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Interview with violonist Valentin Șerban (III)

Thursday, 9 February 2023 , ora 11.23

Sunday, February 12th, on the Radio Hall stage, violinist Valentin Șerban and pianist Daria Tudor will give a recital under the aegis of project "The Heirs of Musical Romania". Tickets for the recital called "Violin in love" have already been put up for sale, as this is the first event arranged by Radio România Muzical and Rotary Club Pipera in collaboration with Artexim.

You are going to work together with Daria Tudor. Is this the first recital you are giving together? How did your collaboration begin?

We've known each other for many years, but, since Daria lives in Berlin and I live in Romania, we never had the chance to perform together. However, I am truly glad that we got this opportunity. We've been talking for quite some years about this idea, of a few recordings along with the recital, and, at last, we managed to piece it together. Daria is an exceptional musician and pianist, whom I have been observing for many years. I listened to her playing during a concert, I listened to her playing with remarkable musician friends in collabs that have been extremely successful. Thus, I am happy about this collab. Surely, it is going to be a beneficial one.

The recital will take place under the aegis of project "
The Heirs of Musical Romania". I would like to know a few pieces of advice that you would offer to young musicians who find themselves at the start of their careers.

I don't know what the start of a career could possibly mean, since, from many points of view, careers start all over again. It all depends on the ways in which you continue to handle it. But the thing I would advise anyone - even myself, if I could've, a few years back - is to approach music in all of its forms. It is beneficial to do as many things as it is possible in order to broaden your horizons. When you only go for solo concerts, only for solo repertoires, you limit yourself by having close to no contact with this world of collaboration. To understand what it means to be part of a duo, a trio, or an orchestra; that is what I believe to be truly important… as many diverse things as possible.

Careers start all over again? In what way?

In the way of new discoveries. Of course, you have a career, as it is seen from the outside. People see you in a certain way, you become more known, and that is when your so-called career starts. However, from the inside, there are different approaches. I keep discovering many things, as any musician that strives to make progress. And then, from my perspective, there is another direction that only begins… a restart in a bigger picture seen from the outside, but a new direction for me.

How would you like to see young musicians from Romania be encouraged or how do you think they should be encouraged?

I don't know how to offer a more… objective answer. I am aware of the issues that I have encountered, the ones concerning ignorance. When the public doesn't know you, if you aren't put forward directly by someone, or if you aren't already part of a well-known context, it is difficult to make it. Or, this is a great minus. It is probably not an only Romanian issue, but it is there. It is truly hard to get into this world, to get to be known. I have fought a lot with this problem, with promoting myself I mean.

And you got a hold of this bridge to make yourself known
; winning first place for the "Enescu"contest. Is it a way that you would recommend?

Personally, I am not a fan of contests. Taking part in "Enescu" wasn't of my own conviction. I was pressured from different sides and I am now thankful for it. I believe it is beneficial to see the competition, to see the international level, and a contest of such scale will give you this opportunity, to see the highest level. And, indeed, it has been of great help to me, but this is as good as bad. I could've very well had a bad day, regardless of the cause, I could've lost and I would've been in a whole different place while being the same person. And without this image afterwards, I couldn't have expressed myself further nor could I have gotten a lot more concerts. It is probably a utopian thought, of meritocracy, in which you get to a certain level, to be seen and promoted. But, of course, the world doesn't work like that.

Interview by Petre Fugaciu
Translated by Adelina-Maria Mănăilescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu