Performers

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.

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)

 

Maria Balabaş

Maria Balabaş is a Romanian artist and journalist. She studied musicology at the National University of Music in Bucharest and obtained her Master degree writing about the role music played in the social evolution of the Radio. She is the moderator of 2 broadcasting programs at the National Cultural Radio – Crossover Morning and The Sonorous Generation - and she is member of the EBU Ars Acustica Group and of Propuls Association, that promotes contemporary music. She collaborates with different printed and online magazines such as Dilema Veche, Tataia, liternet.ro, jazz.ro.

Maria is a founding member of the artistic collective Avant’n'Gard, dedicated to improvised music. The group released three albums: Landscape Painted in Tea (bootleg album, 2010), Tinfoil Sun and Untempered Carols (2012) and was invited to participate in festivals such as the International Week of New Music (Bucharest, 2010-2012), Jazz And More (Sibiu, 2011), Bookfest (2012), Astra Film Festival (2012), FanFest (2012), Street Delivery (2010-2011) etc.

As a solo artist, she had a residence in the Sound Delta project (2007), collaborated with ResonanceFM RAdio (London) and participated with a piece on the compilation Framework250. In 2012 she created the graphic score in the project Soundforrest (Viviana Iacob & Dslx, MNAC Anexa, 2012), was invited to participate in Explore Dance Festival with the graphic and sound installation Pasarea care-si musca auzul (“The Bird that Bites its Hearing”) and worked for another sound installation and performance (La Madeleine Sonore) with the French Institute in Bucharest. She also organizes the Sounds That Walk project.

 

Valentin Ghita

The oboist Valentin Ghita is one of the most active musicians of his generation. He was born in Cluj-Napoca – Romania in old tradition musical family. He studied oboe at the G. Dima Academy with Firuța Mesaroș and Aurel Marc, at the National University of Music in Bucharest with Florin Ionoaia and privately in Berlin with Matthias Becker. He also took different master classes with soloists such as: Francois Leleux, David Walter, Dorin Gliga, Tuomas Kaipainen, Emilia Ksánky, Hans Elhorst.

He was awarded five times with the prestigious  First price at national oboe competitions and he participated in some national and international music festivals such as: International Radio Orchestras Festival – Bucharest,  George Enescu International Festival – Bucharest;  Contemporary Music Festival – Masan, South Coreea.

In 2005 he was invited by The Bombay Chamber Orchestra Society as guest professor for the students in Mumbay.

Very active as solist, he played with orchestras such as: Radio Chamber Orchestra – Bucharest, Transilvania State Filarmonic Orchestra, Pitesti Filarmonic Orchestra, Targoviște Filarmonic Orchestra, Napoca Chamber Orchestra, Focșani Chamber Orchestra, and the orchestras of the National University of music in Bucharest and Gh. Dima Academy in Cluj-Napoca.

Since 2009, Valentin is principal oboist of the National Radio Orchestra and  member of the most important Romanian private music groups like: Sonomania and devotioModerna – contemporary music groups, Five Quintet – The National Radio Orchestra woodwind quintet, Camerata Regala  Camerata Lanto Arte and Romanian Youth Orchestra.

 

Costin Soare

Born in Romania in 1978, Costin Soare is one of the most active and committed guitarists of his generation.  He gives solo recitals and chamber music recitals throughout Romania as well as abroad in France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Japan. He also teaches at two of the main music institutions in Bucharest. He works as a full-time teacher at the ‘Dinu Lipatti’ National College of Music, Bucharest and he is associate teacher at the National University of Music in Bucharest (Performance section – 2002-2006, 2008-2009 and present; Chamber Music – 2002-2006).

Costin Soare started playing guitar at the age of 15, graduating from the Brasov Faculty of Music (Transilvania University) with a diploma in Music Performance and Teaching (in the class of Corneliu Voicescu). Soon after, he was awarded a full scholarship for a Master in Music Performance at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he studied with Phillip Thorne and Allan Neave. During those years, he took part in masterclasses with renowned guitarists like Joaquin Cleerch, David Tanenbaum, Harvey Hope, Carlos Bonnell, Pablo Marquez, Zoran Dukic and Paolo Pegoraro; he won prizes in the National College and University Contests and in Craiova International Competition held in Romania.  His Ph. D. work with the dissertation entitled ‘The Sonata for Guitar in 1920-1950 period – The Neoromantic Generation’ was awarded ‘Magna cum Laudae’ in June 2011, showing his interest in theoretical research.

He is the co-organizer of the Guitar Evenings in Bucharest, a project started in 2008-2009 season of the ACCUMM Foundation series of concerts held in Sutu Palace. So far  the project ran around 10 concerts, either solos or chamber music, involving special guests.

Costin himself performs regularly in two chamber music ensembles: with the flute player Ion Bogdan Stefanescu (since 2008) and with the mezzosoprano Claudia Codreanu (since 2010), covering a repertoire ranging from John Dowland (played on the lute) to contemporary music. He also appears occasionally in other ensembles: guitar duo, violin-guitar duo or guitar with string quartet.  He was a co-director and performer in the play inspired by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s work  for narrator and guitar ‘Platero y yo’, staged in Bucharest, Baia-Mare and Sighisoara by Petru Maier Bianu. His programs can be defined by a thematic concept – such as recitals dedicated to Leo Brouwer, Toru Takemitsu (solo guitar and flute-guitar), ‘A Spanish Evening’ (solo guitar and voice-guitar), ‘Musica Nocturna’ (nocturnals for solo guitar from the 20th century), ‘Italian 100%’ (flute and guitar) – or by the historical approach to the instrument conceived as a live performance of the music from the various eras (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical etc.)

 

 

 

Georgeta Stoleriu

Soprano Georgeta Stoleriu studied at the National University of Music in Bucharest with Iolanda Marculescu and followed the Weimar International Music Seminars (Hochschule fur Musik Franz Liszt), studying Canto and Stylistics with prof. Lore Fischer – Nell.

She was awarded numerous prizes (the J.S. Bach Prize, Leipzig, the Romanian Music Critics College Prize, the Flacăra magazine prize) and medals (George Enescu, Dinu Lipatti, Haricleea Darclee, Tristan Tzara, the Anniversary Medal of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting company, the Romania Music Channel, the Anniversary Medal of the Cotroceni Museum). She has performed over 1200 times as a soloist with the George Enescu Philharmonic and the two Radio Orchestras in Bucharest, as well as with all the symphonic orchestras in Romania. She has been a permanent collaborator of the Musica Rediviva old music ensemble and she led the chamber music ensemble The Old Music Studio. She recorded over 3500 minutes of music at the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company and publishing houses such as Electrecord (Romania), Newport Classic (USA) or Guanako (Germany). She acted in TV films (Susanna’s Secret – Marianti Banu, The Music Lesson – Dan Manoliu). She gave tours with vocal-symphonic concerts and recitals in Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Poland, Bulgaria, Maroc, Greece, SUA, Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Slovakia, Czechia, France, Portugal, Italy, Sweden. She participated in international festivals in Bidgoszcs (Poland), Zadar (Yugoslavia), Sanssouci – Potsdam (GErmany), Bucharest, (Romania), Bremen  (Germany), Milwaukee  (SUA), Santander  (Span), Csezke Budejovice (Czechia), Lisbon (Portugal), Dortmund  (Germany), Brasov  (Romania).

Her repertoire includes medieval and Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and contemporary music, as well as many Romanian composers (from Enescu and Jora to Doru Popovici, Carmen Petra-Basacopol, Nicolae Coman, Mihaela Vosganian, Cornel Ţăranu.

She is currently associated professor at the National University of Music in Bucharest, her canto students obtaining over 50 international prizes. She is member in international juries for singing competitions (Prague, Bucharest, Malmö) and she gave numerous masterclasses Milwaukee – USA,  Braşov – Romania, Karlovy Vary – Czsechia, Piatra Neamţ – Romania, Chişinău – the Moldova Republic, Constanţa – Romania. She initiated the annual scholarship “Iolanda Marculescu”.