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Diana Dembinski-Vodă, Guest of the week at Perpetuum mobile

Monday, 3 April 2023 , ora 11.46

The Union of Composers and Musicologists from Romania, through the Vocal Music Section, organizes the 8th edition of the National Choral Creation Competition for young composers - project manager Diana Dembinski-Vodă, Guest of the Week at Perpetuum mobile, edition of March 29th, 2023.

Live by phone, composer Diana Dembinski-Vodă. It's good to hear you!

Good evening!

Glad to hear you! You are the coordinator of the National Competition of Choral Creation for Young Composers, reaching its eighth edition in 2023. It is a competition organized by the Union of Composers and Musicologists from Romania. The final will take place later this week - Saturday 1 April. Before talking about the gala event, please give us more details about the selection stage of the works. Who is the competition for?

The contest actually started in October, when we presented the rules of the contest, with a submission deadline of January, so that young composers would have time to write works especially for this occasion.

The selection was made around February 1st. There was a jury made up of Cristian Alexandru Petrescu, Grigore Cudalbu and the undersigned. We had 20 or so works and we stopped at 12 of them, for all 3 categories of the contest which is aimed at young people between 18 and 33 years old.

12 works have reached the final on Saturday, April 1, which will take place from 11:00 a.m., in the "George Enescu" Hall of the National University of Music in Bucharest. You enjoy the support of 3 ensembles for this event. What are they and how will the final play out?

Their support was a crucial one because if we didn't have this collaboration of their lordships, of the conductors of these formations, practically this contest could not take place; not in this format, which is somewhat demanding, but very stimulating for creators. So, for the 3 competition categories, we collaborated as follows: with Aurel Muraru, who directs the Girls' Choir of the First Year (Why girls? Because it is about the Didactic Creation category for children); then, for the category Creation for children's choir, I enjoyed the support of Luminița Guțanu Stoian, who directs the "Symbol-Jean Lupu" Choir; and, for the Mixed Choir Category, we have the joy of having the 6 works performed by Andrei Stănculescu at the "Preludiu-Voicu Enăchescu" Choir stand.

Therefore, a collaboration with the "Romanian Youth" Cultural Center, for this gala, partners alongside the National University of Music in Bucharest, but also the National Choral Association from Romania.

The National Choral Association was established in the early 90s, through the care, interest, effort and enthusiasm of 3 personalities - Irina Odăgescu-Țuțuianu, Dan Buciu and Voicu Enăchescu... I think Petre Crăciun as well, but I am not very sure. At the initiative of this association, this type of competition was established. There have been several editions but, over time, they have unfortunately become rarer and now I have taken this initiative to resume this type of competition which seems to me salutary for the current Romanian choral creation.

And since we are talking, after all, about a competition, what are the prizes offered in the National Choral Competition?

The prizes are high, I like to think, compared to other contests. We have the financial support of the Rotary Club-Curtea Veche for the prizes, which are from 3000 lei, the largest, for the First Mixed Choir Prize, to the smallest, which is 1000 lei for the Third Prize, Didactic. We also have 2 very substantial special prizes from the Composers' Union; one for the mixed choir category, one for the children's choir category - 2500 and 1500 lei, respectively. And the UCMR-ADA Copyright Association supports us with exactly the same amounts. So the prizes are many and substantial. We even have a special award from the Patriarchate Choir for the best religious work.

Of course, it will be a chance for young composers to have these works taken up and then performed in the programs of ensembles in the country. Saturday's gala will be open to the public, right?

Absolutely. We are waiting for all those interested, as many as possible - the Enescu Hall is spacious - and we hope to offer you a nice program. He is well dosed. These 12 works mean neither more nor less. It will take about an hour or so. There will be a deliberative break and we certainly expect the audience to stay tuned and then watch the awards ceremony. It's interesting to see who was awarded and how!

So, on Saturday, April 1st, at 11:00 a.m., in the "George Enescu" Hall of the National University of Music in Bucharest, the 8th edition of the National Competition of Choral Creation for Young Composers. Diana Dembinski-Vodă, thank you for your presence in Perpetuum mobile!

Interview by Lucian Haralambie
Translated by Georgiana-Carmen Rădulescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu