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Reportage - Gala Concert at the Romanian Athenaeum

Monday, 9 April 2012 , ora 10.36
On Sunday, 8th April, 2012, instrumentalists from the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Suisse Romande Orchestra, along with young Romanian musicians selected by the conductor Christian Badea through national auditions, performed by the name of London Bucharest Festival Orchestra at the Romanian Athenaeum.

Christian Badea is also the person who recently founded the Romanian Foundation for Excellence in Music, aiming to support the talented musicians in Romania by creating opportunities for training and professional development. The concert held on Sunday also had as guests two Romanian musicians who perform abroad: the violinists Remus Azoiței, professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and Bogdan Zvorișteanu, concert master of the Suisse Romande Orchestra in Geneva.

In the name of the organizers, Executive Director Elena Vernescu talked to us about this first project of the Romanian Foundation for Excellence in Music:

'We believe that this project will be a remarkable one, which we hope will change these young people's vision and path in the musical life, path that they are already following. It is, we believe, an advanced vision, meaning that we try to find as many young people as possible, taking advantage of the experience and wonderful talent of maestro Badea, and put them in concert circumstances, in different formulas, so that they can develop in optimal conditions. The youth selected now will benefit from the projects of the Romanian Foundation for Excellence in Music for the next two years'.

The opinions of the artists

We also talked to the instrumentalists invited to perform in Bucharest with our young musicians. Here are their opinions about this collaboration:

Julie Price, bassoonist in the BBC Symphony Orchestra and professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London:

'We were extraordinarily well received here, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the young people are really wonderful, very receptive to new ideas and they have a thirst for knowledge that we don't always find in Great Britain. I believe it will be a good concert and a very interesting collaboration'.

Chris Richards, clarinettist in the London Symphony Orchestra:

'Working with these young people is absolutely fantastic; I think I learn from them at least as much as they learn from me. I like the fact that they want very much to learn. It is a very pleasant environment to work in and, at the same time, a wonderful experience'.

Martin Owen, horn player in the BBC Symphony Orchestra:

'The most important thing is to manage to gather a big group of musicians who try to act as one entity, as an extraordinary animal, very powerful, with different emotions. I am sure it is going to be an extraordinary concert'.

Richard Simpson, oboist in the BBC Symphony Orchestra and professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London:

'It was very exciting, the young people are very open to new ideas, they already play very well and it is very nice for us to listen to them. We hope to teach them new ideas and the slightly different way of playing we have in Great Britain'.

Michael Cox - flautist in the BBC Symphony Orchestra and professor at the Guildhall School of Music in London:

'I think it is a unique and absolutely wonderful project because it gathers professional musicians who have come to Romania to work closely with young people from here. We don't give them lessons from a distance, we work with them. This is a wonderful idea'.

The opinions of the young Romanian musicians

In order to find out the opinions of the young Romanian instrumentalists about this collaboration we talked to the violinists Alexandru Mălaimare, Alina Mija and the cellist Bogdan Postolache:

Alexandru Mălaimare, student at the National University of Music Bucharest:

'The collaboration with maestro Badea and the musicians is auspicious for us, the youths, because we have many things to learn from the people who are famous abroad and make high quality music'.

Alina Mija, violinist at the la Dinu Lipatti Philharmonic in Satu Mare:

'I feel extraordinary and it is a real honour for us to play with great masters of classical music'.

Bogdan Postolache, cellist in the National Radio Orchestra:

'It is not my first time collaborating with maestro Badea, I have had the chance to play with him and the National Radio Orchestra before. The project that he initiates is very good for the Romanian cultural landscape and I hope it will last'.

The concert held by London Bucharest Symphony Orchestra at the Romanian Athenaeum contained in the programme the Octet for strings, op.20 by Felix Mendelssohn, Serenade op.44 by Antonin Dvoűák and Simphony No. 7 by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Andreea Chiselev
Translated by Camelia-Aura Barbu
MTTLC, University of Bucharest