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Interview with Dr. Mircea Penescu, the concertmaster of the “Dr. Ermil Nichifor” Physicians’ Orchestra

Monday, 11 December 2023 , ora 10.56

Mr. Mircea Penescu, the Saturday concert by the Physicians' Orchestra is held for a charitable cause. Who will benefit financially from this event?

It's a charitable concert aimed at cancer patients, both adults and children. This is, in fact, our second successful attempt, I hope, to assist this disadvantaged group, towards whom we have a great deal of empathy and affection. We are striving with all our might to stand by their side in this manner, drawing attention to those in dire need of help through our musical efforts, seeking to raise awareness and make the world more attentive to those who are suffering and in need. It's a charitable concert for patients with neoplasms.

Why is it important for doctors to engage in music?

This intellectual caste of doctorshas a traditional affinity for art and music because music, with the harmony it introduces into the world of sounds, brings a bit of the tranquility and balance so necessary to the restless and tension-filled life of a doctor. It's a tradition in the medical world for doctors, even if they don't play an instrument, to still love music and listen to it with great joy. The existence of an Orchestra made solely out of doctors in Romania - which has been going on since 1954, when the Physicians' Orchestra has been established - signifies that this pillar is very strong here. It's not just about collective enjoyment or a simple gathering for us; it's about conveying a musical message of joy, peace, and hope to our audience, which includes numerous patients. Music is an integral part, if you will, of the psychological makeup of a true doctor.

Who are thespecial guests?

The concert will take place on the 9th of December at the Bucharest National Opera House. It's a grand-scale event, and, indeed, this time we have a high-profile guest, one of the finest sopranos from the United Kingdom, Lesley Garrett, who will perform in the first part of the concert, featuring a repertoire ranging from classical to musical. In addition to that, there are Romanian artists invited, but the concert is structured as a surprise, thereforeI wouldn't want to reveal everything now. Ciprian Porumbescu'smusicis part of the program this year, as it marks the year of Ciprian Porumbescu. We are among the first to interpret the "Camelii Waltz", a piece composed in Vienna by Ciprian Porumbescu and first performed by an orchestra led by Johann Strauss in the same city, under the baton of Eduard Strauss, the brother of the famous Johann Strauss. So, something truly special. The program will also include the great composer Eugen Doga, who has specially composed a piece for this concert. It will be a very diverse program, and I hope it will excite the audience, but I want to emphasize once again that our message is to draw attention, beyond joy, happiness, and hope, to the fact that there are people who are deeply troubled, suffering, and in need, andwe should offer them a little bit of our abundance.

Interview by Ana Sireteanu
Translated by Marian-Cătălin Niculăescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu