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Andrei Ioniță - artist in residence of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic in the 2023 - 2024 period

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 , ora 14.13

The cellist Andrei Ioniță will give an extraordinary recital on Sunday, October 29th, starting at 19:00, in the Great Hall of the Athenaeum; he will perform the complete 6 suites for solo cello by Johann Sebastian Bach. Artist in residence of the George Enescu Philharmonic for the 2023-2024 season, the musician will thus inaugurate the series of recitals and concerts he will give on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum, which he talked about in the "Guest of the Week" section of the Perpetuum mobile edition of October 27th.

Welcome, Andrei!

Welcome back!

I'm glad to see you again in the Radio România Muzical studio. We're talking about a news that has been out for a while - in the 2023-2024 season, you are artist in residence of the George Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest. What exactly will this mean?

I'm happy to continue a year of artistic residency in Timisoara with this wonderful artistic residency with the "George Enescu" Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest. This status of artist in residence implies various collaborations during the season as a soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the possibility of concerts and recitals solo or in chamber ensembles.

It has always been a childhood dream and I believe it is every cellist's childhood dream to tackle the complete solo cello suites by Johann Sebastian Bach in one evening. And I am grateful to the George Enescu Philharmonic for the opportunity and for the fact that I was able to fulfill this dream, not to mention the fact that it will be performed in front of my home audience at the Romanian Athenaeum.

We have started talking about the first project resulting from this new artist-in-residence status. On Sunday October 29th, it will happen, at the Romanian Athenaeum, starting at 7pm. Why did you choose this full-length integral as your first project?

This was a project I had been preparing for for a long time. Practically from the moment I started playing the cello. I remember that I started studying Suite No. 1 when I was in 5th grade, and in the course of my studies the six suites were added. I've had quite often the opportunity to play maybe three or even four solo suites in a concert or, in a solo recital, to include a suite or two, but I haven't yet had the opportunity to somehow expose the whole narrative thread of the six suites and to present their motivic, thematic development in terms of formal chromatic complexity... We can obviously also discuss the structure of the six suites for interested listeners.

Yes, this suite cycle is something of a Mount Everest for any instrumentalist and is a peak I look forward to finally reaching on Sunday evening.

These six suites are also historically very important, not only because they are the reference works written for our instrument in the Baroque repertoire, but also because they were practically rediscovered a hundred years ago by the legendary cellist Pablo Casals, who re-published them and to whom we are extremely grateful not only for revolutionising the instrument, but also for bringing back this reference cycle in our repertoire.

How will you continue this activity as artist in residence of the George Enescu Philharmonic? For 2024, what have you proposed to the Philharmonic?

I will have another collaboration with the Philharmonic Orchestra in April. Also, still during this year, I ask the Romanian public, the public in Bucharest, not to make plans on November 29th and 30th. Of course there will be bridge days, but we are looking forward to seeing them at the Athenaeum, where we will have two concerts in the season dedicated to Romania's National Day. The concerts of that week will also have a preview in Rome on November 27th. I hope I am already allowed to announce this event. But it will also be a special event organised in collaboration with the Romanian Embassy in Italy and we are happy to present a wonderful programme both in Rome and Bucharest.

What does your calendar look like for the end of 2023? There are only two months left.

I mentioned those concerts in Bucharest, in Rome. I will have other concerts in Italy, in Florence, Siena, other places in Tuscany. In two weeks', time, I'll have a collaboration with pianist Elena Bashkirova in Dresden... and other concerts both in Berlin and in other European countries.

Andrei Ionita, thank you so much for being in Perpetuum mobile! I'll repeat the information: Sunday, October 29th, at 7 pm - The complete cello suites by Johann Sebastian Bach. A very important moment, as I mentioned earlier, a moment that we rarely see on the stages of Bucharest and beyond. The final invitation I will ask you to make for this recital once again.

I invite you to share a unique experience, a transcendental experience, after all, with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, the composer closest to heaven.

Interview by Lucian Haralambie
Translated by Bianca Daniela Penaru,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu