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Happy Birthday, Irina Mureșanu!
'IrinaMureșanu is not only an exceptional violinist, but also an artist…' states the Boston Globe, '…a distinguished musician who combines lyricism with an in-depth conception of the music language' - Strad Magazine. These are only a few of the praises marking the career of violinist Irina Mureșanu.
Irina Mureșanu, we will start this interview with a heartfelt 'Happy Birthday!' May all your dreams - both artistic and personal - come true, together with the people you love! In the last few years your career has added a new and extremely important aspect: teaching. And tonight you are on Nantucket, an island, together with some of your favourite musicians.
First of all, thank you so much. I am truly flattered that Radio Romania Music has not forgotten my birthday. I was thinking earlier today that my collaboration with Radio Romania Music started many, many years ago - almost two and a half decades ago, I believe … but time flies. Yes, I am on an island, a very beautiful island, at approximately one and a half hours from Boston, where I return with this chamber music ensemble two-three times a year; our schedule is structured in such a manner that, besides the chamber music concerts performed in front of our listeners here, on the island, we also collaborate with local schools which have music programmes, we offer master classes, we play for sundry classes and the children are very receptive.
Who are the members of the Walden Chamber Players - an ensemble set up in 1997?
This is one of the music chamber ensembles with a variable composition. Besides the quintet with contrabass, there are also musicians who play the clarinet, the oboe, the horn etc. It depends on the repertory.
You are also a member of the Boston Trio, with an intense activity.
This trio with a piano is my most important group. Many of my music activities are performed with the Boston Trio. It is an ensemble which travels a lot; this spring we went to San Francisco, in Florida, and a week ago, we were in Hawaii, on the island of Maui - a very long journey, but, as you realize when you reach your destination, it is worth the effort.
Besides being a member of these ensembles, what about your activity as a soloist?
I perform as a soloist with different orchestras. I am very happy that next year I will play again Beethoven's Concerto, Mendelssohn's Concerto, Bruch's Concerto, an arrangement of George Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 - an arrangement that Cristian Lolea made 6-7 years ago and which was very successful; it is an arrangement for violin and string orchestra, with a low cadence, using the motif from Ciocârlia. I am also very enthusiastic about a project I began a year ago; it is called 'Four Strings around the World'. It is a recital for solo violin and I tried to select original works from around the world indeed - very different cultures and styles. The first half of the programme comprises European music: I obviously included Enescu's Four Arias 'dans le caractère populaire roumain', a work of an Irish composer, Dave Flynn, who tried to assimilate different Irish folk styles, Paganini's Caprice No. 24 and Bach's Chaconne. The second part of this recital is more exotic. I start with Persian music, with an Iranian composer, Reza Vali, and a work where these melismatic inflections typical of Arabian music are very well written, with many quarter tones. Next, there is a Chinese composer - Bright Sheng, with a work that imitates the sounds of the cong. The most difficult was to find an Indian musical piece, because there are no scores in the Indian culture. In the end, I found a composer - John Mayer, who wrote a work especially for this programme. We then reach South America, with Piazzolla. This programme ends with an American composer, Mark O'Connor, and the American music style. One of my greatest wishes is to bring this recital on Romanian stages.
Tell me, Irina Mureșanu, what does teaching mean to you?
First of all, the feeling that I can continue this tradition that I have inherited from my Romanian professors: first, maestro Ștefan Gheorghiu, then maestro Ilarion Ionescu Galați and also my professor in Boston, who was a great friend of maestro Gheorghiu's, Michelle O'Claire.
Irina Mureșanu, at the end of our interview, what do you wish for you and for those close to you? What is your dream?
I would like to add that, besides the roles of soloist and professor, I also have another role, that of mother: I have a son who will soon be 5. In a way, I can say that the most beautiful things I wish for are related to my little boy, Victor: a beautiful world in which he can grow up, a world full of peace, tranquility and music.
Irina Mureșanu, will you please accept a bunch of flowers and a heartfelt 'Happy birthday' from us!
Translated by Mihaela Olinescu and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest