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Interview with pianist Daniel Ciobanu

Tuesday, 2 May 2023 , ora 10.21

Today, April 28th, starting at 19:00, the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra will resume the concert presented yesterday evening on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum with pianist Daniel Ciobanu as soloist. Artist in residence of the Bucharest Philharmonic, the performer gave us more details about this event.

Daniel Ciobanu, you will perform Tchaikovsky's Concerto No.1 with the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra. What do you consider to be the main difficulties posed by this work?

First of all, the fact that it is such a famous piece and can almost be played with the audience. Somehow, I think I'm going to be faced with some expectations that are well stamped in the audience's auditory memory, and therein lies, in fact, the ultimate attempt to come up with a slightly fresher flavour.

When was the first time you approached this work?

The first time I actually played it in Piatra Neamț, at the festival I organized - the very first edition, in 2017. But then, surprisingly, I played it only once more, in Iasi. I've only played it in Romania; this is the third time I've played it on stage. It reminded me of many apotheosis moments in my career.

You will be playing under the baton of Constantin Trinks. How is the collaboration with the German conductor going?

The collaboration has been extraordinarily natural. We understood each other not only in gestures, but also in looks, which is quite rare, especially for such a famous and widely performed piece. He's an extremely friendly and generous performer as an opera conductor, which I'm happy about because it gives me peace of mind and the freedom to be as authentic as possible.

This concert also marks the end of your time as artist in residence at the Bucharest Philharmonic. What did this residency mean to you?

You can imagine that I enjoyed it and it was a real honour to start this platform. And I'm glad that we can cadence with a piece of such gravitas, wrapping up this bouquet of a few concerts that will of course stay in my soul's insectarium for all time. We've had a pretty tough couple of years with the pandemic and all, but we still managed to pull out a pretty strong seam. I think there were 5 concerts in total over the 2 years and I hope to continue the tradition and have the Philharmonic share as many artists with vitality and freshness as possible.

After the concert at the Romanian Athenaeum, what are your plans for this year?

Next week I'm going to perform the Tchaikovsky Concerto at BBC Walles and then a bluesy session, soaked in Charleston and boogie rhythms, with Gershwin's Concerto in F major, which I'll perform in Piatra Neamt at the opening of the Musical Holidays, with conductor Mihai Cojocaru. Then, a few days later, in Mexico, at the Palace of Fine Arts (another monument, like the Romanian Athenaeum). Then, I will have a tour with the Dutch Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw. I'll be back at the Enescu Festival in September, with the Scala and Beethoven 4 chamber musicians.

Interview by Ioana Țintea
Translated by Andreea Petrescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu