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The Musicologist Octavian Lazăr Cosma - at his 80th Anniversary

Monday, 18 February 2013 , ora 9.11
On 15th February, 2013, the musicologist Octavian Lazăr Cosma is celebrating his 80th anniversary, an ideal opportunity that he has shared with us in an interview not only on the thoughts about his professional activity and the musical figures who inspired him, but also on the need of promoting Romanian music nowadays .

Happy birthday, maestro Octavian Lazăr Cosma!

Could you possibly tell us what moments and accomplishments from your entire professional activity you are bound to?

There is, of course, a summing-up and it would be proper to emphasize certain things from my existence as a creator. And still, you put me in a tough position because it's very hard to highlight only one volume from among the twenty that have been printed so far, all of them dedicated to the musical phenomena in our country, so I will say that an overview should be considered and that I should be satisfied with it, because in spite of all the difficulties and tasks that I went through, I was able to write; and today I wonder how I could have travelled such a long journey.

Among the Romanian and International public figures of the musical life that you have met, are there some of them who influenced your creative thinking in music?

It's indisputable. My Conservatoire professor, Mihail Druskin, who was a brilliant mind, influenced me a lot, but not only him. I could mention the names of more wonderful people, starting with Romeo Vircuiaș from Cluj, who guided my first timid steps and then, there was the activity that I did at the Bucharest Conservatoire and at the Union of Composers and Musicologists, where from '64 till 2010, I had to fulfill various responsibilities. As such, I was in contact with various public figures, I collaborated with them, I developed friendship relations and I managed to collect what was important from those around me.

After the amazing accomplishments and numerous volumes that we have and read, how do you think that young musicians could contribute to the promotion of Romanian music in the context of the era we are living in?

First of all, I feel an important personal dissatisfaction, because I taught the History of Romanian music at the Conservatoire to hundreds of students - I could say even generations of students - a few decades ago, and when I see that the autochthonous Romanian musical creation is disconsidered today, I'm absolutely disgusted with the indifference with which the valuable scores of Romanian composers are viewed today; their compositions are not performed because of the conductors, of the Institution managers and all the irresponsible persons who ignore these indisputable values without sharing them both with the listeners and those wanting to know and fathom them. I hope there would come a day when Romanian composers of serious music, of symphonic music, opera music and heavy music, scholarly music, if I may say so, will be appreciated, honoured and known the way they deserve to be. They've struggled and worked a lot for a musical creation, adding symbolic autochthonous elements from the Romanian folklore that they fully engrained; this creation is unappreciated, scorned and treated with indifference. It's sad, very sad and I only have reasons to be an optimist that someday it will be the turn of this creation to be in the center of attention.

Andreea Chiselev
Translated by Andreea Mesescu and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, Bucharest University