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Interview with the cellist Cornelius Zirbo

Thursday, 21 February 2019 , ora 12.28

The cellist Cornelius Zirbo and his guests, pianist Andreea Butnaru and violinist Maria Marica, will perform on Tuesday, February 12th, in Sala Micã at the Romanian Athenaeum. On the poster - Zoltan Kodaly's Duo for Violin and Cello op. 7, Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Cello and Piano, Béla Bartok's Six Romanian Folk Dances. More details in the interview with Cornelius Zirbo by Ana Diaconu.

On Tuesday evening, you will perform a concert for which you only chose pieces from the 20th century. Why these pieces?

I believe that the pieces I chose, or, at least, Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Cello and Piano and Kodaly's Duo for Violin and Cello op. 7, are representative pieces of the 20th century, which unfortunately, aren't performed in our country often. Therefore, I saw this as an excellent opportunity to present these pieces, which are very close to my heart and which I like very much, to the Romanian audience. At the end of the concert we will also perform Béla Bartok's Six Romanian Folkdances.

You will also have two guests. Can you talk about them, just a few words?

I will perform Kodaly's Duo for Violin and Cello op. 7 with violinist Maria Marica. She's a person very dear to me, a childhood friend of mine. We grew up together in Cluj-Napoca and it is a great pleasure to be able to perform with her. We worked together in the past, and that only makes me more delighted to perform together on Tuesday evening. The pianist, Mrs. Andreea Butnaru is, among other things, my chamber music teacher. She's the only one in this country who performed Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Cello and Piano and this gives me confidence. I'm very glad to be able to perform together with her.

You've recently returned from a tour in the U.S., with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Romania. How would you describe the experience?

I think it was one of the most wonderful trips of my life. This was my first time in the U.S. and it was an amazing, unique experience. I would do it again anytime.

How did the audience there react?

The American audience was very welcoming, very warmhearted. We felt at home. Their reaction and applause satisfied us and made us happy. There was a connection, even chemistry, between the orchestra and the audience.

What are you working on now?

My repertoire is quite varied, starting with Haydn's Cello Concerto and ending with Francis Poulenc's Sonata and Shostakovich's Concerto, which I will be working on this year.

Translated by Alina-Nicoleta Duminicã,
MTTLC 1, Universitatea din București