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About the 'George Georgescu' International Contest of Musical Interpretation in Tulcea
What do the 'George Georgescu' Contest and its twentieth editions, which are celebrated this year, mean for the institution you lead?
The 'George Georgescu' International Competition means a lot to the 'George Georgescu'Art High school. We took the initiative 20 years ago, as an 'advantage' to the students and teachers of our art school. As a matter of fact, we thought it would be better if our students found out children`s work from all over the country, listened to each other and, thereby, to motivate them to study and want to go in for competitions. So first, we thought of our students and how we could enrich the quality in our high school, and we somehow have succeeded. It`s not me who says, because it would be nice, but these are the judges 'words, because they came here several editions and witnessed that not only the competition, but also the students of our high school became better and better. So, from this point of view, I dare say we have achieved this goal.
This competition is an international one. You have the opportunity of a very large presence. I know this does not happen generally in competitions, as most organizers are struggling to have a good grip on students, the competitors in general. How can you attract students to the contest here?
Indeed, the competitions have increased dramatically in the country. When we started in 1993, I think it was the third contest: one was in Constanța, and the second in Suceava. Meanwhile, almost every county has one musical contest. Being honest, we have not ever felt the lack of competitors. We have always had many children. I do not want to boast, but probably they felt good at Tulcea, they might have felt being judged to their fair value, and it is also very important the organization of each contest. I myself have participated in competition with my students. Where things go wrong, I do not go back the second time. Perhaps this is one of the secrets of success of a contest.
Related to the repertoire, maybe there are some elements. Have you considered the repertoire in a specific way, more accessible, in accordance with the curriculum?
We only wanted to draw children to come and sing here in Tulcea. We took into consideration an accessible repertoire. Certainly you can go in the contest having a difficult repertoire, higher than curriculum, but even so, the children came. Those who had modest repertoire realized what level was here and in the years to come they came better prepared. So, the opinion is that in Tulcea it is a difficult competition, despite the fact that the repertoire - a study and two works, mandatory pre-classical and classic, and the third work is an elective one - has a rather wide range of musical works from which they can choose. But they learned that here, at Tulcea you cannot come just like that and this impression males us very.
For such a contest it is a great need for funds. I know that you benefit of the local support, and above everything, of Mrs. Ioana Georgescu Raileanu`s support. Tell us about the help you can count on for the competition.
Always, the local authorities were the lucky part of this county. They are very close to everything that has an artistic touch. Our "Georgescu" contest has never had problems in financing; I refer to the Tulcea County Council and the City Hall of Tulcea. As much money was written in the project, as we thought, they helped us, and even now, during this crisis. And I want to express my gratitude. It is a great help, because we have a very small fee, among the lowest in the country; we do not rely on fee, however we strive to give very nice prizes for those who make the sacrifice and come to Tulcea - because Tulcea is, more or less, one end of the country - so, they must be rewarded, in an appropriate way. We try to do our best every year. Mrs. Ioana Georgescu Răileanu and her family`s financial support was very large. Firstly we were honoured when Mrs. Tutu and Mrs Ioana Georgescu Răileanu came here and from that moment on they decided to offer the Grand Prize. Unfortunately Mrs. Georgescu Tutu is no longer with us, but Mrs. Ioana Georgescu Răileanu has been involved body and soul into the competition and keeps offering the Grand Prize. We are deeply grateful for this.
How many awards do you have and what is the Grand Prize?
We give awards for each class - three awards and honourable mentions, for each instrument - for all sections; and the Grand Prize, accordingly to the tradition of the contest, is chosen within the Gala. The judges choose the best representatives from each section, the children play in the Gala and then, on the spot, the jury meets and decides, based on that musical artistry during the Gala, who is the great winner of the Grand Prize. It is a substantial prize, I do not have Mrs. Georgescu`s permission to reveal how much is this award, but I know it is substantial. There is also a trophy that we offer each year altogether with the award; there is a very nice painting, with a landscape from Sulina, the birthplace of master George Georgescu, signed by Viorel Poiată, a local painter, that he offers it every year.
I started by asking you what this contest means for your institution. I will conclude by asking what this contest means for Tulcea, because I have noticed that there is a particular enthusiasm among everybody and you have a lot of people around you. What is the significance of the Contest 'George Georgescu' for Tulcea City?
When May begins, everyone automatically thinks about the 'George Georgescu' Contest. Authorities are involved, many people are involved. May is the month of the Contest 'George Georgescu' - everything is vivid, the streets are filled with children who have instruments with them, or parents. It means a lot, considering that in Tulcea there is no orchestra or Philharmonic. From this point of view, we are yet widowed. People come and listen to, because there are a lot of music lovers in Tulcea, and then, indeed, it is the event everyone is waiting for all year.
Translated by Alinda-Gabriela Ivanov
MTTLC, Bucharest University