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Reportage from the launch of the volume 'In Memoriam Radu Lupu

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 , ora 16.08

On Sunday, November 26th, 2023, on the last day of the Gaudeamus Book Fair held at Romexpo Pavilion in the capital, the launch event of the bilingual volume 'In Memoriam Radu Lupu' took place. This initiative was spearheaded by the Opus Association, in collaboration with ARTEXIM, the Publishing House of the National University of Music in Bucharest, and Radio România Muzical.

Dedicated to the personality of the great Romanian musician who passed away on April 16th last year, the volume brings together exclusive dialogues with international and Romanian musical figures who were close to this emblematic figure of international piano art, a landmark in the interpretation of classical-romantic music. The interviews were conducted by Anca Ioana Andriescu, Marina Nedelcu, Larisa Clempuș, Ioana Marghita, Andreea Kiseleff, Mihai Cojocaru, Florica Jalbă, Petre Fugaciu, Cristina Gârbea, and the English version is signed by Maria Monica Bojin. The volume is curated by Monica Isăcescu Lup and Ștefan Costache and opens with a preface by Valentina Sandu Dediu.

Those present at the launch revealed precious personal experiences related to the man and musician Radu Lupu, the incomparable pianist known for his exemplary integrity in relation to music and the audience. He was a discreet yet warm and nuanced character in his relationships with those close to him. The light of his personality shone in all recollections marked by deep respect for the departed, who would have turned 78 on November 30th.

"It is very difficult to write about a person you have admired your entire life. In this preface, I recalled my piano teacher, Marta Paladi, and music critic Alfred Hoffman. They were the ones who first introduced me to the world of Radu Lupu and beyond. So, I embarked on this thread of reminiscences, trying not to project myself into the foreground. I appreciated that none of the authors included in the volume did that either. The book holds value not only for its content but also for the names it encompasses. All the great artists fade into the background, and the personality that shines - regardless, would have shone - is Radu Lupu. Reading this book, beyond learning, gaining information, and being moved, you must take the next step and go listen or re-listen to Radu Lupu." - Prof. Dr. Valentina Sandu Dediu

Conductor Cristian Mandeal nostalgically recalled precious moments spent with pianist Radu Lupu: "I met Radu in childhood. I had the chance to grow up with him, to be very, very close friends. We even played four-handed in various works, especially symphony transcriptions - Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn... almost all these works exist in a four-handed version, and we had fun reading them during the summer. So, in a way, I also approached symphonism through Radu. Radu was my great mentor in the sense that he was the ultimate model for me, not only with the piano but with music in general. Radu Lupu was a guarantor of Romanian artistic quality. We owe this to Radu Lupu, and for that, I say that the day of his passing should have been a national day of mourning."

Also present at the event was Cristina Uruc, Acting Director of ARTEXIM: "It is our duty not to forget and to remind everyone who Radu Lupu is and was for international music, international piano performance, and for Romania. Artexim has indeed contributed with the correspondence and connections we managed to create between the artists we contacted and the editorial and musicological team, those who conducted the interviews. Everyone received the proposal to contribute to this volume very positively and openly."

Cultural manager and former ARTEXIM director, Mihai Constantinescu, portrayed the great pianist Radu Lupu, highlighting lesser-known aspects of his personality: "Working with Radu was not easy because Radu, first and foremost, was a person who sought perfection and would only step onto the stage when he believed he could present himself at the highest level. At the last festival, he brought his own accordion, requested a specific piano, specific rehearsal hours. We had to change the recital time because he refused to play at 5 PM when concerts at the Athenaeum were scheduled; and that fantastic, memorable recital took place at 9:30 PM. Radu was always characterized by modesty and the belief that he was a collaborator alongside other musicians in the culture, music, and art of the piano. This was evident in all his recitals, all his appearances in Romania, and, of course, abroad. But, once again, I tell you, what Radu wanted to achieve was perfection, and that's why he was reluctant to make recordings, avoided giving interviews to prevent misinterpretation, didn't want to take photographs. I envy you for having these photos from the last recital."

Liliana Staicu, Director of the Center for Cultural Projects and Events at Radio România, expressed, "First and foremost, I am thrilled that we can host the launch of this volume here at the Radio Romania booth, especially because the majority of the team behind this volume is from this institution - Radio Romania. I believe that radio is the platform that can carry forward the image of this immense artist, this unique personality, by broadcasting the interviews you'll find in the volume 'In Memoriam Radu Lupu,' airing his recordings, and keeping alive the image of this truly enigmatic artist that very few managed to discover. It is our duty to try to do everything we can to ensure Radu Lupu's art endures beyond his lifetime."

Reportage by Ioana Țintea
Translated by Ramona Ana-Maria Ionescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu