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Said, Lived and Desired. Memories by Ioan Holender

Monday, 24 October 2011 , ora 9.48
September 14th, 2011 - book release during the break of the concert held by Berlin State Capella in Bucharest during the Enescu Festival: the volume Said, Lived and Desired. Memoriesby Ioan Holender; many people, long speeches (although I know that this is exactly what Ioan Holender meant to avoid); after the concert, an autograph session.

I admit, I was irritated by the thousands of mobile phones which kept ringing during the concert conducted by Daniel Barenboim, I left Sala Palatului among the first, so I was one of the first readers who received an autograph from Ioan Holender. On the bus, on my way home, I had already read fifty pages from this volume, which can be read as fast as a detective novel.

Beside the fact that Ioan Holender has been the brain behind the George Enescu Festival for the last years and he was the manager of the famous Vienna State Opera for a long time, I again admit I did not know many things about the person I discovered in the pages of the second biographic volume, which appeared at the 'Alexandru Ioan Cuza' Publishing House in Iași.

Holender the writer

Holender the writer is exactly the same as Holender the speaker: zestful, humorous, direct, giving clear answers, without fear or constraint, even to difficult questions.

And I agree with Viorel Cosma, the musician who in his speech during the volume's release, says that Holender's book should be read by all those who are involved in what we call today cultural management and not only by them, but also by those who ask what the principles on which we should build a way of life are.

Where did Holender start and where did he get?

In spite of what our children see today, the true values are those that build a solid way of life. Work, dedication to what are you doing, intelligence, specialization, speculation of advantageous moments, the power of getting over the most difficult moments in life, humanness - these made a Jew from Timișoara, whose family suffered during both the legionary and the communist regimes and who lost all their wealth - become the second man in the state, in Austria and the longest-lasting manager of the Vienna State Opera. Take into account that Holender's first jobs in Timișoara were maintaining trams and lamp posts…

Usually, for those close to us and for those contemporary to us, we tend to relativize the extraordinary events in their lives. That is why, it may look surprising that Holender's life is a true topic for a novel - his experience, the people he met - I will let you discover all this by reading the memories from the volume 'Said, Lived and Desired' by yourself.

Ioan Holender's managerial values

I would like to point out his managerial values with which he managed the Vienna Opera for nineteen years: the loyalty of the performers and the creating of a season theatre not a repertoire one, the perfect knowledge of the possibilities of his performers, the permanent search for young and high-quality voices, the greatest performers' careers in the world being launched from Vienna; the motto "we work for the audience from the state's money" made into reality, and not being only words; what we call today the cost optimization, just because they are public money and we continue to look into the future - reflected in the preoccupation for raising a new loyal audience.

The end - to be remembered

So if we all try to be small Holenders, everybody fulfilling one's own responsibilities, I am sure that Romania would look completely different. Read Said, Lived and Desired by Ioan Holender and think about it.

Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Elena Enache and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC,Bucharest University