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Ida Haendel - Doctor Honoris Causa of the Bucharest National University of Music

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 , ora 9.37
On Monday, 14th May, 2012, the renowned violinist Ida Haendel received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the Bucharest National University of Music, in a ceremony that took place in the George EnescuPhilarmonic ConcertHall 'Studio'. The event occurred at the end of the five day master-class held by the Polish-born artist, and organized within the Sergiu Celibidache Anniversary Festival. Having attended a few of Ida Haendel's lessons, I couldn`t help noticing the violinist`s energy, vitality, easiness and musical depth on one hand, and on the other hand, an extraordinary ability to find the right advice for each of the musicians who took part in the master-class.

Here are some of the thoughts Ida Haendel expressed in her speech:

I need to mention that this speech was not prepared beforehand; it is therefore very spontaneous, as I did not know what was expected of me, nor did I know what my own expectations were. No one prepared me for this tremendous honor. I will go back in time to my first interview in Poland at the age of 7 or 8, when I asked my father "What should I say?" and he told me: "It is difficult when you prepare yourself to tell a lie. Telling the truth however, is very easy." This is the strategy I have always adopted. So I will tell the truth. There must be something very special about this country, something very close to my heart. I must mention the name of Sergiu Celibidache, whom I met when I was very young. (...) There is one word that can express what I felt when I saw this conductor: hypnotized. And so I remained until today. And I must say one more thing:my soul and my spirit will not be the same anymore after this trip to Romania. You Romanians are so wonderful, warm, generous, and the atmosphere is amazing. I am sure I will never live something as wonderful as this. I am overwhelmed.

I asked Dan Dediu, Rector of the Music University in Bucharest, who handed the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Ida Haendel, to talk to us about the significance of this moment for the institution he leads:

It is an honour to have among us a legendary violinist, one of George Enescu`s pupils, friend and great admirer of Sergiu Celibidache. In fact, knowing her more closely, I did not know what to admire first: the ability to cope with all the challenges of contemporary life at a very late stage in her life, that she worked with 10 years old violinists, but also with students and even graduates, offering them all her undivided attention; the fact that she was late for the ceremony in which she was to receive the title of Doctor Honoris Causa, because she wouldn`t stop listening to some children who had come from the province to take part in her master-class, her volubility, her kindliness, and most of all the depth of her investiture speech, very spontaneous and a life lesson at the same time.

We were all very touched when Ida Haendel declared her love for Romania and the Romanians and expressed her surprise as she did not expect such a ceremony and was overwhelmed by this honor. This is something I have seen before in all the great people I have invested with this honor.

A life lesson for us all, as modesty and faith in man and God are in fact the backbone of any major musical career.

Andreea Chiselev
Translated by Gianina-Aniela Casleanu
MTTLC graduate, Bucharest University