The “George Enescu” Philharmonic Orchestra

Founded in 1868, The Romanian Philharmonic Society later became the “George Enescu” Philharmonic, the most famous musical institution in Romania. The Philharmonic Society was then conducted by Eduard Wachmann who aimed to create a permanent symphonic orchestra in order to promote musical culture and to popularize classical music masterpieces.

When the Palace of the Romanian Athenaeum was inaugurated, on the 5th of March 1889, concerts began to be held in this hall and the Romanian Athenaeum became the headquarters of the Philharmonic and at the same time a symbol of Bucharest. Wachmann managed the institution until 1907, being followed by Dimitrie Dinicu (1868-1936) and George Georgescu (1887-1964), one of the most remarcable Romanian conductors, who studied with Arthur Nikisch. During his tenures (1920-1944; 1954-1964), the repertoire became modern, and the Philharmonic entered the international music world. During this time, the Philharmonic participated to its first tour abroad and invited the performance of great personalities of the inter-war musical period such as Jacques Thibaud, Pablo Casals, Igor Stravinski, Enrico Mainardi, Alfred Cortot, Maurice Ravel, Richard Strauss, Yehudi Menuhin, Herbert von Karajan. George Enescu made some of the first and extraordinary recordings with the Philharmonic Orchestra, such as the complete symphonies by Beethoven.

After the war, the institution extended its activity, under the direction of Constantin Silvestri and George Georgescu: the academic choir was established as well as various chamber ensembles (from orchestra to piano trio). George Georgescu also conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra in the memorable concerts held in the first editions of the „George Enescu” International Festival. After the death of George Enescu in 1955, the Philharmonic was awarded his name. The institution was subsequently managed by Constantin Silvestri, Mircea Basarab, Dumitru Capoianu, Ion Voicu, Mihai Brediceanu. After the fall of the communist regime, The Philharmonic regained its former glory under the batton of general director Cristian Mandeal, with Nicolae Licaret as artistic director. During the management period of first conductor Cristian Mandeal (1991-2010) The Philharmonic’s Orchestra recorded the complete symphonic works of George Enescu and Johannes Brahms. Besides performing symphonic and chamber concerts (approximately 300 per year), the Philharmonic has recorded dozens of LPs and CDs and has had famous tours in Europe, Asia, and the Far East, earning international fame.

Official website here.

The Radio Chamber Orchestra

“In the third decade of the history of the first Romanian Radio concert orchestra, the need arose to found an additional ensemble, whose purpose would be to contribute background music for studio recordings. It was thus that the Romanian Broadcasting Company’s Studio Orchestra came into being in the year 1947. Over the course of more than thirty seasons, the ensemble has combined special studio recordings with a presence on the concert stage. Thanks to its stylistic flexibility and the breadth of its repertoire (from the baroque and classical to twentieth-century music and new works) and its work with instrumental and vocal soloists, the Radio Studio Orchestra has made great qualitative leaps, and performs a wide variety of concert, vocal-symphonic and lyric music for live and recorded broadcasts. This merit of course belongs in equal measure to the maestros that have conducted the ensemble over the years: Constantin Silvestri, Mendi Rodan, Constantin Bobescu Carol Litvin Ludovic Bács, and Cristian Brâncusi.

A fresh stage in the ensemble’s evolution has unfolded over the two decades since 1990, when its classic structure (approximately thirty-seven members) was defined under the title Radio Chamber Orchestra. In this form, the ensemble has accompanied the National Radio Orchestra as a partner in the projects of the last twenty seasons, inviting numerous conductors and soloists up on to the podium and thereby contributing to its current prestige. These conductors have included Horia Andreescu, Enrique Garcia Asensio, Ovidiu Balan, Amaury du Closel, Pierre Colombo, Lawrence Foster, I.Ionescu-Galati, Camil Marinescu, Cristian Mandeal, Milen Nachev, Emil Simon, and Jin Wang; the vocal soloists Elena Cernei, Viorica Cortez, Ileana Cotrubas, Ruxandra Donose, Barbara Hendricks, Eugenia Moldoveanu, Katia Riciarelli, Francesco Araiza, Nicolae Herlea, Dan Iordachescu, David Ohanesian, Ludovic Spiess, and Eduard Tumagian; and the instrumental soloistsDmitri Alexeev, Pierre-Yves Artaud, Daniel Blumenthal, Lola Bobescu, Dana Borsan, Vladimir Bunin, Valentin Gheorghiu, Natalia Gutman Elisabeth Leonskaja, Silvia Marcovici, Mihaela Martin, Aurelian Octav Popa, Ion Ivan Roncea, Eugen Sârbu, and Mihaela Ursuleasa. The Radio Chamber Orchestra has recorded an impressive number of LPs and CDs for labels in France, Italy, Germany and Romania, and has a rich archive of television soundtrack recordings. The ensemble has been a guest on the international tours organised by the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company (Germany, Austria, the Baltic states, Spain, Russia, France, Italy, Japan, Ukraine, Greece, South Korea, Turkey and Cyprus), and performs in concert at every Georges Enesco International Festival.” (Grigore Constantinescu)

Official website here.

The National Radio Orchestra

“The profile, repertoire and history of the National Radio Orchestra have for more than a century been defined by the national culture, at the level of the creation, performance and broadcast of music in Romania. At the same time as the establishment of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company in 1928, the Radio Symphonic Orchestra was founded at the initiative and under the directorship of composer Mihail Jora, and began to give public concerts in 1932. Over the decades, some of the great maestros of Romanian conducting have directed the ensemble’s performances: Ionel Perlea, Alfred Alessandrescu, Theodor Rogalski, Constantin Silvestri, Iosif Conta, Emanuel Elenescu, and Horia Andreescu, as well as prestigious guests such as George Enescu, Sergiu Comissiona, Ion Baciu and Cristian Mandeal. During the Orchestra’s concert seasons, a stellar host of Romanian and foreign soloists have, in the concert studio and for National Radio broadcasts, delighted music lovers with performances of works from every epoch. In the last few decades, great names from the Romanian school of musical performances, as well as prestigious guests from the world of international concert music, have topped the bills of the National Radio Orchestra.

Over the years, the National Radio Orchestra has worked with a host of illustrious names from the world of classical music, including conductors Willem Mengelberg, Carlo Zecchi, Igor Markevitch, Kurt Masur, Vaclav Neuman, Ghenadi Rojdestvensky, Paul Kletzki, Emil Ceakarov, Leif Segerstam, and Sergiu Comissiona; vocal soloists Montserat Caballe, Angela Gheorghiu, Eliane Coelho, Ileana Cotrubas, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and the Swingle Singers; pianists Radu Lupu, Michael Roll, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Ghillels, Gerhard Opitz, Eliso Virsaladze, Elisabeth Leonskaja, and Nichita Magaloff, violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Victor Tretiakov, Gidon Kremer, Isaac Stern, David Oistrah, and Henry Szeryng; and cellists Natalia Gutman, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Franz Helmerson, and Alexandr Rudin.

One particularly complex issue is the structure of the Orchestra’s repertoire, not only given the requirement to include musical genres representative of all epochs, from the Baroque to contemporary compositions, but also, more than ever, given the National Radio Orchestra’s honourable mission to present works by Romanian composers to listeners in its broadcasts. In this respect, the Orchestra has become the country’s leading ensemble in terms of premieres of work by Romanian composers. It promotes Romanian music from all periods up to the very latest contemporary works, in performances for the concert hall, the radio waves, and special recordings on compact disc and Cardex.

The choice and application of various modern instrumental performance and recording techniques is a major responsibility, as some concerts are also broadcast internationally through the European Radio Union. Situated at the same level as the major international radio orchestras, the work of the Romanian National Radio Orchestra has been honoured correspondingly with a number of prestigious national and international prizes for its recordings, including the Charles Cros (France), Puerta del Sol (Uruguay), and Koussevitzky (USA).

Recently, the National Radio Orchestra has enhanced its renown thanks to its concert tours of France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Japan, and China, as well as its participation at prestigious international festivals. Romanian and international music critics have underlined the value of this outstanding ensemble within the framework of contemporary concert-going life, a value which is comparable to that of the world’s oldest radio broadcast orchestras. The National Radio Orchestra has a unique profile in dialogue with Romanian audiences, musicians and symphonic ensembles.” (Grigore Constantinescu)

Official website here.

Gabriel Bebeşelea

Still very young, Gabriel Bebeselea is recognized as one of the most exciting and gifted conductors born in the last decades in Romania. After winning the First Prize of “Jeunesses Musicales Conducting Competition” (Bucharest 2010) his reputation grew substantially and rapidly nationwide being appointed Chief Conductor of the Romanian National Opera House in Iasi in September 2011 (the youngest person appointed in a similar position in Romania).

At the same time he is performing intensively as Principal Conductor of Sibiu Youth Orchestra where he held the position of Music Director between 2006-2009. He started the current season with an honouring invitation to conduct in “George Enescu Festival” – one of the most prestigious classical music festivals in Europe – where he led the Icon Arts Ensemble in three concerts, receiving high critical acclaim.

Recently he made his debut at several orchestras in Romania including: Hungarian Opera House Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca Romanian National Opera House, Szekelyfoldi Filarmonia, Satu-Mare Philharmonic and he is continuing his collaboration as Guest Conductor of the Sibiu Philharmonic.

A turning point in his musical development is represented by the the Scholarship offered in 2011 by the National University of Music Bucharest, which enabled him a internship at the world renowed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. Here he had the possibility to attend between February and July the rehearsals and concerts of the most representative conductors nowadays like: Mariss Jansons, Bernard Haitink, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Philippe Herreweghe, David Zinman, Eliahu Inbal.

In 2009 he participated actively in Michail Jurowski’s Conducting Masterclass in Berlin and in 2011 with Christian Badea in Bucharest. Since 2009 he works as Assistant Conductor of the “Icon Arts Orchestra Masterclasses” for Sabin Pautza, Theo Wolters and Rick Stergaards.

In 2010 he gratuated the Summa cum laudae Bachelor’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting at Cluj Napoca Musica Academy as a pupil of the renowed romanian teacher Petre Sbarcea. In the same year he was accepted in the Master’s Degree Program of the National University of Music Bucharest as a student of Horia Andreescu’s Orchestra Conducting Class.

He began studying violin at the age of seven winning several national prizes in various violin competitions until the decision of changing his path to conducting.

Official website here.

Profil Ensemble

Founded in 2003 by composer Dan Dediu, the new music ensemble Profil-Sinfonietta soon became one of the most valued and professional promotors of avant-garde music in Romania. Presence in international festivals, compact disc recordings and tours abroad (Germany, Switzerland) enhanced the cohesion of the ensamble in both national and international musical life under the inspired and confident baton of Tiberiu Soare. Designed as a modular and flexible instrumental formula (from 3 to 17 musicians), Profil-Sinfonietta is a new music workshop, assiduously promoting enshrined values of both Romanian and world music as well as new creations of young composers.

George Balint

George Balint (b. 1961) graduated from the National University of Music in Bucharest (1986), at the Composition department of Prof. Stefan Niculescu, specializing in Orchestra Conducting with Iosif Conta,Constantin Bugeanu and Cristian Brâncuşi, when after a period of study with professor Cristian Brâncuşi, he obtains a M.A. degree (2001). Later on, he is granted the distinction “Doctor of Music” for the paper “Theoretical perspectives on the interpretative musical performance”. G. Balint is currently conductor at the National Operetta Theatre in Bucharest.
The music of George Balint has either traces of folkloric ethos – highlighted by means of rhythm, or by means of colors of a more abstract nature – sounding harmoniously. “I often suggest a world in which the main component is the nostalgia, in a way that, by avoiding contemplation, highlights the drama of the actual state of mind. There is always a minimum interval between the given time and the future of finalizing a journey of sounds, that, in my opinion, is nothing but a metaphor of Being. The poetic feature is the general aspect of my entire musical composition so far.”

MUSIC: 12 Blows

Irinel Anghel

Irinel Anghel (b. 1969) is a Romanian composer, vocalist, pianist and improviser. Her activities are devoted to the experimental music. She studied composition with Octavian Nemescu at the National University of Music in Bucharest, where she graduated in 1996 and earned her MA in composition in 1997 and PhD in composition in 2003. Among her many honors are First Prize in the competition of Romanian Radio (1998, for Mondes Impossibles I), four prizes from the Romanian Composers Union (1998-99, 2002, 2004) and the Prize of the Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999). She has also earned a creation – residency in Belgium (2000) and a grant from the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung (2002). She received the Uchimura Prize from the International Theatre Institute/UNESCO for stage music (2002, shared with the creative team of The Bloodied Lovers), the prize of the journal Actualitatea Muzicala in Bucharest (2003, for her work with Pro Contemporania Group), the Camajani Fellowship from New York University (2003, to lecture there), and the International New Music Consortium Award in New York (2003, for her work in all areas of new music). Her music has been performed in Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Canada, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA and has been broadcast throughout the world.

Irinel Anghel is one of the founders of New Surrealism in music and a “story-teller” of the Romanian contemporary music field, creating “UFO” performances. She founded the ensemble Pro Contemporania in Bucharest in 1990, of which she has since served as artistic director and in which she plays numerous instruments. She has been active as an improviser since 2003, primarily with musicians from different genres. Moreover, she has been a researcher at the G. Oprescu History of Art Institute in Bucharest since 1994 and has served as editor of the review Muzica in Bucharest since 1996. She has also written the book Developments, Ways and Trends in Romanian Music during the Second Half of the 20th Century (1997, Editura Muzicala). In addition, she served as assistant director of the International Week of New Music Festival in Bucharest in 2003, 2010, 2011, 2012 and founded the crossover festival MultiSonicFest in Bucharest in 2004 and has since served as its artistic director.

MUSIC: Choix

Carmen Maria Cârneci

Carmen Maria Cârneci was born in Romania. She first studied composition in Bucharest as a student of Dan Constantinescu, and later specialized in Freiburg, Germany, on a three years DAAD scholarship as a student of Klaus Huber.
She attended conducting classes with Constantin Bugeanu and Iosif Conta in Bucharest, with Kurt Masur in Weimar, Pierre Boulez in Avignon and Peter Eötvös in Szombathely. Cârneci won scholarships in Italy, France and England and conducting prizes in Austria and Germany.

As a composer she received important awards in Mannheim, Rome, Köln, Bucharest, Hong Kong, as well as commissions from The City Opera in Bonn and the Ensemble für neue musik Zürich, to name just a few. She was invited both as a conductor and a composer to several festivals of new music such as those at Donaueschingen, Dresden, Heidelberg, Zürich and Saarbrücken, and was artistic director of the International New Music Week in Bucharest in 2005 and 2006. She appeared as a guest conductor in Stuttgart (State Opera, Chamber Theatre), Milan (Piccola Scala) and Paris (Opéra Bastille) a.o. She is presently artistic director and conductor of the devotioModerna ensemble, also manager for the concert department of the National Museum George Enescu in Bucharest.

Among her works, published by Ricordi-München, Furore Edition-Kassel and Editura Muzicala-Bucharest, are The Garden, Das Hohelied,Trojtza, Semanterion-Toaca, O, viridissima, REm – Cello concerto, TraumLieder, OMENS.Herbs,steps, -embER, the two chamber cycles Giacometti-Szenen and OMENS, not to forget the opera Giacometti, premiered by the Neues Theater für Musik in Bonn under the baton of the composer.

SoundCloud account, here.

MUSIC on internet: O, viridissima

Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea

Livia Teodorescu-Ciocanea is a Romanian composer and pianist, Ph.D. Associate Professor for composition, forms & analysis at the Bucharest National University of Music. She is also a concert pianist and she worked for the Bucharest National Opera as accompanist between 1985-2001. She studied composition with Myriam Marbe, Anatol Vieru (Romania) and Margaret Lucy Wilkins (UK, doctoral studies). She has presented conferences in UK (1996, 1999), Norway (2005) USA (2003, 2005, 2006) and Australia (2008). She has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois-Champagne, USA, 2006, Oslo Academy of Music (2005) and Monash University Australia (2008).
Her music has been performed in Romania, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Ukraine, Moldavia Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Tasmania, Australia and USA. She has published articles in Contemporary Music Review Volume 22 Issue 1&2 pag. 87-104, Timbre versus Spectralism 2003 (UK) and Muzica (Romania) as well as 2 books: Musical Timbre-Composition Strategies (2004) and Forms and analysis Treatise (2005). She has written a large number of works for various ensembles, vocal and symphonic. Her major work, Le Rouge et le Noir ballet in 3 acts after Stendhal, was commissioned by the Bucharest National Opera, premiered in 2000 and included in the current repertoire (performances in 2000-2003 and 2007-2008). A second version of choreography has been premiered in 2006 at the National Operetta Theatre in Bucharest. The music of the ballet Le Rouge et le Noir was awarded the Union of Composers and Musicologists Prize for 2001. A CD with a special recording of this ballet was published by Electrecord Bucharest in 2006. Her Rite for enchanting the Air Flute concerto has been performed by the famous flutist Pierre-Yves Artaud.
Livia Teodorescu studied piano with Ana Pitis and Ioana Minei and attended piano master classes “Bartok Seminar” in Hungary offered by Zoltan Kocksis and Imre Rohmann. As a concert pianist, she has played for the first time in Romania two major works by Messiaen: 7 Visions de l’Amen for 2 pianos and the piano solo part of the Turangalila Symphony, with the G. Enescu Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Alain Paris. As a composer, she has been awarded several prizes, such as the Union of Composers and Musicologists Awards for 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009 as well as the Romanian Academy Award “G. Enesco” in 2006 and the National Cultural Merit Order (2008). Her music has been published by “Editura muzicala” Bucharest and features on CDs published in Romania (Electrecord, Casa Radio, Star Media Music) and Australia – Bridges – (Move Records). She won an Endeavour Award Scholarship – Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for 2008 (offered by the Australian Government) at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

MUSIC: Endaeavour Bells

Nicolae Brânduş

Composer and pianist Nicolae Brandus was born on 1935 in Bucharest. He studied at the National University of Music in Bucharest – piano (1952-1957) and composition (1960-1964). He attended the Summer Courses of New Music, Darmstadt (1969, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1978, 1980) and Aix-en-Provence (1979). Doctor in Musicology (1981) at the Academy of Music in Cluj-Napoca with the dissertation “Bases of a formalized analysis of the musical language”. He worked with the Group of Musical Research at IRCAM-Paris (1985). He was piano soloist of the Philharmonic Orchestra in Ploiesti (1969-1969). He was a lecturer (Chamber Music) at the National University of Music in Bucharest (1969-1981). Editor at the Muzica Review, Bucharest (since 1981). Professor of Chamber Music at the National University of Music in Bucharest (1992-2005). Scientific doctoral coordinator in National Music University in Bucharest (since 1998). Consultant Professor (since 2005).

Member of the Romanian Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union in Bucharest. Member of the Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (SACEM) Paris. Member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) between 1991-1993. President of the Romanian Section of the ISCM (1994-2002). His musical works were performed in the most important cities of Romania and abroad (Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Germany, USA, France, Belgium, Holland, Great Britain, Greece, Bulgaria, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Albania, Slovenia, Macedonia, Israel a.s.o. He has contributed articles, studies, essays in music in various cultural journals; he sustained, as visiting composer, lectures about New Music in the USA, Germany, Israel, Greece, Hong-Kong, Taiwan a.s.o.

Prizes: The Cultural Merit, Bucharest: 1969. Honourable Mention in the “Prince Pierre de Monaco International Competition”: 1973. The Prize of the Romanian Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union: 1974, 2002, 2005. The Prize of the Romanian Radio and Television for Opera and Vocal-Symphonic Music: 1975, 1977. The Prize “George Enescu” of the Romanian Academy: 1977. The Diploma of the National Theatre Festival for the spectacle “Bizarmonia”: 1999, Bucharest. Officer of the Cultural Merit: 2004, Bucharest.

MUSIC: Tubulatures