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Interview with Marin Cazacu, director of the National Art Centre “Youth ROMANIAN”

Wednesday, 8 December 2021 , ora 10.43

Due to the general lockdown, the Dubai World Expo 2020 - a grand event scheduled for last year, has been rescheduled for this year. In the context of the event, today, December 6th, 2021, the Romanian Youth Orchestra, conducted by Gabriel Bebeșelea, will hold a concert dedicated to the National Day of Romania, on the Millenium Amphitheater stage. With violinist Valentin Șerban and cellist Ștefan Cazacu as soloists. Tomorrow, December 7th, chamber ensembles of the Romanian Youth Orchestra will perform micro-recitals in the Romanian pavilion at the Dubai World Expo. And on Wednesday, December 8th, the National Art Centre "Youth ROMANIAN" organizesa Christmas concert at the Great Hall of the Romanian Athenaeum.

More details about these concerts we can learn from Marin Cazacu, director of the National Art Centre "Youth ROMANIAN", in an interview conducted by Florica Jalbă:

Tonight, the Romanian Youth Orchestra will hold,at the Dubai World Expo,an extraordinary concert dedicated to the National Day of Romania. The celebration will continue tomorrow, when there will be micro-recitals of the chamber ensembles of the same orchestra. This is the first time that the Romanian Youth Orchestra will perform in the Middle East - an event that you enthusiastically foreshadowed in the interview that you offered me two months ago. How did you elaborate the musical programme that the orchestra, conducted by conductor Gabriel Bebeșelea, with Valentin Șerban and Ștefan Cazacu as soloists, will perform?

Two months ago I talked about this event with enthusiasm, an enthusiasm that I preserved because, indeed, this is the first time we will perform in Dubai for the World Expo, but it is not the first time we are present at a world exhibition. The orchestra was also present at the World Expo in Milan in 2015. But this time, as you mentioned, it is in a completely different cultural space. Certainly, the audience that will listen to us will be both a local audience and an audience from all continents, and the prepared programme is exactly for that - to cheer and attract all categories of audience from all cultural spaces of the world. The programme consists of works from the Romanian repertoire - I mention here Sabin Păutza, Ciprian Porumbescu, Constantin Dimitrescu - and works from the universal repertoire - Camille Saint-Saens, Jules Massenet, Mascagni, Puccini, Mihail Glinka and Johann Strauss. A diverse, attractive programme, for the public to enjoy music and especially for these young people from the Romanian Youth Orchestra to naturally and happily display the repertoire that they perform, as these are works that express optimism and hope… because the World Expo is also about this, so that every country has a presence under this aspect. And, especially as the theme of this world exhibition is nature, so that they fit very well in this world context.

What does Tuesday's micro-recital programme look like?

It is a programme in which string quartets, trios, duos, quintets of the orchestra - made up of both string and wind instruments, will perform famous pieces, known from film music, Romanian music, universal music. And those who will pass by the Romanian pavilion will be able to fully enjoy both what they will see in the pavilion and the music that these young people play with joy and pleasure and, particularly, with that kind of enthusiasm that only young people can emanate.

We must also mention that on your return to the country, on Wednesday, December 8th, you are organizing a Christmas concert that will take place at the Romanian Athenaeum. This time, with the participation of the Romanian Youth Orchestra together with the "Preludiu" choir and under the baton of the conductor Andrei Stănculescu. How did you think up this concert?

First of all, it is a concert of the "Preludiu" choir, which has had a young conductor for several months - I'm talking about Andrei Stănculescu - and which has prepared a Christmas concert with extraordinary works from the Romanian and universal repertoire. We added this score that is performed for the first time in Bucharest, it is the Christmas Oratorio by Camille Saint-Saens for string orchestra, which will be performed by young musicians from the Romanian Youth Orchestra, the "Preludiu" choir and vocal soloists. This is also a special event, because it marks the beginning ofChristmas dedications and especially because, in the position of conductor of the "Preludiu" choir, this young man has this opportunity to conduct both the choir and the Romanian Youth Orchestra at the Romanian Athenaeum, the most prestigious concert hall in Romania.

Photo Credit: Dănuț Cristișor, TVR

Interview by Florica Jalbă
Translated by Ecaterina Bucovanu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu