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Interview with conductor Ciprian Țuțu

Monday, 13 November 2023 , ora 10.09

"Grieg-The Poetry of the North" is the title of the concert proposed on Wednesday, November 8th, by the Academic Radio Choir. Ciprian Țuțu, the ensemble's conductor, talks about the event in an interview with Ioana Țintea.

Mr. Ciprian Țuțu, the concert on the 8th November heeled by the Radio Academic Choir is an anniversary event with two meanings. On one hand, you are marking the 180th anniversary of Edvard Grieg's birth with a programme entirely dedicated to the Norwegian composer, and on the other hand, perhaps the most important, the Rdaio Academic Choir celebrated 83 years of artistic activity on 5th November. How did you plan this special event and what is the atmosphere you want to create?

We are delighted and it is a great honour for me personally to be the conductor of this traditional ensemble, the oldest symphonic vocal ensemble in the country, as you have rightly noted, with 83 years of uninterrupted activity of the highest order. For me, the fact that this bitter taste remained after the pandemic, having failed in the eighth decade to realize the anniversary concerts imagined at the time, we are trying to recover now and here we are, practically now, at 83 years old, we have the opportunity to play an absolutely unique program. It is a first for the local area, I dare say, that we have chosen for this program, in addition to the last cycle of four psalms, it is the swan song, so to speak, of the composer, we have also chosen an original version of the Peer Gynt suite, perhaps the best known of Grieg's scores, with the help of Maestro Ioan Dobrinescu who has helped us on so many occasions and served us well, so to speak. He is a talented composer with a lot of passion in everything he does. He responded to our invitation to arrange the entire Peer Gynt suite for choral voices, so here is the novelty. Of course to understand the story and get the full picture of a troubled man's life as the hero Peer Gynt. We also invited our own reciter, I would say, because actor Mihai Bisericanu was once part of the Academic Radio Choir. So here is a joy, a celebration of the choir, a celebration of music that we hope as many people as possible will enjoy, both in the hall and on the airwaves.

Tell us about the soloists of the evening.

As you know from our concerts, the Radio Academic Choir, I always prefer to choose soloists from the members of the Academic Choir, because it is a very good collective. For the first cycle of psalms we have Cristian Ruja-baritone as soloist, and for the arrangement by Ioan Dobrinescu we have sopranos Olga Caia and Virineia Pîrnău as soloists. To complete the list of our collaborators we mention Lucian Maxim and Ali Cezar Srouji, two members of the National Radio Orchestra who will take over the percussion part of this concert and last but not least, our dear pianist Carmen Săndulescu.

Since you are in the last minutes with the preparation of the concert on Wednesday 8th November, how are the rehearsals going?

Surely the time was as always too short, this time maybe even very short, because after the choir's, let me say, without fear of too big words, brilliant participation in the Enescu Festival, where we had five appearances with orchestras and great conductors of the world, I immediately loved the season with a symphonic vocal concert with the National Orchestra, choruses from Wagner operas and we have basically only two weeks left to prepare this concert, but I rely on the professionalism of my colleagues and I hope for the success of this concert.

What's next for the Academic Radio Choir after the concert on Wednesday 8th November?

It's also a period in which I'm glad we have more appearances than usual. Also this month there will be another symphonic vocal performance with the National Orchestra, Rossini's Stabat Mater, and in December we will have an opera gala, our Christmas concert with a collaboration with the Radio Trombone Quartet, and just before Christmas we will be invited to participate with our colleagues from the Radio Big Band on December 21st.

Interview by Ioana Țintea
Translated by Andreea Iulia Udroiu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu