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Triple premiere: artists, repertory, organisation

2019 George Enescu Festival – The World in Harmony!

  • Over 2,500 of the most valuable artists of the world, coming from 50 countries, will give 84 concerts and recitals in Bucharest for 23 days
  • A total number of 34 figures for the first time in Romania – 25 artists, including Marion Cotillard, Kiril Petrenko, Mitsuko Uchida, and 9 world-class orchestras
  • The Festival will take place in Bucharest and seven other cities in the country
  • Opera in concert – expansion of the repertory
  • Special performances – Mozart Week in Residence
  • Enhanced access for a wider audience – changes in the process of buying festival passes

The 2019 edition of the George Enescu International Festival (31 August – 22 September 2019, Bucharest, Romania) brings to the audience a series of firsts, as regards the artistic presence, the shows proposed and the organisation.

“The 2019 edition of the Enescu Festival certainly reveals the power of originality and harmony. Artists from all over the world, of various nationalities, different visions and religions, come to the Festival with a single aim: that of making music. This is actually the aim of music: to unite, rather than to separate people. I believe this will be apparent when we look at the programme of this edition. We have been able to convince many of the guests to bring contemporary pieces of their own – so we will have a permanent alternation between classical and contemporary music within the same concert. The presence of opera in concert is a remarkable one at this edition. A few works will be presented for the very first time in Romania – including Beethoven’s opera Leonore, a monumental work that has never been performed in Romania. I would also add that another attraction will be the presence of violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in the opening concert, alongside the Berlin Philharmonic, with the provocative Schoenberg’s violin concerto, and Mariss Jansons, the legendary conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, returns to lead the orchestra in the closing concert of the Festival”, said the artistic director of the Enescu Festival, Vladimir Jurowski, in a special Skype intervention at the press conference that marked the beginning of the preparations for 2019 Enescu Festival, on Monday, 22 October, at the Romanian Athenaeum.

“This year we have a series of firsts in every department. We propose new repertory formulas – such as opera in concert or Mozart Week in Residence. We have 34 new artists and orchestras of great calibre, joining important established names of the Festival. We have organized a section dedicated to George Enescu and his contemporaries, so as to listen to this music in the context it was created. We have consolidated the contemporary music section, so that the audience can interact with extraordinary composers that are active and available. We have changed the organisation process of ticket sellers, so as to offer greater chances to a diverse audience, like other big Festivals do. The projects supporting the Festival are also meant to provide opening to a more varied audience. It would be amazing if the Festival was perceived as a reason for joy by every inhabitant of the city. There’s still a long way to go, but this is our direction, so as to keep the work of genius George Enescu alive, over the years and across generations”, said Mihai Constantinescu, executive director of George Enescu Festival, at the same press conference.

Mădălin Voicu, Secretary of State within the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, reiterated the importance and the institutional support given to the Enescu Festival: “As a musician, not just a government official, I appreciate the effervescence of this festival during all these years since George Enescu left us. We keep making every effort, the Ministry and the other institutions, as well, to provide the necessary support to this event that is one of the most prestigious in the world and that manages to bring Romania to the cultural limelight.”

“For the Romanian Television, it is an honour to broadcast concerts of the Enescu Festival in full, the most important cultural project of the year 2019. We will also offer editorial content, with numerous interviews with the important figures present at the Festival, and we will keep providing the entire infrastructure required for live broadcasts, as we have done so far”, said Mircea Neacșa, TVR 3 manager.

Liliana Staicu, Radio România Muzical manager, also said: “We have been by the Festival’s side since its very first edition. For us, too, this event is a true marathon, because most concerts will be broadcast live on our radio stations. Besides, an important number of concerts will be broadcast all over Europe, due to our partnership with the European Broadcasting Union – which is truly a European fact.”

FIRST-TIMERS AND NEW PRESENCES

One of the new artists that complete the gallery of international stars is the Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, who brings the legendary Jeanne d’Arc to the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum in the eponymous opera, under the baton of conductor Alexandre Bloch. She will be joined by important names such as Mitsuko Uchida, Rene Jacobs, Kirill Petrenko, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Rolando Villazón and Julia Fischer.

32 works by George Enescu will be performed during the Festival.

In the series Music of the 21st Century and International Composers’ Forum, the participation is increasingly strong, with great contemporary composers accepting to come to this edition of the Festival: from Michael Nyman to Unsuk Chin, Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, Russian-born pianist and composer settled in America Lera Auerbach.

PREMIERES IN THE REPERTORY

Three operas in concert will be presented for the first time: Strauss’ Die Frau Ohne Schatten, performed by the Berlin Radio Orchestra, Schoenberg’s Moses and Aaron, performed by George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, and Britten’s Peter Grimes, presented by the National Radio Orchestra. Other absolute premieres of the Enescu Festival will be: Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bucher, with the Lille Philharmonic Orchestra, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, performed by the Polish National Radio Orchestra. Furthermore, the Liege Philharmonic brings to the stage of the Festival Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine, and the Basel Chamber Orchestra presents Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

A special moment of the 2019 edition of Enescu Festival will be Mozart Week in Residence – a concept brought straight from Salzburg, which aims to bring people together through Mozart’s music, explored from a new perspective.

