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A new festival in Sibiu

Monday, 27 May 2013 , ora 9.21
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Vivaldi, Mozart and young artists, world-renowned masters and the wonderful ambience of a catholic church in the historical centre of Sibiu - these were the ingredients which led to the success of the inaugural concert of the first edition of a new classical music festival to be held in full next year.

24th May, 2013 - a festive concert for what is to be the Sibiu Hermannstadt International Music Festival, an initiative of the Romanian Foundation for Musical Excellence, created in December 2011 by conductor Christian Badea with the purpose of providing support for the young musical talents of Romania.

'The concept seems necessary to me and it needs to be put in practice. It just so happened that I'm the one doing it, because in my life cycle... I didn't have this idea when I came to Romania. It just grew over time and rather organically. I think it's necessary because I often see young people become disappointed, and then the best of them leave the country and never return. As in every other field, if you lose your best people, your entire society suffers.' - Christian Badea

During the press conference that preceded the concert held in the Roman Catholic 'Holy Trinity' Church, conductor Christian Badea revealed that since the creation of his foundation he had listened to 400 young musicians from Romania and the Republic of Moldavia and had picked 130 of them for the festival. He organised these young musicians into several ensembles, including one for baroque music, La Stravaganza, composed entirely out of girls, after the model of the Ospedale della Pieta during the Antonio Vivaldi era. And what better mentor could they have chosen than violinist Giuliano Carmignola, a renowned performer of preclassical music, whose very liberal and innovative interpretation of the four concerts 'The Seasons by Vivaldi' I listened to in Sibiu.

'Our friendship dates back to 1964, when we were taking a master class held by Henrik Schering in Genoa. We met again two years ago during the Enescu Festival. I am fond of Christian Badea's enthusiasm - a man of great musical erudition - and if my contribution helped create something beautiful for young musicians and music in Sibiu, I was happy to help.' - Giuliano Carmignola

Another ensemble created by Christian Badea's foundation performed during the second half of the concert that was held on Friday in Sibiu: Mozart kammerphilharmonie - a chamber orchestra which conductor Christian Badea plans to specialize in the repertoire of the Viennese classicism. With Christian Badea at the desk we listened to an exuberant version of the Symphony no. 41 'Jupiter' by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Violinist Cristian Fătu, currently residing in the USA, served as the concertmeister of the Mozart kammerphilharmonie.

'The idea behind this foundation and this festival is to provide training for - if I may call it that - or the possibility of, working in an orchestra under the same conditions as the orchestras on the greatest stages in the world - London, Washington and Berlin - indeed, there was no effort spared during the rehearsals.' - Cristian Fătu

The Roman Catholic Church in the Grand Square in Sibiu was filled to the brim and I was happy to see a large number of young people in the audience who were absorbed by the music. Mayor Klaus Johannis was also in attendance, as the Sibiu Town Hall was among the sponsors of the event.

'I think it is important to have this music festival in Sibiu. Mister Christian Badea came to me last year with this concept. I liked it from the beginning. I believe this festival will very quickly make a name for itself in the cultural life of Sibiu. It is special not only because of how it is organised, but most impressively, because the musicians who will perform are young Romanian talents, and they always deserve to be promoted. The fact that we're accomplishing this by supporting the festival fits well with the spirit of Sibiu.' - Klaus Johannis

Therefore, starting next year in the last week of the month of May, there will be a new Sibiu Hermannstadt music festival, preceded by a two week academy during which young Romanian musicians will have the opportunity to learn from some of the biggest names in the classical music world of today.

A true feast for music lovers, but also for any tourist choosing to visit Sibiu during that period. And yet another cultural event held in Sibiu, a city that has a very special place on the cultural and touristic map of Romania.

Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Șerban Dudău and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest