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Music sets us free when we feel captive: George Enescu International Festival And Competition in your home will stage a true classical music festival online, with recordings from previous editions of the two events.

A free program of resistance, solidarity, and healing through music * An invitation to the public to donate to doctors, nurses and hospitals instead of buying tickets

A true “George Enescu International Festival online” will open on starting March 18, 2020, at 9:00 AM EET, to offer people from all over the world free access to quality classical music. The Enescu Festival contributes this way to uplifting the human spirit in its battle against COVID-19, following in the footsteps of the great composer George Enescu who took part in helping the wounded in the First World War, through the healing power of music. The Enescu Festival recommends the public to observe the rules of social distancing and, instead of buying tickets to concerts, to donate to credible non-governmental organizations, which raise money to supply hospitals with the necessary equipment and materials to resist the virus.

ARTEXIM, the organizer of the George Enescu International Festival and Competition, takes steps to obtain the approval to broadcast online concerts and recitals recorded in the respectively 2019 and 2018 editions of the two events. The program will be like a regular concert hall one, with the difference that each concert stream will remain available on site for four days. This musical marathon is an open-ended project, with its program continuously updated. New information will be available on

In honor and compassion for Italy, for her people and artists, the Enescu Festival online will open on Wednesday, March 18, at 9:00 AM EET, with Verdi’s Requiem, performed by ORCHESTRA AND CHOIR MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO, conductor FABIO LUISI; soprano HIBLA GERZMAVA; mezzo-soprano VERONICA SIMEONI; tenor PIERO PRETTI; bass RICCARDO ZANELLATO.

“First of all, I want to thank the Romanian and foreign artists, as well as the Trinitas Television and the Romanian Radio Broadcasting, for their support in offering the concerts for free. Some orchestras will share the virtual concerts on their platforms. Secondly, we would like to convey a message of support and compassion, inspired by George Enescu’s values and conduct: in difficult times it is best to stay together unite, and music is the perfect liaison. Music heals souls, and music lovers get stronger when they brace each other,” said Mihai Constantinescu, Executive Director of ARTEXIM.

During World War I, composer George Enescu was a sanitary with the military hospital led by Professor Ion Moscu and he set up a symphonic orchestra meant to bring relief to the wounded. For months, he was helping to carry the injured between the operating room and the salons. Then he would play the violin for the patients. To Enescu music was “the language that speaks to all hearts, a healing force”. “Humanity needs to learn to be happy. The artist reveals to humanity the path to harmony, which is happiness and peace,” said composer George Enescu in an interview. He argued that an artist should not only be concerned with his art, but also with the destiny of mankind.

Following George Enescu’s example, the Enescu Festival not only shares its music with the public but also sends a message of social responsibility. It is vital for us all to observe the authorities’ recommendations, and to stay physically away from each other during this crisis, while keeping alive our emotional intimacy, kindness and mutual respect. It is also essential that everyone contributes according to their powers to solving the crisis, including through donations.

 “Starting from George Enescu’s behavior in the First World War, we can say that in the fight against COVID-19 the front line is right here – in our daily life, in our homes. But on this front’s first line are doctors, nurses, and hospitals. That is why we urge the public to contribute to this war by observing the rules instated by the authorities, to prevent the rapid spreading of the virus; by learning only from reliable and official sources; and by donating to credible and experienced non-governmental organizations, those which raise money to purchase equipment and materials for doctors, nurses and hospitals. At this point, the biggest risk lies with them. The theme of this year’s Enescu Contest is <Beauty in Life>. Generosity, human solidarity, and music bring beauty to our lives, more than ever in such difficult times,” said Oana Marinescu, the Communications Director of the Enescu Festival.


March 18-21: Orchestra and Choir Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by Fabio Luisi, in his last performance with the ensemble, especially for the Enescu Festival, with the vocal-symphonic work Requiem, by Giuseppe Verdi. The four soloists are: soprano Hibla Gerzmava, mezzo-soprano Veronica Simeoni, tenor Piero Pretti and bass Riccardo Zanellato.

March 22-25: Orchestra and Choir Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, under the baton of conductor Fabio Luisi. The guest soloist is Russian violinist Sergei Krylov. In the program: Paganini Violin Concerto no. 1 op. 6 and Enescu Symphony no. 3 in C major op. 21.

March 26-29: Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Lawrence Foster. The soloist is the pianist Szymon Nehring (winner of the “Arthur Rubinstein” International Competition 2017). In the program: Adrian Pop “Solstice” for Orchestra, Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 and Lutosławski Concerto for Orchestra.

March 30-April 2: Orchestre National de France, conducted by Maestro Ion Marin, with the pianist Alexandra Dariescu as soloist. In the program: Enescu Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major Op. 9, Ravel Piano Concerto in G major and Debussy Images pour orchestre (Rondes de printemps, Gigues, Iberia).

April 3-6: Orchestre Philharmonique Royal De Liège conducted by Tiberiu Soare, with the world-famous soloists soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci and pianist Denis Kozhukhin. In the program: Lutosławski Variations on a Theme by Paganini for piano and orchestra, Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini for piano and orchestra Op. 43 (Denis Kozhukhin, piano), and Poulenc “La Voix Humaine” IFP 171 (opera for soprano and orchestra) (Anna Caterina Antonacci, soprano).

April 7-10: Orchestre Philharmonique Royal De Liège conducted by maestro Gergely Madaras and soloist is the violinist Renaud Capuçon. In the program: Enescu Orchestral Suite No. 2 in C major Op. 20 (1915), Bartók Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 Sz. 112 and Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 in B flat major Op. 100.

April 11-14: “Peter Grimes”, by British composer Benjamin Britten. The opera was performed by the Romanian National Radio Orchestra & Radio Academic Choir conducted by Paul Daniel. Ciprian Ţuțu was the choir director, with a visual story imagined by multimedia director Carmen Lidia Vidu as a graphic film. Cast: Tenor Ian Storey – Peter Grimes, soprano Lise Davidsen – Ellen Orford, contralto Catherine Wyn-Rogers – Auntie, baritone Christopher Purves – Balstrode, mezzo-soprano Diana Montague – Mrs. Sedley, bass Joshua Bloom – Swallow, baritone Huw Montague Rendall – Ned Keene, tenor Michael Colvin – Bob Boles, tenor Bonaventura Bottone – Reverend Horace Adams, bass Barnaby Rea – Hobson, soprano Solomia Lukyanets – niece 1, soprano Rhian Lois – niece 2.

April 15-18: St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Romanian Christian Badea, with Radio Academic Choir, conducted by Ciprian Țuțu. The soloist of the concert is the violinist Vadim Repin. In the program: Enescu “Isis” Poem (1923, posthumously completed by Pascal Bentoiu), Shostakovich Violin concerto No. 1 in A minor Op. 77 and Dvořák Symphony No. 9 in E minor Op. 95, “From the New World”.

April 19-22: Duo recital with violinist Midori and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. In the program: Schumann Violin Sonata no. 1 in A minor op. 105, Fauré Violin Sonata no. 1 in A major op. 13, Debussy Violin Sonata in G minor L 140 and Enescu Sonata for piano and violin no.3 in A minor op. 25.

Additional Press Info:

Oana Marinescu  |   0741.278.737 |