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Interview with the conductor Cristian Lupes

Monday, 23 November 2020 , ora 14.07

Mr. CristianLupes, The Sibiu Philharmonic managed to continue its activity during the pandemic in various ways - online concerts, outdoors concerts and many more. As the manager of the institution, how would you describe these times in which we find ourselves?

This pandemic worries us and makes us anxious. However there are examples, artistic examples, of successfully unfolded activities even in this pandemic. We're in a situation in which we can see the world out of our box. We get out of our comfort zone, we enter this complicated situation and then we have to find new solutions. We, at Sibiu, managed to find many solutions throughout this lockdown from spring until summer and everything that happened after that. We're probably the firsts who started the online concerts, even before the state of emergency was declared. Once the outdoor spaces opened we got out to celebrate the Day of Europe on the 9th of May, playing even on the philharmonic's rooftop, and after that, on the 15th of May, we held the first concert without public. We continued throughout the summer to organize alongside my colleagues more than 60 outdoor philharmonic concerts, something probably unique in the world. We had online spectators and we were happy for the many physical ones. We held three festivals in the summer, we overcame and adapted.

We know that because of the imposed quarantine in the Sibiu County the concerts which were about to take place were suspended. How did you manage this unpredictable situation regarding the artistic activity of the institution?

Our returning in this position of closing our activity happened somehow with a practice that we already had. We immediately knew to jump online. We spotted various ways through which our musicians to continue their activity, the music to get though a way or another to our spectators and this time joy and not terror in their souls. We continue our activity from home for now. These two weeks of quarantine represent weeks of preparation for the concerts that will come. As you know, Sibiu, who reports absolutely all the new cases and also tests massively, was closed, but we prepare ourselves for the following programs.

What plans do you have for the moment when the restrictions will be suspended?

We prepare for new concerts. We have very important guests; we're looking forward for CristianMandeal, in December. We have a program for the 1st of December ready and we decided that on the 1st of December we'd offer to our public a concert with a soloist, Irina Sarbu, and withSimonaStrungaruas a conductor.

The holidays are right around the corner. Have you thought including some Christmas concerts?

We thought of some musical surprises for Christmas and it's yet to see if they'll be online or offline, with a public, in which voices will sing and the Orchestra will play carols for our physical and virtual public. Furthermore, alongside our partners and friends from UCIMR and Icon Arts Academy we'll organize a series of concerts, if possible, dedicated to the New Year. The ICIMR would normally hold right onthe New Year evening the New Year concert, an independent concert. But this year we decided that their partner would be, of course, the philharmonic, and we'll try to soothe the terror of the pandemic in a musical harmony that we're all looking forward to.

Interview by Maria-Isabela Nica
Translated by Codescu Paula-Silvia,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu