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Life in a suitcase - Concert dedicated to the Ukrainian people at the Radio Hall

Thursday, 2 March 2023 , ora 10.09

If music be the food of love, play on;/Give me excess of it - this linefrom a famous play by William Shakespeare can get humanitarian nuances,so it could describe the concert held on Saturday, February 25th, on the stage of the Radio Hall. Entitled Life in a suitcase, the event brought together important musicians in front of a large audience in order to offer a few moments of silence and contemplation, one year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Cellist Răzvan Suma, pianist Sinziana Mircea and violinist Alexandru Tomescu are the musicians who proposed works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Ciprian Porumbescu, Dan Popescu, Benedetto Marcello and Ludwig van Beethoven. Alongside these three musicians, Mariia Velia, Ukrainian flutist, of Romanian origin, student at the National University of Music in Bucharest, also performed on the stage. The young musician performed music sheet signed by Johann Stamitz and Myroslav Skoryk, about which she spoke after the concert, not before telling us how she started collaborating with these three artists:

"Because of the teacher I am studying with. He asked me one day if I would like to be part of this concert and I accepted this proposal. I was very excited when I heard what kind of musicians it would be. It is a concert in the memory of the fact that it has been a year since the war and that I am also Ukrainian... it was very exciting to sing today. It is a classical solo song, that of Stamitz, and Myroslav Skoryk is Ukrainian, very famous in our country, and the music he wrote is actually film music. He also wrote chamber music for the orchestra. And, in the end, it became like ananthem of our country."

The Radio Hall was full, and in the foyer the public could see the exhibition Life in a suitcase, organized by director Iulian Furtuna and Iulia Mihalcea, the coordinator of the project with the same name, who talked about the idea from which this exhibition started:

"The idea started while being at Isaccea customs, a year ago, when I was with director Iulian Furtuna (he has been living in Paris for 35 years) - Tulceni at our origins - and I said to do something together for these people, for Tulcea. The city was very crowded, an exodus, a mass of people crossed... And we have decided to open a humanitarian road to France. From France to Romania and from Romania to France, with people. Following a transport with children and mothers, the idea of the project was born in which we invited many plastic artists to paint, taking inspiration from the images we immortalized while at customs and on this road, additionally having a log board and the film that Iulian made (a documentary film) photos, poems, their stories. In short, that's the point. I wanted through art, through the catharsis of art, a memory to remain in history."

A silent presence in the evening on Saturday, February 25th, was the Ukrainian artist Strajet Piotr Grigovich, who during the recital painted a painting with tools that he took in the only suitcase with which he left Ukraine. Several empty suitcases, brought by the public at the initiative of the organizers, laid a pile on the stage in order to remind throughout the evening of the central motif of the event.

The famous quote from Immanuel Kant's Critique of practical reason is relevant for this moment: Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. The Kantian system, however, is only an ideal toward which society tends - or better said, it should aim, because the lessons of the Enlightenment philosopher have remained, for the time being, unlearned by some contemporaries - proof being the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Photos taken by Alexandru Dolea

Reportage by Petre Fugaciu
Translated by Bogdan-Nicolae Tănăsescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu