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Interview with pianist Steluța Radu

Thursday, 13 October 2022 , ora 10.26

Between the 13th and the 23rd of October, the third edition of the Majura Festival will take place in Bucharest, an artistic initiative exclusively dedicated to chambers of piano and voice-piano duo formulas. We learn about the proposed concerts and future plans from the pianist SteluțaRadu, president of the ''Majura Christ'' Association, promoter of following events.

Mrs. Steluța Radu, what is the structure of the 3rd edition of the Majura Duo Festival?

It is planned in three groups, namely, we have a group of nine concerts, under the title 2 + 22 minutes =2022, in which, will appear before the audience children who play the piano and students from UNMB who are taking canto lessons.The structure of the entire festival is designed along two main lines, namely piano duo (four hands and two pianos) and two lied - voice-piano. In the first nine appearances there will be children between the ages of 6-14 years old, who will play four hands and who, are studying either for passion or are children from music schools, such as the Art School No. 3 and the rest, children from the private ArioDante School of Arts, who are exceptional children and often perform better than those under the centralized system of the Ministry of Education. After that, there will be another series of concerts - two concerts - which will take place in the National University of Music Bucharest, where we will have an intro- jazz concert (piano duo) performed by the pianists Cătălin Răducanu and Alexandru Burcă and a gala under the title "Suzana Szörenyi" Gala, while there will be present the first winners of the previous editions of the International Duo Competition - which has the same structure (piano duo and lied) - "Suzana Szörenyi". And, so to speak, the triumphant completion will be at the Romanian Athenaeum, where we will have two exceptional concerts held by the famous mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose and pianist Sergiu Tuhuțiu, including in the second evening, in fact, the climax of the festival, on October 23rd, will also be at the Romanian Athenaeum, performed by pianists Florian Mitrea and Alexandra Văduva, also first prize winners of the SuzanaSzorenyi International Competition.

How has the festival evolved over the years and what are the plans for the future given the course so far?

The first edition of the festival was incorporated as a replica of the competition, and we thought that in time, we could somehow mirror these two events with the George Enescu Festival and the George Enescu International Competition, that is the year that the Enescu Festival takes place, we would have the Suzana Szörenyi Competition, and in the year that the George Enescu International Competition exists, we would've had the Majura Festival. It has developed and we have had the honour of having first-class artists: in one of the last editions, Anderson & Roe, a famous piano couple with a great worldwide career, who has performed for the first time in Romania, on the stage of Bucharest, and we have always thought of combining the part of young performers, who would be presented to the Romanian public and accessing both vectors: lied recital and piano recital (and jazz). In the future, we are thinking, if we can first finance it, to develop it and possibly make it roving, to take it to other places in the country, not only in Bucharest, and maybe, why not, to develop it with some concerts with orchestra. We are very happy that this year we managed to have ARCUB as co-funder, within the project "Affective Bucharest 2022". We are happy to have them with us and we hope that they will be our co-funders in future projects.

Why piano duo and voice piano?

There are two points to be made here. We started with this formula in memory of Mrs.Szörenyi, but also with the idea of making this type of format known to the general public, to promote it, to win them over, because there is an exceptional literature written for this type: the piano duo for four hands and two pianos (with two pianos it is more complicated, because you need two pianos, but with four hands it can be done very easily and that was the basic idea). We want very much, especially through these concerts that we do in schools (which are comprehensive schools, a lot of them), for children to come and see that they can play with their sister on four hands, any song, from classical music to modern music, traditional music.

Interview by Norela Liviana Costea
Translated by Andreea-Iulia Ciucă,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu