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Interview with Professor Verona Maier about the Tuesday Night Season at the Romanian Athenaeum
Within the Tuesday Night Season at the Romanian Athenaeum, a recital by the trio formed of violinist Daniela Cobuscean, cellist Eleonora Bordînc and pianist Mihaela Culeatomorrow will take place tomorrow, the 31st of March, from 7PM. Under the guidance of Professor Verona Maier from the Bucharest National University of Music, the three musicians will perform Piano Trio no. 1 in C minor, Op. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich, Piano Trio in E-flat major, D 897, Notturno by Franz Schubert and Piano Trio no. 1 in B major, Op. 8 by Johannes Brahms. Since it takes place without the presence of the audience in the hall, the recital will also be live, online.
Professor Verona Maier provides some details about the recital:
The recital performed by the trio you are guiding will take place on Tuesday. It was initially scheduled on the 16th of March, but it was postponed because of the sanitary restrictions. How was it for the young performers to adapt to the current situation which can impose such postponements and, implicitly, to entertain the programme while waiting for the new date?
Basically, I believe that for all of us - I mean those that have the stage as a means of expression or as a means of finding an appropriate place - the present moment stands under the sign of flexibility. It is something I have firstly tried on myself, and after I did, to a certain extent, perhaps satisfactorily, I tried to communicate to the young people who are more inclined towards this kind of learning than us, the adults. I admit this is not the second, but the third change, as the first one had fortunately been the change from the 9th to the 16th of March, because the Philharmonic had scheduled a programme that didn't deserve to be put away by another; it was the concert conducted by maestro Cristian Măcelaru. As a result, this is the second change the calendar makes for the three girls, but, I dare say, it is like a postponed pleasure. They can't wait to perform. And having learned about the flexibility I was telling you about, I believe this concert comes at the perfect time.
The programme consists of three opuses of great complexity and special lyricism. How did you imagine this selection?
I have to admit that the merit is almost entirely theirs, as is also what they will be singing on Tuesday, because basically a professor does the same thing with all his students he has under guidance. The entire merit is theirs, including the composition of the programme and the level they brought it to. Before the possible scheduling of a recital, they insisted on doing the Brahms Trio, an opus that challenges any kind of performer. They have an excellent relationship which makes Daniela Cobuscean, Mihaela Culea and Eleonora Bordînc always find the resources to have the time and energy necessary to the preparation of such things. Therefore, everything started with Brahms, even though it was the most difficult thing, and then came the two other opuses. My intervention happened when I suggested, in addition to the two demonstrations of force represented by Brahms and Shostakovich, beside them I thought that the extremely lyrical area in terms of expression that Schubert's Nocturne Trio approaches would offer a moment of silence and one of happy alternance with the emotional intensity that the other two opuses assume.
I know that there will be another trio you are guiding in the Tuesday Night Season. How passionate about chamber music are the students of today's generation?
I don't know how passionate they are, but I do know that all those who have a good measure of the direction that the current moment can offer to a young person, sometimes very gifted, as is the case of the three boys - clarinettist Sebastian Antonesc, cellist Cornelius Zirbo and pianist Teodor Dumitru… the intelligent people who have a clear perception of the reality they live in understand that this territory is one that primarily offers a variety of manifestation and expression possibilities which a single instrument can't offer. Moreover, in a chamber formation you have permanently two, one, six communication partners because you are basically on the same route as them.
We are in the middle of a vaccination campaign. What is your opinion about it? Do you believe that vaccination could solve the current situation and we could go back to normal?
You are talking to a vaccinated person. Four days ago I got the booster vaccination that I did out of conviction. Thanks to the fact that I had this opportunity, I have quickly embraced it together with my colleagues. It is, at this moment, our only chance to go back to what is vital.
Translated by Lica Alexandra,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu