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.

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