The 2017 edition of the George Enescu festival will open with a representation of Oedip, interpreted by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, the festival’s recently appointed artistic director. A record number of 35 pieces composed by Enescu will be played at the upcoming edition of the festival by such world-known orchestras such as the Orchestra Dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia or the Milan La Scala. Two of the most important classical music artists of the moment will come for the first time to Romania for the festival: Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang and German operatic tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Among the artists who confirmed their presence at the 2017 edition are baritones

Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Thomas Hampson, violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Maxim Vengerov, Julian Rachlin, Nikolai Znaider, Leonidas Kavakos, Renaud Capucon, Michael Barenboim, David Garrett, Peter Frank Zimmermann, cellists Misha Maisky and Gautier Capucon, pianists Martha Argerich, Nikolai Lugansky, and Boris Berezovski. They will be joined by conductors Richardo Chailly, Zubin Mehta, Antonio Pappano, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit and Michail Pletnev.

Outlining some of his plans regarding the festival, Jurowski said that he is looking to develop the opportunity of playing alongside Romanian artists, such as the George Enescu Philharmonic and to highlight Romanian composers, following the tradition of Enescu’s work. “For the 2017 edition I contributed to developing the Workshop series Music of the 21st Century. I think the Enescu festival should be among the first to bring contemporary music to its program. One orchestra I wanted to have in the program was the Czech Philarmonic because I believe the tradition of East European music needs to be brought together with the Western tradition,” Jurowski said.

New concert hall for Bucharest

Romania’s Culture minister Vlad Alexandrescu said, at a conference dedicated to the festival, that building a new concert hall in Bucharest has become a priority for the government. The minister said he had a talk with conductor Zubin Mehta, the festival’s Honorary President, who said that the Romanian public is “among the most extraordinary” in Europe and that it deserves a new concert hall.

The Enescu Festival traditionally takes place at Sala Palatului. The hall was renovated a few years back but many specialists point to it as a conference hall not a concert one, with the needed acoustics.  Alongside conductors Valery Gergiev and Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta pointed out in 2011 in a public letter to the need of an appropriate hall where the festival could take place.

George Enescu 2016 Competition

The 2016 edition of the George Enescu International Competition will take place between September 3rd and September 25th at the Romanian Athenaeum and the National Music University Bucharest. The only Romanian competition member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, the contest has sections dedicated to piano, violin, cello and composition.

The jury of the competition is made up of such artists as: French Gabriel Tacchino, president of the piano section; Pierre Amoyal, university professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and president of the violin section of the competition, Russian Natalia Gutmann, president of the cello section and Finnish Arto Noras, or Polish Zygmunt Krauze, president of the composition section. On the Romanian side, the jury members include piano player Dana Borsa; violinist Remus Azoitei; cellist Marian Cazacu, co-founder of the Romanian Youth Orchestra; composer Dan Dediu, provost of the Music University in Bucharest.

Besides the traditional performances by the winners’ of the previous edition, some of the jury members will also perform at several concerts held throughout the 2016 competition. It is the case of cellist David Geringas or of pianist Peter Donohoe.

Photo source: George Enescu Festival/ Catalina Filip