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Cristina Uruc, director of Artexim - about the present of the Enescu Festival

Monday, 20 March 2023 , ora 11.28

For the public, cultural institutions exist through the events they generate. What goes on behind the scenes, in their internal laboratory, remains generally unexposed. And it's natural to be this way. Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Covent Garden Royal Opera, the Salzburg Festival are landmarks of the international classical scene, but you rarely learn about the people who make their activity possible. Generally, it happens when something goes wrong. When unwanted, last-minute replacements are announced; or the resignation of a leading artist. Peace of mind and the smooth running of things, as originally planned, is all these professionals themselves can wish for - because, although the public may not know them directly, they undoubtedly perceive them as professionals in their field.

From the audience's perpective, but also from that of great artists who bring it to life as guests, the "George Enescu" Festival has today its place among the most representative classical music events from the entire world.And over the last 20 years I have had the opportunity, on the one hand, to have contact with the festival scene from the audience; and, on the other hand, to get to know the team that ensured its smooth running. A small Artexim team, expanded a few months before the start and during the festival, formed and coordinated around Mihai Constantinescu.So I know that these young people, students or recent graduates of the National University of Music, were active day after day, from morning till late at night, motivated not by the rather modest sums they received as remuneration. They were motivated, more likely, by the unique festival atmosphere; its positive energy, the artists they had the opportunity to accompany, and perhaps the feeling that they were taking part in something really meaningful. Weighing the ratio between the number of members of the organising team and the result, I have always concluded that what the Artexim team achieves is, indeed, a performance.

Among those who have completed their apprenticeship this way, gaining an experience that you can only have in the context of the Festival - and Cristina Uruc, originally a composer, who, in March 2022, succeeded Mihai Constantinescu in the position of Artexim director and, therefore, executive director of the Enescu Festival. However, Cristina Uruc is recommended not only by the aforementioned, but also by what she has learned from 2016 to 2020 in Italy, collaborating with two famous ensembles dedicated to baroque music: Ghislieri and Il Giardino Armonico.

In the autumn of 2021, at the end of the previous edition of the Enescu Festival, we recorded an extensive, conclusive interview, at the end of his tenure, with Mihai Constantinescu, to whom we owe, to a large extent, the way the Festival has evolvedto what we know today. We have completed the picture with another dialogue, with conductor Cristian Măcelaru, appointed that autumn as the future artistic director. So the discussion with Cristina Uruc fits organically in the course of the original intention, to find out where the most representative music festival in Romania is heading. The result, three editions of "Successful Stories" - starting on Sunday, March 19th, at 1 PM, on Radio România Muzical.

Photo credit: Andrei Gîndac

Ștefan Costache
Translated by Andreea Zofotă,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu