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This week's guest at Perpetuum Mobile Ovidiu Andris, manager of the Banat Philharmonic in Timișoara, in dialogue with Gabriel Marica
My guest tonight is a young and very active cultural manager. His projects so far were born in Timișoara and have become known throughout the country and beyond. An eloquent example is the Romanian Chamber Orchestra. Good evening, Ovidiu Andriș!
Good evening and welcome back! I am very happy to be with you this evening.
You are the founder of the Artistic Tribe Association, where many of your projects have become reality, and for some time now, since last year, you have been the manager of the "Banatul" Philharmonic in Timișoara. First I want to ask you what is happening now with Tribul Artistic? Are you still in charge of the association?
Of course. Some of the stuff that's there is still taken over outside of my work schedule at the Philharmonic, but we have a very dedicated team there, there are seven people dedicated to this cause that we formed in 2018, and of course the artistic directors who worked on these projects. So, the work is still going on and we are still very happy to have, for example, the Romanian Chamber Orchestra this year or the Eufonia Festival, the Pavilion Project and other European projects that we have won and are looking forward to implementing.
What is it like to run an institution like the Banat Philharmonic, especially in these times? And I'm referring primarily to the pandemic.
It's a very nice thing and I'm very happy to have the opportunity to do this. I can then add this to my experience as well. Yes, we are in a constant motion. We know very well that the cultural world has been a little bit affected or a little bit more affected lately, but I say that these challenges that we've had have been good and we still know how to manage these situations that just come up in life.
And since we hope to gradually get rid of this pandemic, how does the manager see the road to normality for the Banat Philharmonic in Timișoara?
The road to normality is, of course, first of all, the approach to the audience and to the music, because, as we know, when we went online there were situations where we lost our audience, and this was a small trauma for us as instrumentalists, but also as a cultural institution. Re-establishing that special connection between music and audience, experiencing those feelings that are released during a concert... that would be a return to normality.
This week at the Philharmonic there will be two events, as far as I know. Please tell us about them!
On Friday, February 25th, we have invited Adela Liculescu on piano, winner of the "George Enescu" International Competition - 2021 edition. The concert will be conducted by the main conductor of the "Banatul" Philharmonic Orchestra, Radu Popa. And in the program there are works related to Tchaikovsky; we will have an arrangement, Variations on a Tchaikovsky Theme by Anton Arenski, we will have Piano Concerto No. 1 op.23 for piano and orchestra and, finally, we will have the Italian Caprice, also by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
And the second event? I know it's an educational concert, right?
Yes, it's an educational concert on Saturday morning. It's the first educational concert in six months. We're trying to revive these concerts that have existed in the history of the Philharmonic and are very important. It is an educational concert, on Saturday, at 11.00 a.m., with the theme of musical destinations, which will be practically revealed by Doru Roman - concert soloist of the Banat Philharmonic, who is a percussionist. We will play with percussion instruments and present them.
What other highlights of the current Timișoara season can you reveal?
There are a lot of concerts and a lot of important concerts. For example, the final concert of the season will take place on July 1st, where we will have Verdi's Recviem, and David Crescenzi will conduct; he will practically have the opportunity to conduct this last concert, where among the guest soloists are Roxana Zaharia, Luiza Fatiol, Adrian Sâmpetrean and Ovidiu Purcel - all from abroad, from the diaspora, Romanians who have been away for a long time but who are making a career.
For example, next week we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Philharmonic Society, where we will play an oratorio by Wilhelm Speer, who was also a member of this musical society in Timișoara. He wrote an oratorio called Die Könige in Israel. And many other interesting concerts that I don't necessarily want to reveal at the moment, but I would like to discover them together gradually.
For sure! You are involved in the "Timișoara 2023" Project. Please tell us what are the perspectives, how will Timisoara be the Cultural Capital of Europe? We already have a benchmark; I mean Sibiu
Yes, we have a benchmark from 2007, in Sibiu, which was, I think, a success. For us, Timisoara, we are now in a relaunch of this cultural programme and we are very happy that this programme continues. We, as the Philharmonic, have a rather large contribution. We have international partnerships already prepared and I will reveal just one of them; in March 2023, the WDR Orchestra from Cologne together with Cristian Măcelaru will stay 10 days in Timișoara where they will perform a concert, and after this concert, half of the orchestra will join our orchestra - or the other way around - and we will have a joint concert at the end, where we will perform Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.3.
I know that you have done other projects in this great project, Timișoara - European Capital of Culture - with the Artistic Tribe Association, if I am not mistaken.
Yes, I have always contributed to this cultural programme. Of course, we will have the Romanian Chamber Orchestra project, which is still running through the association. Right now, at the end of May, we will have a new project in Timisoara and in cities in Romania, but we will also perform in Switzerland.
The Philharmonic will have two more international partnerships; one with the Gera Altenburg Orchestra and one with the Rheinpfalz Orchestra in Ludwigshafen. There will be cultural exchanges - they will come here, we will go there, we will have concerts together. And a very, very important concert will be in September 2023 with the Gera Orchestra, where we will perform with 300 artists Arnold Schoenberg's Gurrelieder. Two concerts will take place in Gera and two concerts will take place in Timisoara. And we are very happy about the participation of Gabriel Bebeșelea as conductor of these concerts.
And since we have listeners of Radio România Muzical from Timișoara, please conclude by inviting you, the manager of the "Banatul" Philharmonic, to the concerts you are preparing.
We hope very much that you, the audience, will come back and listen to these wonderful artists. And I still wish that we will meet again with a smile and remember fondly all the moments that made us, in fact, closer, not further apart.
Translated by Denisa Dărăban,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu