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Interview with Ovidiu Andriș, general director of the Banat Philharmonic from Timișoara

Wednesday, 18 October 2023 , ora 11.35

The 2023 "Remus Georgescu" International Festival-Contest begins today in Timișoara. We learn more about the structure of the new edition from Ovidiu Andriș, general director of the Philharmonic "Banatul" from Timișoara, in a conversation with Sarah Natsis:

Mr. Ovidiu Andriș, the "Banatul" Philharmonic of Timișoara is organizing the 10th edition of the "Remus Georgescu" International Festival - Competition taking place from the 16th to the 26th of October, 2023. The theme of this new edition is "Sound sculptures". What is the meaning of this theme and what can you tell us about the connection between the work of maestro Remus Georgescu and that of sculptor Constantin Brâncuși?

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to present the 10thedition of this festival, presented last year as a memorial to Remus Georgescu. We are pleased with the fact that this festival can take place in Timisoara. Certainly, maestro Georgescu drew a lot of his inspiration from sculptures. He was also good friends with Mr. Peter Jecza and it doesn't come as a surprise that he highly admired Brancusi's work. These sound images are also found in Georgescu's works and that is why we have called this edition "Sound Sculptures".

Up until last year, the project was called "Intrada", International New Music Festival. How did the name change and why?

The reason for last year's change was our wish to have maestro Georgescu's spirit live on here, in Timisoara. He worked in Timisoara for a long time, was an exceptional composer and an exceptional teacher for the young generation. To us, those of the "Banatul" Philharmonic, it was of great importance that his spirit carried onliving in this context, may I also say in our collective memory. In addition to that, right by the entrance of the philharmonic we have the bust of maestro Georgescu created by Mr. Jecza and we are pleased to announce that from now on, this festival will be called "Remus Georgescu".

What can you tell us about the songwriting competition organized right under the festival's roof?

This competition has just finished a month ago - we had about 130 participants who applied. This is the second edition of our songwriting competition. After this selection period, each songwriter will compose a piece for an ensemble and a venue in Timisoara, which will be performed on the 22nd of October for the Arad concert.

First and foremost, we are very happy that our city gets to hold on to these pieces, and become its intangible heritage. And we are thrilled to be a part of this competition.

Through this whole project you aim to encourage contemporary music by worshipping contemporary artists and new pieces. Why do you think it is important to promote this music?

First of all, it is very important to promote contemporary music and to promote the young songwriters who compose this music. As we know, the music itself is quite avant-garde and not so pleasing to the ear, but as time passes by, it becomes a "habit", we get used to these sounds - it is both rhythmic and timbral. As I was saying, it becomes heritage and it is very important for us that these young songwriters are part of this festival and have a festival dedicated to them in Timisoara.

In closing, tell us about the concerts and related activities that will take place in the upcoming period.

As you have already mentioned, the festival kicks off on the 16th of October. As you can probably see, pretty much every concert has a name. The first concert, "Sonosculpturiclujene" with the ensemble "Couleurs" on the 16th, at 19.00.

On the 17th, Adriana Toacsen, the "Encore" project, at the "Maria Theresia" Bastion, also at 7 pm. On the 18th, "Ritmosculpturi" with the ensemble "Percutissimo" led by Mr Doru Roman. Next, on the 21st, "Frescosculpturi con moto" with Duo Serafim together with Mircea Marian and Ștefan Cazacu.

On the 22nd of October, Sunday - "Sonosculpturi urbane", a touring concert. What's happening in this touring concert? The works of these five selected composers are presented. A group of people depart from the Central Park where they listen to the first piece, they arrive at the Cărturești Bookshop in Victoriei Square, then they go to the Romanian Opera in Timișoara in the foyer, then they arrive at the "Maria Theresia" Bastion and this journey ends at the Roman Catholic Cathedral.

On the 23rd of October - "Sonosculpturifilacademice", where we involve musicians from the "Banatul" Philharmonic. It was very important for us who want to explore this world of new music. In 24 - "Exosculptures" and Martin Wistinghausen and the ATEM Ensemble from Timișoara.

On the 25th, we have a Symposium of the Union of Romanian Composers and Musicologists in the "Orfeum" Hall. And the festival ends on the 26th with "Balkan Sound sculptures" featuring Sasa Mirkovic and the "Metamorfosis" Ensemble. We have a very important guest on October 19th - the "Vokal Dresden" Auditive Ensemble, conducted by Olaf Katzer; in the programme - works by Bauckholt, Pop, Hübner, Rotaru, Goldmann, Lassmann and of course Johannes Brahms, who also performed in Timișoara.

Interview by Sarah Natsis
Translated by Andreea Georgiana Bogdan,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu