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Johann Strauss International Festival

Monday, 23 August 2010 , ora 12.58
The ninth edition of the Johann Strauss International Festival is going to unfold in Bucharest between the 22nd and 29th of August, an event that features- within important cultural places such as the Romanian Athenaeum, the Cotroceni National Museum and the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Cathedral- recitals, concerts, auditions, recordings and conferences. Josefina Rodica – the Festival’s manager, told us about the invitations and the programme of this edition:

“The purpose of this Festival is that of bringing to light certain musical pieces of great value written by foreign composers, but also by the Romanian Iosif Ivanovici, as a mean of bringing harmony and music into the field of social life. The programme contains representative pieces from the ethno-cultural mosaic of the Danubian countries and not only. We wanted to bring up-to-date the waltz, so, with respect to this, we managed to introduce within the Festival a new work - The Black Sea Waltz signed by the Austrian conductor and composer Christian Schulz, which will be presented in an absolute premiere on the 22nd of August within the Athenaeum Concert. Also, for the first time in Romania, it will be performed the Overture to the Operetta Prince Methuselah of the composer Johann Strauss – the son.

Among the guests, besides Christian Schulz, there will be the young and talented composer, pianist and organist Király Csaba from Hungary, as well as musicians from Germany and Japan”.

Declaration taken by Larisa Clempuº

The opening of the 19th edition of the Johann Strauss International Festival was held on Sunday, August 22, 2010.

In the presence of His Royal Highnesses, Prince Paul of Romania and Princess Lia, the festival organized by the Romanian Association of Waltz lovers Johann Strauss opened with a concert of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Austrian conductor Christian Schulz.

Most works in the programme of the evening belonged to Johann Strauss, the son, among which there were inserted excerpts from La Bohème by Puccini or from operettas by Franz Lehar and Emmerich Kalman, with Patricia Seymour as a soloist. Patricia Seymour was born in New York and graduated from the National Music University in Bucharest; the soprano became famous for her strong and expressive voice, although in her collaboration with the orchestra there were, at times, some disparities.

Another special feature of the program was constituted by the Morning Star waltz by Joseph Ivanovich, and by a waltz, written especially for the occasion by the conductor Christian Schulz. The musical piece was very original by its colourful mode, by its improvisational trait towards the ending, and by its drama which seemed to be taken from film music.

Invited for the sixth time to perform in the Johann Strauss festival, Christian Schulz tried to imprint, on both the orchestra and the audience, that unmistakable note of the Viennese waltz, and we definitely could consider its approach a successful one.

The orchestra created moments of cheerfulness, sensitivity or strength, being accompanied by the public when interpreting the famous Radetzky March- performed twice on the public’s request- and thus bringing to Bucharest an atmosphere resembling that of the New Year concert in Vienna.

Andreea Chiselev

Translated by Elena-Loredana Pastrav, Neculai Cristina and Andreea Velicu
MA Students, MTTLC, Bucharest University