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Interview with Monica Isăcescu about Houses of Musicians, an award-winning project at the Musicrit Gala

Monday, 30 January 2023 , ora 10.56

Saturday, January 14th, the first edition of the "Musicrit" Awards Gala took place, organized by the Union of Music Critics, Editors and Music Producers from Romania. The Award for cultural projects was given to the House of Musicians project. We learn more details from Monica Isăcescu, the initiator of the project, in an interview given to Ioana Țintea.

Monica Isăcescu, on Saturday, January 14th, you received the Award for cultural projects at the first edition of the "Musicrit" Awards Gala. What does this reward mean to you as the coordinator of the House of Musicians project?

It was obviously a great jubilation and I am grateful to Mrs. Luminița Arvunescu, president of the Union of Music Critics, Editors and Music Producers from Romania, who offered us this award. It was a validation of the idea that represented the basis of the House of Musicians project from the very beginning and that of creating a site on which you could find, for a start, the houses where the great musicians of Bucharest lived, biographical pages of these musicians, pages with architectural descriptions of the respective houses and a chapter of which I am very proud of, Testimonies, in which those who knew the musicians mentioned tell us about the atmosphere that existed in the respective houses, the music halls, the interesting meetings of the Romanian intelligentsia that took place in these houses. So, getting back to it, obviously this award is a great joy and a new validation after the ones we received from the Romanian Order of Architects, ARCUB and the Center of Projects of the Municipality of Timișoara.

Who did you collaborate with for this project?

The Houses of Musicians project enjoys the participation of a team of professionals, a part of which you already know because they are musicologists and show producers at Radio România Muzical. First of all we have Ștefan Costache, my colleague, with whom I started this endeavor, then Ioana Marghita, Larisa Clempuș, Andreea Kiseleff and Petre Fugaciu. From the architecture team i would like to name Andreea Chirică, the one who signs the architectural description of the houses in Bucharest and Gabriela Domookos-Pașcu and Maja Bâldea, architects from Timișoara, then the architects and the photographers Andrei Mărgulescu and Ovidiu Micșa, who visually documented the site and, of course, the web-designer Daniel Ivașcu, who structured our site. And because the site of the Houses of Musicians project also has an English version, the translations were handled by Maria Monica Bojin.

Last year, the Houses of Musicians project also achieved a national reach. You launched in Timișoara the illustrated map of the musicians' houses. Do you plan to have such a map for Bucharest as well?

Yes, indeed, since last year the architect and illustrator Ana Bănică has joined our team. She's a colleague with an absolutely special talent, who made the illustrations of the houses in the project. Some of them have already been found on the map of the city Timișoara, which we launched at the end of the past year and soon we will launch the map of Bucharest, on which you will discover 60 houses, performance halls and musical institutions designed by Ana Bănică.

How do you wish the House of MMusicians project to develop in the future?

Of course, our purpose is to develop this project as much as possible, to reach the main cities of Romania, because each of them has a musical culture and history which deserve to be known and perpetuated, but for now I prefer to stop here and reveal the news at the right time.

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