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Interview with pianist Steluța Radu

Thursday, 26 October 2023 , ora 10.28

From October 15th to the 22nd, the 4th edition of the International Duo Competition "Suzana Szörenyi," organized by the Majura Christ Association, took place. We will learn about how everything happened and the results from pianist Steluța Radu, who was also a member of the jury.

Mrs. Steluța Radu, last night the final of the 4th edition of the International Duo Competition "Suzana Szorenyi" took place on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum, in the company of the Royal Camerata conducted by Cristian Mandeal. What does the podium look like?

Last night, the podium looked like on a festive day. And that's exactly what it was, a celebration! We enjoyed three concerts for two pianos and orchestra - featuring the concertos of Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Poulenc - performed at a high professional level. The Royal Camerata, conducted by Maestro Cristian Mandeal, played with great passion, and the audience was enthusiastic.

Two Third ex aequo Prizes were awarded to the duos Susanna de Secondi - Elias Opferkuch from Germany and Mayuko Hasuno - Yui Hasuno from Japan. The Second Prize was not awarded, and the First Prize was won by a duo from Japan, Nao Kanemura - Yoshiaki Sato.

As a jury member, what did you appreciate the most about the competitors?

From my point of view, I appreciated their ability to navigate and delve into a vast and stylistically complex repertoire - both two-piano and four-hand works were required. And last but not least, I appreciated the synergy created between the two partners to achieve a cohesive, creative, and spontaneous artistic performance.

How would you describe the participants' level, and how did the collaboration with the other jury members go?

The level was quite high, especially among the three duos that made it to the final.

Regarding the collaboration with my colleagues, the judging process was more than wonderful. Last night, all of us were experiencing a sense of nostalgia because it marked the end of a week filled with high-quality music and, last but not least, emotional connection among us.

You are also the president of the "Majura Christ" Association, the organizer of the International Duo Competition "Suzana Szorenyi" - a unique project for Romania. How would you describe the evolution of the competition over time, and what future plans do you have for its development?

First and foremost, I would like to mention that this project is not unique only in Romania; it is unique in Europe, and as far as we know, last night marked a world premiere for this type of competition with the introduction of a final for two pianos and orchestra.

It'svery challenging to build such a project, starting with the need to have two pianos on stage and rehearsal space for the competitors. Then, there are numerous financial and organizational challenges. The project has evolved significantly and diversified over time. It began with two stages and expanded to three stages. It started with multiple categories, and due to the pandemic and current circumstances, this year, only the pianistic duo format was possible. We designed it as a project to encompass two fundamental categories: lied, meaning piano and voice, and pianistic duo.

Of course, there are many ideas for the future, but I prefer to keep a hint of mystery and not reveal what we have in mind just yet.

I don't want to conclude this interview without mentioning that I've been organizing this event since 2016 alongside my friend and pianist, Professor Viorica Rădoi. Last but not least, I have to thank Arcub, without which this edition could not have taken place.

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