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Interview with the violinist Valentin Șerban, this week’s guest at Perpetuum Mobile

Thursday, 8 April 2021 , ora 14.08

The violinist Valentin Șerbanwas this week's guest at Perpetuum Mobile. The only Romanian violinist qualified for the semi-finals of 2021 George Enescu International Competition will perform along with the pianist DragoșDimitriu within the chamber concert organized by the National Art Center of Romanian Youth. About this Thursday's concert, 8th April, which will be broadcasted live by Radio România Muzical, Valentin Șerban stated:

I am very grateful for maestro Marin Cazacu's invitation to sing in this concert organized by the National Art Center of Romanian Youth.It's my first time performing a recital there. I have performed many times with the National Orchestra of Youth with which I've beencollaboratin since 2016-2017, for several years already, yet I am glad to play solo.And, along with my friend Ioan Dragoș Dimitriu, we are glad to perform this program for the Enescu Concert. It's a very beautiful program with Brahms' III Sonata, Enescu's II Sonata and Variations on an original theme by Wieniawski.

Thus, can be seen as a rehearsal for the semi-finals of "George Enescu" International Competition. This year we are talking about an unsual competition due to the pandemic.How are you waiting for this semi-final which will take place at the middle of May?

With great excitement, of course, especially after the first two rounds which took place online with videos send viaYouTube. And this is somehow a challenge. It is totally atypical for a contest, even if it became the normal during the last year. But we prepare ourselves intenselyand looking forward to performingat the Athenaeum and to have the jury before us and maybe even the public, I hope. I do not know how the contest will unfold, but in any case we are honored to perform in the semi-final.

Is the fact that you are the only Romanian violonist who will play in this phase of the competitionan additional pressure?

I don't believe so. I don't feel it as an additional pressure. I must admit the fact that I like how it sounds, but more important iswhat will further happen rather than the fact that I am the only Romanian.

We have talked about this, the fact that it's been an atypical year in terms of musical activity. How did you feel the 2020's? How did 2021 start?

It was a very demanding year, but not in terms of performing, rather of psychological pressure; because everyhing fell over everyone. We probably had tens of canceled concerts and there is that uncertainty of not knowing what is to come next, of not knowing what is going on, of not knowing if you will be, if you won't be, (or) when will you be booked for a concert. This is still the situation. Maybe now wegot used to it and it seems more normal, but the situation is difficult for everyone. Fortunately, 2021 had a very good start. We had a few very beautiful concerts. I have begun a marvelous collaboration with my friends, with Dragoș Dimitriu­-the pianist and with the cellist Ștefan Cazacu who also participates in "Enescu" Competition semi-final.We do have plans. I hope we will be able to also put them into practice.

In the end, giving the current situation, which hinders the performance of normal activities in the world of music -you have also talked earlier about the public's presence at the "George Enescu" International Competition's semi-final-do you believe that vaccination can be the way towardsreturning to a normal life? Will you vaccinate?

I am somehow in the dark about this, as a musician. But of course I am trying to get informed as much as possible and I believe that one possible solution is to get vaccinated. I, personally, will get vaccinated. Actually this Friday I will get my second dose. Now, this is a personal choise, but somehow it affects all of us. Thus we need to think at a larger scale, not only about ourselves.

Interview by Lucian Haralambie
Translated by Băluță Camelia,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu