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A dialogue with Mr. Petruț Constantinescu, Director of the "Ion Dumitrescu" Philharmonic in Râmnicu Vâlcea
Mr. Director, every year, the pearl of the Râmnicu Vâlcea Philharmonic season is the "Young Talents" Festival, which has now reached its 42nd edition, an extraordinary opportunity for the Public of Valcea to meet new performers and especially to enjoy a very large diversity of the repertoire. The last day of the Festival coincides with the day of the season concert which is Monday, here with you. Do you feel that the public appreciates this? I noticed that the audience participates interactively in the concerts, you have also given them a form with "Vote the audience" attached to the hall program.
That's right. I'm glad you defined the "Young Talents" Festival as a pearl of the season. For 42 years, the Festival takes place in May, we must keep the tradition but each edition comes with something new, all the more so because, since last year, the "Young Talents" Festival is a trademark of the "Ion Dumitrescu" Philharmonic. So it has become a city brand, it is at the same time, the longest-running festival for young people that a cultural institution organizes in Romania. We do our best to attract the public, we are happy with the presence of young people from Romania, who also come through our partners, the Cultural Foundation "Remember Enescu", through the inimitable teacher, Mrs. Mihaela Tomescu, who selects young people awarded at national and international level, then Mrs. Dr. Ilinca Dumitrescu, president of the Festival, who also makes recommendations at the highest level and practically promotes young people of great value. But also we, those from Râmnicu Vâlcea, try to be up to the level with the local talents, children and young people who also go to important national competitions but also international, obtaining meritorious prizes. We have news in each edition, and this year, the Gala Concert of the Festival, replaces the weekly concert of the season. Being a more special concert, this year, we come up with a novelty. The first part of the concert will actually be an opera performance, of the singing class of Prof. Univ. Georgeta Stoleriu, the famous soprano who always delights us with exceptional moments, and who this year will practically open the Gala. In the second part, we will have the well-known Concerto concerto, which will contain two Mozart concertos, for flute and orchestra and for piano and orchestra. Soloists will be Eduard Miclea and Andra Mărgineanu and the Symphony Orchestra of the "Ion Dumitrescu" Philharmonic will be led by Matei Corvin. We're always trying to raise awareness, to get closer to the audience, because art is done by comparison. And then, those present in the room, must have the opportunity to express themselves. This "Vote the public" form helps us a lot, although it is only a formality, but it helps us to know if somehow, in the preferences of the public, an exceptional young talent appears. The public can sometimes be more attentive and demanding than we are, and in this way we will know, for future editions, what to correct or whom to invite. This scene is open to young talents until they complete their university masters and is not a limit to participation.
And every concert of the Festival has a title, just to make it more accessible.. For a young performer, it is an extraordinary chance to play with the orchestra, especially for those from distant cities, Timisoara, Cluj, Pitești. And I think that's a goal of your Philharmonic.
That's right. We proposed that this Festival will bring on stage not only the most awarded young people but also the most distant ones. Practically, any young person who wants to perform within the "Young Talents" Festival has unconditional access. And as it is known, in the Gala, for three years, the hearty partners of the "Ion Dumitrescu" Philharmonic contribute significantly and offer the young participants a distinction, in addition to the awards offered by our institution, some excellence awards, which we offer annually to some partner institutions. Those distinctions for young people that I was talking about, worth 1000 lei each, are offered by the Rotary Club, by Fair-Media Sind, by the Ophthalmological Clinic "Medicalma" and last but not least, the whisper of the late Producer of Radio shows, Rodica Sava, offers every year a distinction "In memoriam Rodica Sava". So this year we have four awards that we offer to the participants of the Gala Concert and in the future, we are thinking that through the generosity of the Philharmonic's friends, we will start offering distinctions to the young people from the recitals.
The effervescence of youth is complemented by the fact that in the Symphony Orchestra of the Râmnicu Vâlcea Philharmonic, there are also many young people. How do you manage to attract them and maintain their performance?
It is again an attempt, we aim to encourage young people a lot and then, periodically, through the retirement of old members of the orchestra, as it is natural for this to happen periodically, we make efforts to bring, together with the experienced ones, young people, even students in final years, who are already integrated into the Orchestras of the Universities and Faculties of Music, thus starting with a minimum of experience, and who adapt and obey, in the elegant sense of the word, the rules of a professional Philharmonic, of high level, as is the Orchestra of the Râmnicu Vâlcea Philharmonic, which I do not praise as a manager but the conductors who come regularly, weekly, every Monday, to our concerts.
What special events do you have with the orchestra until the season closes? And when does the season end?
I'm just going to point out a few, because we have a lot of events, so in short, immediately after the end of the "Young Talents" Festival, on May 19th, the Euphonia Choir offers an extraordinary concert, with percussion, guitar, bass guitar and piano, in a celebration of the great international hits, pop-symphonic, stylized for a Philharmonic stage. Next, on May 23rd, a recital of the pianist Lady Ilinca Dumitrescu, and we will have at the pulpit the master Ovidiu Bălan who will conduct, in the same concert, in the first audition at Râmnicu Vâlcea, the 3rd Suite by Ion Dumitrescu. This concert will be called "Classics of Romanian music. Mihail Jora and Ion Dumitrescu". Therefore, we also promote Romanian music. But not only romanian music from the 19th-20th centuries, but also more recent music, because on May 27th, young people Diana Jipa and Ștefan Doniga come to Râmnicu Vâlcea with a recital "Romania Universalis". After that we have Rachmaninoff in the interpretation of Luiza Borac, she comes from Hanover. We have children's day, and we are waiting for the children with the symphonic story "Petrich and the wolf", the Harmonies of Summer follow", a concert with an exclusively romantic program, Schubert-Lalo, we have after that a June symphonic, with works by Beethoven and romantic composers and we close the season with violinist Alexandru Tomescu who will perform the Seasons of Vivaldi, having Tiberiu Oprea at the pulpit. It will be a season closureat the top and then the summer season will begin where we will have invited a conductor from Argentina who will make a Latin symphony with an exceptional program. Then there will be the Requiem of Verdi, it will not take place in Râmnicu Vâlcea, it is an invitation that the Philharmonic will honor. In September we will have a Festival about which I can not say very much at the moment, because it is at a very high level and we are just a small part, after which we will reopen the Season, in September, hopefully with the Fantastic Symphony by Hector Berlioz.
Translated by Beatrice-Andreea Porumb,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu