Romanian Youth Orchestra

The youngest Romanian symphonic orchestra was formed in the summer of 2008, in the city of Sinaia, following an initiative from cellist Marin Cazacu with the help of “The Friends of Music – Serafim Antropov”. Its members, aged 19 to 26, are selected from the top performers across the nation. The technical and artistic training is overlooked by maestro Cristian Mandeal.
In order to help meet the need to rise up to the artistic demands and ambitions of the European community for the young generation of Romanian musicians “The Romanian Youth Orchestra- Enescian spirit and European tradition” Project was founded. Some of the grand achievements include the 2008, 2009 and 2010 concerts held for the “Enescu and his music” International Festival in Bucharest, Brasov and Busteni.
The performances at the Romanian Athenaeum under the lead of conductor Cristian Mandeal lit up the stage on December 5th & 9th 2009, March 4th, May 29th and August 18th 2010. Similarly the “Eurovision-Young musicians” concert on March 14th and October 25th achieved together with “Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation “, conducted by Horia Andreescu, confirmed the high expectations for this project.

Official website here.

The State Philharmonic Orchestra of Sibiu

In the 16th century, Sibiu had one of the first European schools for organ, funded by Hyeronymus Ostermayer and the city’s archive contains music scores signed by composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1774, at the court of Samuel von Brukenthal, governor of Transylvania, a professional orchestra held its first concert. In 1792, one year after Mozart’s death, “The Kidnap from Serai” was played in Sibiu, and later in 1800, the “The Creation” Oratorio by Joseph Haydn.

The State Philharmonic of Sibiu was funded on January 1, 1949. Together with the orchestra, artists from Romania and other countries have performed, among them: Ion Voicu,Valentin Gheorghiu, Stefan Ruha, Monique de La Bruchollerie and Jean Jaques Thiollier, Sviatoslav Richter, Rudolf Kerer, Lazar Berman, Dimitri Bashkirov, Ivry Gitlis, andMontserrat Caballé.

In 2004, the new location of the State Philharmonic of Sibiu was moved to Thalia Hall. Built in 1787 by Martin Hochmeister, the hall was destroyed twice through the years, both times due to a fire. The County Council of Sibiu restarted the restoration of the building in 1990. The official inauguration took place on October 7, 2004, accompanied by the notes of Symphony no. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Official website, here.


The “Oltenia” State Philharmonic Orchestra

The “Oltenia” State Philharmonic Orchestra is an orchestra in Craiova, Romania. It has been founded in 1904 and established in 1947 by a royal decree. The present activity is carried out by the Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra, the Academic Choir and several chamber assemblies.

Official website, here.

The “Banatul” State Philharmonic Orchestra

The “Banatul” State Philharmonic Orchestra is a musical institution in Timişoara, Romania. It comprises a symphony orchestra, professional chorus, and various chamber groups.

The Philharmonic Society (German: Philharmonische Verein) was founded in 1871 in Temesvár, Austria-Hungary (now Timişoara). Conductors included Heinrich Weidt, Martin Novácek, and Bruno Walter (1898-1899). Performers in Timişoara during this period included, as pianists Béla Bartók and Johannes Brahms; baritone Gheorghe Dima; cellist David Popper; and the violinists Leopold Auer, George Enescu, Joseph Joachim, Jan Kubelík, František Ondříček, Pablo de Sarasate, and Henryk Wieniawski.

In 1947 the orchestra was renamed the Banatul State Philharmonic, and eventually simply the Banatul Philharmonic.

Conductors of the Banatul Philharmonic have included George Pavel, Mircea Popa, Nicolae Boboc, Alexandru Şhumsky, Remus Georgescu, Paul Popescu, and Petru Oschanitzky. Gheorghe Costin and Radu Popu are the current permanent conductors. Guest conductors have included Kurt Herbert Adler, Roberto Benzi, Anatole Fistoulari,Kiril Kondrashin, Stanisław Wisłocki, and Adone Zecchi. Jean-François Antonioli was Principal Guest Conductor from 1993 to 2002.

Guest soloists with the orchestra have included pianists Dimitri Bashkirov, Julius Katchen, and Rudolf Kerer; violinists Ivry Gitlis, Gidon Kremer, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Spivakov, and Josef Suk; and cellists Miloš Sádlo and Daniil Shafran.

Other performers in Timişoara have included pianists Annie Fischer, Artur Rubinstein, and Carlo Zecchi; violinists Bronisław Huberman, Fritz Kreisler, Jacques Thibaud, and Eugène Ysaÿe; and cellists Pablo Casals and Gregor Piatigorsky.[1] More recently vibraphonist Eldad Tarmu has played there.

The orchestra has visited many European countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the formerYugoslavia.

The “Moldova” Philharmonic Orchestra

The “Moldova” Philharmonic Orchestra in Iaşi is an orchestra well known in Romania and around the world. The name “Moldova” in the title refers to the historical region of Moldavia.

During the 18 and 19th century, Iaşi, as the main city and capital of the former Principality of Moldavia, had been closely connected to European musical life, and great European musicians used to play in the city. In 1860, the Conservatory of music and dramatic art was founded. After an unsuccessful attempt in 1868, the Philharmonic Society was finally founded in Iaşi, in 1918.

Moldova State Philharmonic, as an institution with permanent artistic activity, held its inaugural concert on October 9, 1942, conducted by George Enescu.

The “Transylvania” State Philharmonic Orchestra

The Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1955, under the initial name of Cluj StatePhilharmonic Orchestra. The city of Cluj-Napoca, capital of the important Romanian province of Transylvania, has a considerable cultural tradition: its University dates from 1723, and music has been printed here as early as the 16th century. It is therefore no wonder that, in less than ten years after its foundation, the young orchestra has become one of the top symphonic ensembles in Romania.

This achievement owes a lot to the orchestra’s first conductor and artistic director, Maestro Antonin CiolanA disciple of Arthur Nikisch and Hans von Bülow, Ciolan began his career in Dresden, then returned to his country and worked in Iasi and Cluj. It was a great chance for the newly founded orchestra to benefit, in the first decade of its existence, of all the experience and knowledge, artistic capacity, enthusiasm and devotion of this great conductor.

Maestro’s Ciolan work has been continued by two of his most accomplished disciples, the distinguished conductors Emil Simon - permanent conductor of the orchestra from 1960 till 2000, now retired – and Erich Bergel - conductor of the Cluj Philharmonic from 1966 to 1972, and Honorary Artistic Director from 1994 to his death in May 1998. They both brought their own contribution to the growth and refinement of the orchestra and the expanding of its repertoire towards late Romantic and Twentieth Century music. Another significant name connected with the ensemble is that of Cristian Mandealregular conductor between 1980 and 1987, – a period which was beneficial for both the orchestra and this highly gifted musician. Currently, our principal conductor is Maestro Nicolae Moldoveanu.

The collaboration with many famous guest artists helped to enhance the quality of the orchestra and enrich its artistic representation. Among them – the conductors Sir John Pritchard, Anatole Fistoulari, George Georgescu, Kiril Kondrashin, André Jolivet, Carlo Zecchi, Adrian Sunshine, Witold Lutoslawsky, Michi Inoue, Horia Andreescu, Maurice Handford, Stanislaw Wyslocky, János Ferencsik, Leopold Hager, Kurt Masur, Valeri Gergiev, Alexandr Dmitriev – the soloists Monique Haas, Sviatoslav Richter, Ruggiero Ricci, Valentin Gheorghiu, Friedrich Gulda, Annie Fischer, Aldo Ciccolini, Dmitri Bashkirov, Dan Grigore, Lazar Berman, Radu Lupu, Jean Pierre Rampal, Silvia Marcovici, Mihaela Martin, Bruno Leonardo Gelber, Patrik Gallois, José Carreras, Angela Gheorghiu, Philippe Entremont, Roberto Alagna, Raphael Wallfish and others.

The Transylvania State Philharmonic successfully toured almost all the European countries. During the fall of 2000, the Cluj Orchestra, under the baton of the British conductor Paul Mann achieved a European tour together with The Deep Purple, on the occasion of releasing, after 30 years, the Concert for Rock Group and Orchestra by John Lord. The concerts took place in big cities of Europe, such as: Antwerpen, Kongresszentrum Hamburg, Trondjheim, Göteborg, Globe Arena Stockholm, International Congress Center Berlin, Praga, Luxembourg, Palais des Congrès Strasbourg, Festhalle Frankfurt, Schleyerhalle Stuttgart, Zürich, Madrid, Filaforum Milano, Palais des Congrès Paris, Stadthalle Wien, Westfallenhalle Dortmund, Rotterdam, Olympiahalle München, Katowice.

Though it is mainly focused on the symphonic and vocal-symphonic music, the Transylvania Philharmonic pays a special attention to the opera repertoire too. Remarkable in this sense is George Enescu’s opera Oedip, presented on the occasion of the composer’s centennial celebration (1981) at the Luzerne Festival. The Orchestra is periodically invited to collaborate at opera productions, organized within the famous “Red de Teatros”, Spain: Desvan Verdi, 2001, (26 concerts throughout Spain) and La Rebelion des los criados, 2002 (22 concerts throughout Spain).

Such collaborations also took place in Palacio de los Festivales – Santander, both with season concerts and within the Santander Festival, the last production being GVerdi – Simone Boccanegra (August 2003, where both our Orchestra and Choir performed, under the baton of Antonello Allemandi, under the direction of Petrika Ionescu – within the cast stars like Roberto Scandiuzzi, Cristina Gallardo-Domas, Roberto Frontali performed.

The Orchestra participated in several important international festivals in Bucharest, Torino, Warsaw, Istanbul, Santander, Strasbourg, Bratislava, Berlin and Interlaken. Starting with 1965, the Cluj Philharmonic annually organizes its own international festival, Cluj Musical Autumn Festival (Toamna Muzicală Clujeană), one of the most significant musical events in Romania, and starting with 2000, its own American Music Festival, reaching its 6th edition, unique in Romania and very well received by the Cluj audience. Since 1999, the “Transylvania” Philharmonic is co-organizer of the annual Mozart Festival, in collaboration with the Romanian Mozart Society.

With its over 120 records, The Transylvania Philharmonic presents perhaps the largest discography among Romanian orchestras, featuring some of the finest artists of the country – the conductors Antonin Ciolan, Emil Simon, Erich Bergel, Cristian Mandeal and Mircea Cristescu, the pianists Valentin Gheorghiu and Dan Grigore, the violinists Stefan Ruha and Mihaela Martin. It is reflecting the entire range of the orchestra’s wide repertory, from the Baroque to contemporary music, including impressive series such as the complete Brahms symphonies (in two versions: the first one with A. Ciolan, E. Simon and M. Cristescu, the second and more recent one with E. Bergel), a Debussy-Ravel record, a Wagner Overtures record (with E. Simon), Vivaldi The Seasons (violin Ştefan Ruha, ex-soloist of the Cluj Philharmonic), and the complete Bruckner symphonies (with C. Mandeal). The Romanian music is also represented within the Cluj Philharmonic discography: George Enescu – 3rd Symphony, Orchestra and Choir conducted by Ludovic Bacs – this record has also been taken over to be released by “Olympia” Recording House.

Official website, here.

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.