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In memoriam Radu Lupu in The Success Stories of Music programme

Wednesday, 18 October 2023 , ora 11.41


On the 17th of April 2022, the news of the death of the world renowned pianist Radu Lupuechoed at a degree befitting a colossal culturalpersonality of global scale. Including online, the realization of the fact that the musician was no longer with us had been going on for weeks, by the means of the most distinct voices of Romania and all over the world.

Naturally - you might say - we were talking about a cannon artist, a status which he well earned many decades before and which had remained perfectly unaltered. At a closer look, however, this fact strangely contrasts with another equivalent one: the news, published on the Spanishmagazine's website "Scherzo" from the 27th of June 2019, about his permanent retirement, that had gone almost unnoticed at the time.

Put side by side, these two facts draw attention to one another: not even fame is a foolproof guarantee for the preservation of remembrance. In the age of internet and social media, Radu Lupu was an atypical man, a rebel who took the liberty of completely ignoring that instruments, which most people nowadays consider mandatory, not only for what we call "image", but also for the simple connection with your audience who wants to know where they can hear you: Radu Lupu had never had his own website or a personal profile on any social network.

There was no other way to find out where he was singing other than going through the concert schedules of major musical institutions around the world one by one. Moreover, his retired artist reputation, his mystery beyondthe stage, existed long before the emergenceof the internet (it is well-known, for example, that he only exceptionally gave interviews, those available, three in number, having been made in his youth). Nonetheless, there are various instances of his amity and friendship with musicians (and non-musicians), Romanian or not, who speak of his warmth, generosity and openness as a man and as well as an artist, beyond the supposed reluctance to communicate other than in front of the piano keyboard - testimonies that we believe are mandatory to be recorded and preserved as faithfully and completely as possible, including through editorial efforts such as this one (which is a first in this regard). This is why we considerthat the powerful emotional reaction created by the death of Radu Lupu, in 2022, enforces urgent actions in maintaining his memory, which come amid the objective lack of information about the famous musician.

A campaignto interview those who had known him closely and bring together all these testimonies in order to make them available to the public is a compulsory gesture of respect towards his memory and the beginning of a possible and long-awaited effort of getting to know this monumental artist that the universal classical world had from the early 1960s until 2019. There are targeted figures such as: Elisabeth Leonskaja, Yuja Wang, Murray Perahia, Nelson Goerner, Andrei Vieru, CristianMandeal, Mihai Constantinescu,

Liana Șerbescu, Alexandra Silocea, Horia Mihail etc. The authors of the interviews are well-known active journalists in the classical music sphere (either for the "George Enescu" International Festival, or for their own broadcasts on Radio Romania Muzical, or for various cultural publications).

The preface of the volume will be signed by prof. Valentina Sandu Dediu, one of the most respected Romanianmusicologists. The volume is coordinated by Monica Isăcescu Lup and Ștefan Costache, the winners of the Romanian Music Critics Union Award and the NationalCultural Fund Administration Award of 2022.The materials will be included in a two versions volume, one in Romanian and one in English, the translations being signed by Maria Monica Bojin, an author with degrees in both music and English language whose partnerships with institutions, magazines and cultural websites have been highly appreciated (Musicology Today, Casa Radio Publishing, dinulipatti.org, casedemuzicieni.ro etc).

In the preparation for the launch of this volume at Radio România Muzical, within The Success Stories of Music programme, everyday from Sunday, beginning at one o'clock, you would be able to listen to a few relevant conversations with a series of the figures mentioned above. The programme started on the 8th of October with the interview given by the pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja to our colleague Larisa Clempuș and it continues on the 15th and the 22nd of October with the discussion between the band-maestro Cristian Mandeal and Florica Jalbă.

Project proposed by Opus Association and co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration.

Main partners: Radio România Muzical, Artexim, National University of Music of Bucharest.

Translated by Andreea Cuprian,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu