By Emea Riga
The 25th biennial George Enescu Classical Music Festival and Competition, scheduled for August – September, 2021, will pay special tribute to Romania’s most famous composer/musician, George Enescu.
The Festival – the greatest international cultural event organized in Romania and one of the most important of its kind worldwide – announces an exceptional musical program, sustained by 4,700 international and Romanian artists for a total duration of 4 weeks, between August 28 and September 26. All measures will be in place to reduce potential health risks for audiences, artists, organizers, and journalists.
The greatest orchestras and the best international soloists will perform prestigious works of the repertoire, from classical to contemporary, grand-scale symphonic concerts, chamber music, and opera concerts.
The 25th edition of the George Enescu International Festival – a hot spot for classical music that animates the Romanian capital every two years and attracts music lovers from all over the world – will also celebrate the 140th anniversary of the birth of composer and violinist George Enescu.
The Festival offers its audiences the most comprehensive program of works by Enescu in its history – 42 pieces, with all 5 of the symphonies included.
The 2021 Enescu Festival will undergo a series of transformations and adjustments, to handle the challenges posed by the pandemic. First of all, the 66 concerts will be grouped into four series: Great Orchestras of the World (concerts to take place at the Grand Palace Hall); Concerts and Recitals (at the Romanian Athenaeum, in the afternoons); Music of the 21st Century (at the Radio Hall); Enescu and His Contemporaries (morning concerts, at the Auditorium Hall).
Featured soloists programmed to appear at the Festival include: Maxim Vengerov; Patricia Kopatchinskaja; American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who is on her first visit to Romania, together with her chamber orchestra The Trondheim Soloists; brothers Renaud Capuçon (violin) and Gautier Capuçon (cello); violinists Leonidas Kavakos and Dmitry Sitkovetsky; countertenor Philippe Jaroussky; mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and soprano Sonya Yoncheva; pianists of the highest esteem, who have honored the Festival’s stages before: Martha Argerich, Jean Yves Thibaudet, Yuja Wang, Khatia Buniatishvili, Maria João Pires, Kirill Gerstein.
“George Enescu was one of the most prodigiously gifted musicians of the twentieth century,” according to noted biographer Paul Banks, “a great violinist and composer, a distinguished conductor, an accomplished pianist, able cellist and a famous violin teacher who numbered Christian Ferras, Arthur Grumiaux and Yehudi Menuhin among his pupils.
His musical memory was phenomenal, a fact that contributed to the loss of some of his own works which he composed but never wrote down.”
George Enescu’s Bucharest residence is now a museum and home to Romania’s Association of Music Composers.
Built by noted architect, I.D. Berindei, in 1901, the Cantacuzino Palace is a very fine example of Art Nouveau architecture. It now includes three exhibit halls, two concert rooms and a spectacular ballroom.
By Emea Riga