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Interview with pianist George Todică (III)
Pianist George Todică, who has been awarded Second Place at the International Competition "George Enescu", 2022 edition, will perform a recital on Saturday, May 13th, at 7 p.m., on the main stage of the Romanian Athenaeum. Radio România Muzical and Rotary Club Pipera are organizing the event as part of the project Heirs of Musical Romania and it will be broadcast live by our radio station.
In a recital, do you feel more inspired when collaborating with another musician than when you are alone in front of an audience? In this context, I would like to mention your artistic partnership with soprano Charlotte Hoather, with whom you have recorded 4 albums, as well as the Chloe Piano Trio, of which you are a member.
One of perhaps my biggest regrets from my youth was not playing more chamber music early on. I didn't discover collaborations with other instruments and with voice until college, and that was, I think, the second biggest influence, besides the mentors I had... I was learning from other musicians who had other instruments. Even, a lot of times, when I feel stuck with my own study and can't get inspired, I'll call my colleagues to play together and the drumming comes right back after a rehearsal, after just one concert. So I really cherish these collaborations.
Besides music, what other activities bring you the greatest satisfaction?
Beyond music... I'm a simple guy. I like flowers and plants. I have a balcony full of plants and I care a lot about them. And spending time with my wife, of course.
What's next on your agenda after the recital in Bucharest?
Immediately after the recital, I have a concert with soprano Charlotte Hoather. We're playing a recital of Schubert - Strauss - Grieg. After this recital, all my energy goes into a festival created by myself and the trio I'm part of, Chloe Piano Trio - a festival in Greenwich, London, where I live. It will focus on the work of women, poets, and women who have been influential in the arts in general. We've been looking forward to doing this festival that we've been thinking about for two years, but the pandemic has got in the way. So we've been waiting a long time for this moment.
I know that you also do valuable teaching work. How did you decide to take this step into the teaching field?
I remember that this was one of my first desires, from the age of 6-7, to actually be a teacher, not a concert pianist; as I looked at my own teachers and valued them highly. But after that, I didn't think about being a teacher until a few years ago, when I was looking for some stability. I teach at home, I teach students, and I teach at a school near me. Very quickly I realized what a beautiful profession it is to teach children to play the piano and to bring them the joy of understanding music and making music. So I'm very connected to the idea of being a teacher.
Coming back to the event on May 13th, I would like to ask you how you feel about this recital and about your return to Romania, on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum, where in 2022 you were awarded the Second Prize at the "George Enescu" International Competition?
It is an absolute honor to return to the Athenaeum. It will be the second time I will play in Bucharest. The Enescu Competition was my very debut both in Bucharest and at the Athenaeum. It was a rush of emotions that I have never felt before. I suspect I will feel it again when I return in May. I return with great joy and I am honored to have been invited and to be able to reconnect with the country and the Romanian audience.
The recital on May 13th, at the Romanian Athenaeum, takes place under the aegis of "Heirs of Musical Romania" and is co-produced with Artexim. How do you assess the importance of this event?
First of all, I appreciate very much the station and the care that Radio România Muzical and Artexim have had for me, especially since I am a second prize winner at the competition. Often in competitions, all the attention goes to the first prize, and rightly so. But, I really appreciated the support, that both institutions took me under their wing and collaborated to make this recital possible. So I'm excited - they have a lot of projects - to see what the coming years will bring.
Photo credit: Robert Piwko
Translated by Liliana Popescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu