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Interview with Maria Clara Brumariu, about the "Aurel Stroe" Festival

Wednesday, 15 May 2024 , ora 11.07

Between the 10th-12th of May 2024, a new cultural event will take place in Bușteni, Ploiești and Bucharest, namely the "Aurel Stroe" International Festival, 1st edition. Maria-Clara Brumariu, his granddaughter and initiator of the festival, talks to Sarah Natsis about the project dedicated to the cultural and musical legacy of the composer and professor Aurel Stroe:

Mrs Maria Clara Brumariu, on the 15th anniversary of the passing of the composer and teacher Aurel Stroe, you have set up a festival that bears his name and is intended to honour his memory. How did this initiative come about?

That's right, this year marks the 15th anniversary of my grandfather's passing. The idea of the festival came to me about 10 years ago - since then I've been wanting to set it up - but, somehow, I think it's only this year that I've managed to get enough courage to say: ok, I've talked about it enough, this year the first edition will happen!

Tell us about the concerts that the first edition of the festival will include, as well as the guest artists.

There will be three concerts - the first in Bușteni on 10th May, the second in Ploiești, at the Museum of Art, on 11th May and the last concert in Bucharest, on 12th May, at the Great Hall of the Romanian Cultural Institute.

All the pieces are written especially for this festival, except for Grandpa's first piano sonata, of course. All three pieces are written for marimba, clarinet and string quartet, and the composers are MihneaBrumariu, Jonathan Parry from the UK and Ionică Pop from Cluj, who has worked closely with my grandfather since he was very young.

The performers will be Ioana Văleanu on marimba, Andrei Văleanu on clarinet, Abel Chircă and Andrei Mihail Radu on violin, Andrieș Cigulea on viola and Csaba Maksay on cello.

What do you think are the words that best describe the musical creation of composer Aurel Stroe?

I would say complexity and imagination.

What do you propose for the next editions and what is the impact you would like the festival to have on a national level and beyond?

I would very much like my grandfather's work to slowly reach a wider audience and be known even by people who are not used to contemporary music.

For next year's edition, we are thinking of expanding, i.e. going from three concerts to five concerts in the country. A great wish of mine is to resume the summer courses that he held in Busteni every year and this will happen from next year onwards. The courses will take place at the Cultural Centre in Bușteni, which also bears its name. And I also wanted to start a series of concerts abroad - somehow, to follow in his footsteps in Mannheim, where he lived, in Heidelberg, because it was very close to his soul and to his home, in Paris, where it was practically a sort of third home. I hope to follow in his footsteps, even to Boston, where he was a visiting professor.

Interview by Sarah Natsis
Translated by Bianca-Daniela Penaru,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu