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Interview with conductor Cornel Groza

Tuesday, 29 November 2022 , ora 14.35

Today, from 7:00 p.m., at the Academic College in Cluj Napoca, there will be a concert that will celebrate half a century of existence of the Transilvania State Philharmonic Choir in the city. We learn details about the ensemble and the anniversary concert, from the conductor of the choir, Cornel Groza.

Mr. Cornel Groza, you have been conducting the Transilvania Philharmonic Choir for 36 years. What did these years mean for your career?

Half of my life I have stood in front of this wonderful choir that I inherited from my predecessors Dorin Pop and FlorentinMihăescu. What did it mean? It meant, first of all, a huge obligation that fell on my shoulders at a relatively young age for the position I reached then. It meant a lot of work, it meant a lot of accumulated experience and a lot of satisfaction.

If you were to characterize, in a few words, the ensemble, what do you consider to be the most important qualities of the choir you conduct?

The choir has many qualities. I could not reveal one or the other. It is recognized as having a special artistic ability, it is extremely malleable, it has a very good tuning, it has vocal homogeneity, is very flexible, very receptive to the directions of collaborators - we also have a lot of collaborations, the conductors are always changing. In the same voice, they all reveal the fact that our team is very responsive and very easy to work with.

Over the years, the choir has had numerous appearances in festivals such as Lucerne or Pezaro and on international stages such as Tel Aviv, Naples... How did these collaborations on prestigious stages feel in the subsequent evolution of the choir?

A presence in a big festival, above all, mobilizes you exemplary. The fact that I worked much harder to prepare these shows which were of a high standard... and I want to note that they were extremely well received and I remember with pleasure the Tonhalle - Zürich or Tel Aviv, where there were standing ovations minutes on end to our choir... The intense work we put into the preparation of those shows was later found in our work because it remains. Everything that was created, everything that was positively and qualitatively accumulated remained. The choir has a high artistic value.

In the end, could you please tell us how the program of this anniversary evening is structured? What have you prepared for the public?

I would say... we have something for everybody. That is, we wanted to show the public our academic side above all, and we put together a first part of the program in which we will go through the repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day. Another, more relaxing part, in which folklore arrangements predominate, but also two pieces from American choral literature. And in the third part, at the request of my colleagues in the choir, I also introduced some recognizable pieces from pop-rock music.

Interview by Norela Liviana Costea
Translated by Elena Patricia Măroiu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu