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Interview with conductor Jessica Cottis

Monday, 20 March 2023 , ora 11.08

Conductor Jessica Cottis will lead the Radio National Orchestra during tomorrow evening's concert, which starts at 9 pm. On this occasion, the artist offered more details while chatting with Ioana Țintea.

Jessica Cottis, after your appearance at the 2021 edition of the"George Enescu" Festival, you return before the Romanian public, this time, together with the Radio National Orchestra. How do you describe your collaboration with the ensemble
's musicians?

I am glad to be coming back to Romania. I had a wonderful experience two years ago when I took part in the "George Enescu" Festival, which was also held at Radio Hall, so I am quite familiar with the place. It is the first time that I'm conducting the Radio National Orchestra and, even though we only had two rehearsalsup until now, everything went great. We rehearsed a lot of Stravinski in order to make this piece come alive. It is not so difficult as "The Rite of spring", but it requires collaboration between the parties. Therefore, we put a lot of effort into this aspect.It is wonderful and I am so enthusiastic about it.

In the first part of the evening, you will conduct the piece"Levante" by Dan Dediu. I know that you also conducted the "Thorns" piece by the same author. How did the conversation between you two go?

Amazing! He is a fantastic composer, one of whom Romania should be truly proud of. I was delighted to be able to propose another piece of Dan Dediu's, so I chose "Levante". This composition is surprising, it is full of contrasts, of emotional intensity and truly distinct in terms of rhythm.It is comprised of folklore-inspired fragmentswhich are reminiscent of a musical holiday. It is a wonderful work. We feel amazing when performing it.

Later in the evening, how did you make up the program?

I already knew that the program consisted of Liszt's Concerto No. 1 and I was wondering which piece could make the concert work as a whole. And this is how I took into consideration one of Stravinki's creations, since it would perfectly fit this concert. I thought about a pleasant contrast, but at the same time a coherent one, in order to make a swift transition from Liszt to the world of "dolls" and the fantastic stories of Stravinski. After that, I asked myself: which piece would be best suited for the evening'sdebut? What opus is strong enough to join Stravinski? Since I mainly conduct contemporary music, I thought that Dan Dediu's "Levante"was the best choice for the opening scene of the concert. It generates balance for Stravinki's "Petrushka".

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