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Interview with David Royaux, the president of the Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation

Tuesday, 22 March 2022 , ora 15.41

"I, Henri Vieuxtemps, or the life of a gifted kid violinist as recounted by himself" is the title of the volume released by the Association Classic is fantastic, with the support of the Wallonia-Brussels Delegation. A show with the same title will take place on the 20th of March, on the stage of the Odeon Theatre in Bucharest, starting with 11 o'clock. We'll find out more about how this project came to be, from David Royaux, the president of the Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation.

How did this project start?

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about this beautiful project, it started at the initiative of the Association "Classic is fantastic"coordinated by Cristina Sârbu, and one of my colleagues, Lidia Badea, who came up with the idea of making a book about one of our composers, a 19th century violinist, Henri Vieuxtemps, famous for founding the Franco-Belgian violin school. I think it was a good opportunity for the Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation in Bucharest to promote this idea; it is one of our main goals here, to promote our artists and make them known, even if in this case it is someone from the 19th century. I think it gives people a good idea of one of our most important musicians.

A few months ago I first came into contact with Mrs. Sârbu from the Association "Classic is fantastic". Usually - because, of course, it's not the first experience of this kind for her - usually she starts with the play and then she writes the book; in this case it's the opposite, she started with the book for children and young adults, which she started from scratch, a huge effort that she's been making for the past month. We had the chance to talk about the content a few times, to make some corrections; I also believe that this book for children and young adults is very well illustrated by Carla Dushka, the book is already posted on the association's website. At the play that will take place this Sunday, at the Odeon Theatre, we will offer some copies of the book to those present.

You worked with AgnèsBriolleVieuxtemps for this book. What information that you wouldn't have found from any other sources did she give you?

It was very interesting to meet mrs. Briolle Vieuxtemps, great-great-granddaughter of the composer and violinist Henri Vieuxtemps, and talk to her throughout this project. It was interesting to have her knowledge of his life: she also wrote a book about Vieuxtemps' correspondence, it was indeed very interesting to find out more about the artist. Of course, she's very passionate because it's a book about her family, but she has also created an association that promotes Vieuxtemps's art, she gave lectures aboutHenri Vieuxtemps and she has many memories from letters plus some indirect ones which was exciting for us; but even without all of this, Mrs. Sârbu was already ready to make all the necessary efforts.

How did this collaboration withthe Association "Classic is fantastic" start?

My colleague, Lidia Badea, was already a fan of the association, she went to the plays and concerts organized by the association several times. I have been here for a little over two years, I hadn't come into contact with them before, but I am very proud of the result and I am honestly happy with this collaboration, and I would like to thank Mrs. Sârbu for her dedication to pass this passion for classical music to young people and children.

Translated by Cristina-Bianca Ion,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu