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Interview with Petrut Constantinescu, the manager of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Râmnicu Vâlcea

Thursday, 23 November 2023 , ora 10.44

Mr Petruț Constantinescu, on Monday , on the 20th of November, the Ion Dumitrescu Philharmonic Orchestra in Râmnicu Vâlcea will perform a concert dedicated to Robert Schumann. The event will feature, as soloists, the cellist Alina Holender and the pianist Paul Florescu, and the programme will include two premieres on the town's stage. What exactly is it about?

On Monday, at 19.00, in the Lahovari Hall, the Philharmonic Orchestra will have as guest conductor Alexandru Ilie. It is the Schumann festival: the Concerto for cello and orchestra performed by Alina Holender, the Concerto for piano and orchestra performed by Paul Florescu and the Overture, Scherzo and Finale op.52, as well as the Overture "Hermann and Dorothea" op.136 - two works that, indeed, have never been played before at the Ion Dumitrescu Philharmonic.

Tell us about the Schumann Festival!

It is part of the series of festivals that we organize, in the sense that we try to offer to the music-loving public not always perhaps the most representative, but, here, also less known and less sung works, so we dedicate the whole evening to a composer - not exceptionally, linked to an anniversary, linked to a concert, to a specific date. I must confess that at the request of many music lovers we do these kinds of concerts where the orchestra and guests only offer the works of one composer.

In terms of the cultural offer of the Ion Dumitrescu Philharmonic, what are the events of the institution's season that the public should not miss?

We are extremely glad to tell you that, since the opening of the season, the Ion Dumitrescu Philharmonic Hall is becoming more and more crowded. So we were happy to have a sold out Tchaikovsky on Monday, November 13th. We are glad that next Monday we found out that the hall is almost full.

I want to tell you that next week, on November 27th, in Râmnicu Vâlcea, the 2nd edition of the Academic Piano Competition will take place - a competition dedicated to young people over 18, where the last three (finalists), after having passed the elimination stages on Friday and Saturday, will compete live, with the audience in the hall, accompanied by the symphony orchestra and each of the three will perform a Concert.

Afterwards, we will have a very interesting recital the day before National Day. Ozana Barabancea will be in Râmnicu Vâlcea, accompanied by the pianist Galina Nemțeanu, with a patriotic recital.

On December 1st, we have chosen on National Day to offer the music-loving public "Ion Voicu Centenary". Pianist Mădălin Voicu Jr. and violinist Florin Galați come to Râmnicu Vâlcea with an extraordinary National Day recital.

Winter, in musical terms, of course begins on December 1st. Then, on December 4th, the flutist Cătălin Oprițoiu will offer us the Concerto for flute and orchestra by Saverio Mercadante, with Tiberiu Dragoș Oprea at the music desk.

We go with a very nice recital with Ștefan Doniga and Diana Jipa on December 5th. On the 6th of December, we are preparing a surprise concert for Santa Claus. On December 11th, Maestro Daniel Manasi will conduct the symphony orchestra and the Eufonia Choir in a vocal-symphony. On December 18th, the authentic Johann Strauss Orchestra from Vienna, under the baton of Russel McGregor, comes to Râmnicu Vâlcea with a very special concert. Then, on December 22nd, we will have a special concert that everyone is waiting for, because it is the most complete concert that the Ion Dumitrescu Philharmonic is preparing for the winter holidays.

Since we are in a difficult period, when budget expenses have been reduced, I would like to ask you if these reductions affect the artistic activity of the Ion Dumitrescu Philharmonic?

Yes. It is not the only institution affected. Several philharmonics have these problems, and we are one of them, because following that law of the Ordinance no. 90 forced us to calculate and in culture, a lot of funds will go back to the state budget, despite the fact that the authorising officers, especially the City Hall of Râmnicu Vâlcea, had organised themselves very well and had given us everything we needed to be able to hold the planned concerts, and now we have had to give up some big names, some large-scale repertoires, because if we had incurred those expenses, the average I was talking about would have been exceeded. It is a difficult time that we all hope to overcome and next year will bring better news.

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