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"Beautiful minds" - Interview with Alexandru Tomescu

Monday, 16 January 2023 , ora 10.24

We took the opportunity of this interview with Alexandru Tomescu to try to get into his mind and find out details about his extra-musical passions, about his everyday life, about those who have inspired him over time... and not only.

Alexandru, I would like to ask you, first of all, how is a normal day in your life and then a day in which you have a concert? Do you have a rigorous scheduleand certain habits?

I would say that in the life of an artist, or a performer, there are no ordinary days. That's what attracts me to this industry, it's not a fixed work schedule. This means on the one hand that you can really distribute your study time as best you can during the day, but at the same time, it means that the work never ends, whether it's a Sunday or a nationalholiday, even if it's a holiday etc.And really, in the last 10-15 years I could say that this fluidity of concert life has become part of my regular rhythm of existence. That doesn't mean, on the other hand, that I don't feel comfortable on the days when I don't have concerts, but even then a lot of things pile up to deal with. On the professional side, I teach, and I have students now in Timișoara, at the University of the West. The previous academic year I taught at two faculties, here at the National University of Music in Bucharest and in Timișoara, so I couldn't say that I was bored for a second.

I also had a question related to this new side that you have added in recent years to your personality, the pedagogical one. It is an important purpose to share experiences and knowledge with younger musicians looking for their own path, and I wanted to ask you what this experience is like for you?

I don't necessarily consider myself a teacher or pedagogue. I try to talk to my students like from one violinist to another violinist, I try to tell them pretty much everything I know, everything I think, and the challenge is for them to make their own decisions, to think for themselves before playing a piece, sheet music because we often have an enthusiasm: we have this concert, let's start playing, we think after that. The order should be exactly the reverse. The artist must really be like a kind of playwright, like a kind of director who knows exactly what he is doing with all the energies condensed there in the score.

When you listen to a live recording again, do you think that you would have done something differently, that you would change something, or do you look at it as a unique and unrepeatable moment?

It happens sometimes that I unknowingly hear recordings of me on Radio Romania Muzical and yes, I often find it interesting what I hear there, even if I don't necessarily always agree with everything I've done in the past, I find it interesting and sometimes there are even parts that I don't even remember anymore. Then when I hear that I sang them myself, it was a big surprise.

Who are the people who have inspired you over time? I assume the discussion would start with your parents.

Yes, my mother was my first violin teacher after seven years at home, it was almost seven years of violin that we did together. My father, the pianist Adrian Tomescu, is the one who accompanied me for many years in all the concerts, in all the tours and in all the musical journeys I made. Master Ștefan Gheorghiu is the one in whose class I was a student for more than a decade. He was like a second parent to me, spiritually and musically. Many other teachers with whom I worked in masterclasses, I also studied afterwards in the United States of America or in Switzerland.But I tried to take from each musician, from each violinist that I worked with, those things that I felt fit, that made sense to me from a musical point of view. There were really violinists with very different personalities and then there really came that moment that I keep pointing out, waving it under the noses of the students, I say: you see that one day there will come a time when no you won't have a teacher anymore. You will be alone face to face with a new work, which you do not know. Only then will it be seen exactly what musical ideas you really have, what you really know how to do with music. There comes such a moment of truth, when you can no longer ask anyone for advice, and then you see exactly what you know.

Going in another direction, what extra musical passions does Alexandru Tomescu have?

The most important passion is raising my little girl, Katerina, she is a great blessing that appeared in our life. He is already almost eight years old and any parent knows how challenging this can be. I love nature very much. I like to be outdoors as much as possible, as far away from the city as possible, and that's why I often enjoy going on all kinds of trips with my little girl. She dreams to become a climber, an alpinist, to be a climbing instructor for children in the future and, lately, almost all my free time is channeled to a certain place in the Bucegi Mountains, more precisely the Caraiman cabin, an emblematic cabin, a real symbol of Climbing in Romania. I took this huge step into the unknown by buying it last year, knowing that it was not going to be easy at all, the conditions are very difficult up there, the winter lasts six to seven months, the storms - if it's a storm, it means winds of 150-200 km at hour - and the nearest human shelter is about a 45-minute walk away.So I feel there somehow, almost, like in outer space, when you go to the International Space Station. Make sure you take everything you need there in your cosmonaut backpack, if you forgot something, that's it, but it's a quiet place, it's a beautiful place. It is hard to describe in words. All who have come so far have felt this fully. Beyond this project to restore it to the tourist circuit, which is natural, considering the purpose for which it was built, its location, I also want it to have a cultural dimension, because I believe that music is at home wherever someone is willing to listen to her. That's why the final concert of the Stradivarius tour took place right there in front of the lodge, in the open air. I played the six Sonatas for violin and guitar by Niccolo Paganini together with the guitarist Dragoș Ilie, laureate of the Moștenitorii Românie Muzicale competition, and it is a very special thing to be able to sing there, suspended between heaven and earth, between mountains, between clouds. A lot of people came to the set, which showed us that there is a real potential to develop larger events there in the area.

Would you say nature inspires and motivates you as a musician?

Yes, I find myself, I hear my inner voice much better when I am in the silence of the mountains.

Interview by Andreea Kiseleff
Translated by Georgiana-Carmen Rădulescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu