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Interview with Liliana Staicu, Head of The Centre of Cultural Projects and Events from Radio România Muzical

Monday, 6 November 2023 , ora 10.21

Apart from the 95th anniversary since Romanian Broadcasting has come to be, the 1st of November also marks the anniversary of the National Radio Orchestra - on this occasion, we're going to find out more details about the history of Orchestras and Radio Choruses from Liliana Staicu, Head of The Centre of Cultural Projects and Events from Radio România Muzical.

For starters, I believe that it would be interesting to hear about some timestamps from the history of Orchestras and Radio Choruses.

The 1st of November marks the birth of public Radio in Romania, and, at the same time, the one of the National Radio Orchestra. Thus, there have been 95 years since this grand ensemble was founded on the initiative and under the guidance of composer and conductor, Mihail Jora. The same time has passed since it's been making an appearance live on the radio, this being the primordial form of radio music in Romania. Four years later, in 1932, the Radio Orchestra (this was its first title upon foundation), was integrated within the circuit of public season concerts.

Gradually, more joined: the Radio Chorus (in 1940), the Radio Children Chorus (5 years later) - representing a true flourishing spot for talents within the Romanian musical stage; also,the Folk Music Orchestra and the Bandstand Orchestra, later becoming the Big Band Radio in 1949. On the side, another symphonic ensemble was founded in 1947. It was a smaller one, intended for enriching the already-existing Radio musical foundation though recordings - The Studio Orchestra. It was dissolved after three decades, coming back in 1990, under the name of the Radio Chamber Orchestra.

This is the artistic "dowry", if I could call it that way, of public Radio, after the 95 years span that we are celebrating today. Concert seasons that cover a large stylistic palette, with broad addressability to a public that we wish it to be more and more numerous, in Sala Radio, or on frequencies of different radio stations that broadcast all of the orchestras' and Radio Choruses' concerts, live or recorded, depending on the music format of each and every one - Radio România Muzical, Radio România Cultural, Antena Satelor and,sometimes, Radio România Actualități.

What do you think are the accomplishments that stand out from the recent history of the ensembles?

Apart from the concert seasons, which have been unfolding continuously for so many decades, there have been, of course, many other projects that the Orchestras and Radio Choruses have been involved in, the most important one being, without a doubt, the"Radiro" Festival. The only event dedicated to the ensembles which belong to public Radio stations, the"Radiro" Festival has hadfour editions,between 2012 and 2018, and, during the hiatus of the "Enescu Festival",has reunited many renowned symphonic orchestrasin Bucharest, from Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy,Norway, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, and many others, but has also reunitedthe Big Bands of tradition, such as the one of the Danish Broadcasting and the Croatian one - during the 2018 edition. This series has been, unfortunately, interrupted by the pandemic, but we hope we'll be able to resume the long-awaited event by music lovers.

The participation of Orchestras and Radio Choruses at the "George Enescu" International Festival - ever since its first edition, from 1958, - together with celebrities of international interpretative art, conductors and soloists - all of them kept within the tape library of the Radio, have proven each time the undisputed artistic value of these ensembles, appreciated by all the people they have performed alongside with.

Moreover, the Orchestras and Radio Orchestras have joined projects initiated by Radio România Muzical during the last decades -from the point of view of festivals organized under the aegis of the radio station, but also from the one of thewinners of the "Successors of Musical Romania" scholarship participation - a project of great success, aimed at highlighting the most valuable young Romanian musicians.

How do Orchestras and Radio Choruses mark the 95th anniversary of Radio România?

Radio România will have its anniversary this week at Sala Radio, and also during two seasonal concerts - the one of the National Radio Orchestra, which will take place on Friday, November 3rd, with violinist Alexandru Tomescu as a soloist, in the renowned concert by Tchaikovsky; and the one of the Folk Music Orchestra, "95 years of Radio folklore", a production which will reunite renowned names of Romanian folk, together with representatives of the young generations, keepers of traditional Romanian values.

The Big Band Radio proposes a project which reunites fine art with music on November 9th. It is called "Contemporary in Romania" and it is a concert that will include pieces by the Big Band members, but will also include the opening of an art and graphics exhibition - "The Centaur", the link between the two being the fact that the conductress of the Big Band Studio, Simona Strungaru, but also the trumpetist Sebastian Burneci, have composed musical fragments which join the exhibition works.

10th of November marks the debut of the Brahms series - All of the symphonic and concert works of the great German creator, scheduled for the whole performance; The National Radio Orchestra, conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu, with Simon Trpceski as the soloist, playing Concerto No. 2 for the piano and orchestra and the Symphony with the same number. Moreover, during the two concerts of this month, the Chamber Radio Orchestra puts forward pieces that will be heard for the first time at Sala Radio -The Oriental Rhapsody, on topics gathered or composed by Dimitrie Cantemir - written by the first cellist of the ensemble, Radu Sinaci - or the Chamber Symphony, Ludus Modalis III, - an absolute performance - by Sabin Păutza.

And I could never forget the concert of the Radio Academic Chorus of next Wednesday: dedicated to the entire creation of Edvard Grieg - 180 years have passed since his birth (2023).

Interview by Petre Fugaciu
Translated by Adelina-Maria Mănăilescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu