take on various ways of expression: from pure instrumental music to vocal-instrumental, from rigorous works to creations sprinkled with improvisations, from live performances to associating pre-recorded music with different forms of syncretism: elements of instrumental theater, projections of photography, reciting of poetry and also lighting techniques or elements of ambient / scenography, in order to make the listener’s experience more intense. Artistic director Carmen Cârneci has chosen a basic structure of six instruments: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion, to which singers – soprano (Yolanda Constantinescu and Mirela Zafiri) or mezzo-soprano (Elvira Sebat), and sometimes a reciter (Adina Popescu) were added.

During its seven years of existence, devotioModerna gathered performers with a solid experience in contemporary music such as Cătălin Opriţoiu – flute, Emil Vişenescu and Cristian Mancaş – clarinets, Natalia Colotelo, Oana Vişenescu and Ioan Marius Lăcraru (guest performer) – violin, Cornelia Petroiu (guest performer) – viola, Dan Cavassi – cello, Andrei Tănăsescu, Manuela Giosa and Mihail Vîrtosu – piano, Alexandru Matei (guest performer) – percussion. Young instrumentalists such as Ana Chifu and Teodora Ducariu – flute, Valentin Ghita – oboe, Constantin Urziceanu – clarinet, Andrei Cavassi – cello, Diana Rotaru and Olga Podobinschi-Tănase – piano, Sorin Rotaru, Rareş Pahonţu and Alexandru Sturzu – percussion, often join the ensemble and thus gain the know-how of the elders.

The devotioModerna ensemble played its debut performance on December 18th, 2005 at the first edition of the International Festival “Days of SNR-SIMC” (since 2006: “MERIDIAN, Days of SNR-SIMC: Romanian National Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music) and has since had the opportunity to perform in all following “Meridian” Festivals, as well as in the annual occurring International Week of New Music – Bucharest. Throughout its history of performance, including the participation at the “George Enescu” International Festival in 2009, the public appreciated the complexity of the repertoire and received the ensemble conducted by Carmen Cârneci with great interest. Some of the devotioModerna concerts took the allure of events, for example six o’clock tea & art – music: a bit of poetry, photos and tea flavours (December 10th, 2008); Echoes – an afternoon concert; A tandem concert: TRAIECT & devotioModerna; Ah, Celan… (May 2012) and recently …SOMA, Sonate….

The main stylistic direction taken on by devotioModerna is performing Romanian modern and contemporary works, some of them as world premiere. In this respect, the ensemble performed works of composers from different generations, starting with Ștefan Niculescu, Myriam Marbé, Aurel Stroe, Anatol Vieru, Tiberiu Olah, Dan Constantinescu, Theodor Grigoriu – the so called “gold generation” – and continuing with Felicia Donceanu, Dan Voiculescu, Cornel Ţăranu, Cornelia Tăutu, Viorel Munteanu, Octavian Nemescu, Nicolae Brânduş, Fred Popovici, Ulpiu Vlad, Marina Vlad, Adrian Enescu, Doina Rotaru, Maia Ciobanu, Andrei Tănăsescu, Sorin Lerescu, Carmen Cârneci, George Balint, Laura Manolache, Iulia Cibişescu-Duran, Diana Vodă-Nuţeanu, Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea, Nicolae Teodoreanu, and the younger Mihai Măniceanu, Cristian Lolea, Diana Rotaru, Elena Apostol and others. Works by well-known composers from the Romanian diaspora, such as Corneliu Dan Georgescu, Lucian Meţianu, Violeta Dinescu, Liviu Marinescu, Gabriel Iranyi, as well as internationally recognized composers, like Peter Eötvös (Hungary/Germany), Alain Bancquard (France), Jürg Wyttenbach and Jean-Luc Darbellay (Switzerland), Misato Mochizuki (Japon), Aribert Reimann, Wolfgang Rihm and Roland Breitenfeld (Germany), Indra Rise (Latvia), Dubravcko Detoni (Croatia), Ivana Stefanovic (Serbia), Ivo Nielsson (Sweden), Younghi Pagh-Paan (Corea/Germany), are to be found in almost every program.

A Composer’s Portrait: Liviu Glodeanu, a memorable concert featured within the project “Arte Novi”, underlined another stylistic direction of devotioModerna, that of rediscovering valuable pieces which have been rarely performed or almost forgotten. For future concerts, devotioModerna is preparing programs linked to themes of meditation, such as “about sleep – dreams – awakening”, “about elements”, “about nature”, “about measures of time”, steadily moving towards becoming an original and appreciated promoter of new classical music in Romania. (Camelia-Anca Sârbu, musicologist)

 

Florilegium Quartet

Florilegium Quartet began its activity in 1995.  Its concerts in Romania, Hungary and Austria, its performances in national and international festivals (the 18th Week of Contemporary Music – Bucharest, 2008; Cluj Modern – 2007; The Days of the International Society for Promoting Contemporary Music – Bucharest, 2006; Musical Craiova – 2006; International Music Festival – Piatra Neamt, 2005), as well as the recordings accomplished throughout these years were well received by the public and the critics.

Press:  about the CD Quattuor at Magistrum – Florilegium String Quartet edited by EMEC Madrid (with music by Spanish contemporary composers), an article in Ritmo magazine stated: “ … exemplary interpretations …”.  In the magazine Cultural Romania (2006) an article praised “the flexibility, the generosity, the attention to the gestures implied by the complex scores … of a rigorous complexity … which also characterizes the personalities of the musicians … of Florilegium …”.  In the publication Monitorul de Neamţ (2005) an article states that “the members of the Florilegium Quartet demonstrated the qualities of high-class instrumentalists.”

Florilegium Quartet is focusing on performing and recording the program “Panoramic XX – XXI”, which is featuring an overview of the valuable chamber music compositions of the most recent decades (especialy  Romanian composers such as Aurel Stroe, Anatol Vieru, Tiberiu Olah, Myriam Marbe, Dan Constantinescu, Octavian Nemescu, Corneliu Dan Georgescu, Iancu Dumitrescu, Cornel Taranu, Fred Popovici, Calin Ioachimescu, Adrian Iorgulescu,Liviu Danceanu etc.). Four of the Romanian pieces presented to the audience under this generic title in the most recent years (by O. Nemescu, Iancu Dumitrescu, F. Popovici, C. Ioachimescu) constitute the material of the CD “Panoramic XX-XXI  102” produced by the Musical Publishing House in Bucharest (Editura Muzicală) with the support of the Department of Culture and Cults.  This discographic publication illustrates current aesthetical directions in Romanian music: archetypal, spectral, deconstructive. (source)

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

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.

Hyperion

The Hyperion Ensemble was founded in 1976 by the composer Iancu Dumitrescu. As a starting point, Hyperion explored possible connections between the most archaic Romanian music – Byzantine music, folk music collected by Bartok, etc. – and today’s avant-garde music. Over decades of work the group evolved a playing tradition which allowed it to change players whilst remaining fundamentally intact. It is a tradition of performance, of interpreting each new score as a provocation of the spirit, and a quest for new domains of sound. Aesthetically, at the heart of this work is the notion of spectrality as it developed in the work of Dumitrescu, Avram and other Romanian composers – that is: a specifically transformational spectrality, as opposed to the structural spectrality of the French Itinéraire group.

Hyperion has performed all over Europe – Vienna, Paris, London, Lisbon, Nice, Allicante, Vitoria, Lerida, Rotterdam, Peruggia, Utrecht, Rome, Chartres, Orleans, Nancy, Belgrade, and recorded numerous LPs and over 20 compact discs.

Have been active members: Cornelia Petroiu (viola), Ion Ghita (double bass), Victor Arsene (trombone), Andrei Kivu (cello), Luminita Fara (percussion), Ioan-Maius Lacracru (violin), Radu Clipa (trombone ), Emil Visenescu (clarinet), Petru Teodorescu (piano), Lucian Fara (violin) Fernando Grillo (percussion) plus other guests including Chris Cutler.

Wikipedia page, here.

SeduCânt

SeduCânt is a syncretic group whose experimental endeavours started in 2010. Its members aim at changing the general perception on contemporary art, particularly on art music, through various multimedia projects that mix audio, video and choreographic elements. SeduCânt promotes a modern type of performer, who uses all the expressive means in reach, be it instrument, body movement, voice, or facial gesture – an already well-established standard on the international music scene. The interdisciplinary approach also applies to the actual genesis of the projects, as all ideas are discussed and developed by all members of the group.

SeduCânt has participated in a number of contemporary music festivals: Meridian (Bucharest, December 2010), SIMN (Bucharest, 2011- 2012), Cluj Modern (Cluj-Napoca, 2011), JazzAndMore (Sibiu, 2011), InnerSound International New Music Festival (Bucharest, 2012). The group has already established itself as an active and appreciated promoter of contemporary arts in Romania. The group members are: Ana Chifu (flute/dance), Maria Chifu (bassoon/dance), Lucian Martin (choreography/dancer), Diana Rotaru (composer), Mihai Cucu (video art). Shows: “Onde, Ondine” (2010), “Icarynth” (2011), “SerpenS” (2012), “Sonic Woods” (work in progress, 2013).

Official website, here. Facebook page, here.