The section Enescu and his Contemporaries proposes, at the Small Palace Hall, a new framing of Enescu’s work in the music context that the Romanian composer created in – meetings with his classmates in Vienna and Paris over the years, the subtle description of a creative age and context.

Another absolute first of the 2019 edition of Enescu Festival, George Enescu’s Third Symphony will be performed twice – by the Orchestra Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Berlin Radio Orchestra. Enescu’s symphony will be presented in Florence before its performance in the Festival, on 8 September, and in Berlin, after its presentation on the stage of the Enescu Festival, on 22 September – along with the Choir of the George Enescu Philharmonic. A novel performance of George Enescu’s poem Vox Maris will also be presented to the public by the renowned London Symphony Orchestra, which decided to include this composition in its international repertory for the very first time. The Liege Philharmonic Orchestra also includes George Enescu’s Suite no. 2 in its repertory.

ACCLAIMED STARS RETURN

The greatest orchestras of the world return to the 2019 edition of the Festival: London Symphony Orchestra, with the renowned pianist Denis Matsuev, Orchestre National de France – with the legendary Evgeny Kissin at the piano, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Staatskapelle Dresden – with the explosive Yuja Wang and soprano Kristine Opolais, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko at the helm, Sankt Petersburg Symphony Orchestra with pianist Nelson Freire, as well as the prestigious Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, which will close the festival in an already established series of concerts. Important ensembles like Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Europa Galante, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Vienna Radio Orchestra with pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja and Academia Bizantina will perform on the stage of 2019 Enescu Festival.

Some of the most notable Romanian presences at the 2019 edition include the trio of conductors comprising Horia Andreescu, Cristian Mandeal and Christian Badea. The most important Romanian orchestras will perform at the 2019 edition, including the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Radio Orchestra and Romanian Youth Orchestra, and philharmonic orchestras of Iași, Sibiu, Timișoara, Cluj, Bacău and Târgu Mureș.

The famous conductor Ion Marin will go on the stage of the Enescu Festival once more, and so will pianist Alexandra Dariescu, mezzosoprano Ruxandra Donose and Alexandra Silocea, Romanian born pianist established in Vienna who will perform under the conductor, Vladimir Jurowski. Furthermore, Gabriel Bebeșelea, Tiberiu Soare, Vlad Vizireanu and Cristian Lupeș will conduct foreign orchestras. Laureates of the 2018 edition of the George Enescu International Competition will give concerts within 2019 Enescu Festival. 

A total number of 84 concerts and recitals only in the Bucharest concert halls, an estimate number of over 2,500 artists from the most diverse corners of the world, 50 nationalities working together.

George Enescu Festival will be organized in Bucharest and in seven other cities of the country: Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Sibiu, Târgu Mureș, Bacău and Târgoviște.

The 2019 edition of Enescu Festival awaits its audience at the Palace Hall, the Romanian Athenaeum, the Radio Hall, the Small Palace Hall, in concerts and recitals classified under six big sections: “Great Orchestras of the World”, “By Midnight Concerts”, “Recitals and Chamber Music”, “Music of the 21st Century”, “Mozart Week in Residence” and “International Composers’ Forum. In addition, concerts and related events will be organized in the Festival Square: conferences, record and book launches, and extraordinary shows.

NEW ORGANISATION – FESTIVAL PASS LOTTERY

Another novelty of the 2019 edition is the introduction of a lottery-type system for purchasing festival passes to George Enescu Festival. To make sure everybody has equal chances and to diminish some of the pressure felt by the public, who was unable to monitor the online sale of the tickets, which were sold out in just a few minutes, this year we introduced a system used by other strong cultural institutions of the world.

This entails a registration period for those who are interested (online or offline), which will last a month. After the registration period, a software will select the persons whose passes will be reserved for a two-week period, during which the passes must be paid. If they are not paid within these two weeks, the remaining passes will be put up for sale again.

Full details about the lottery are available at: service.eventim.ro/festivalulenescu2019/, and real‑time information will also be announced on www.festivalenescu.ro.

The registration period for the lottery is 22.10.2018-25.11.2018.

The drawing will take place on 26.11.2018.

The payment period is scheduled for 27.11.2018-12.12.2018.

In accordance with the rules, passes that have not been purchased by that date will be put up for sale again.

Individual tickets will go on sale on 6 March 2019. Their prices vary between RON 210 and RON 30.

 

LIVE BROADCASTS

Concerts of the 2019 Enescu Festival will be broadcast live on the Festival website www.festivalenescu.ro and on the screens in the Festival Square (George Enescu Square).

On 31 August 2019, George Enescu International Festival opens with an extraordinary concert. The Berliner Philharmoniker, considered the best orchestra in the world at the moment, returns to the Festival, as promised at the 2015 edition. The renowned orchestra that required 15 years of negotiations to come to Bucharest will also present a composition by George Enescu and will perform with the Choir of the George Enescu Philharmonic, thus honouring one of the most valuable directions of the Festival: becoming familiar with Enescu’s work in interpretations of the highest level, and building bridges for the collaboration of prestigious foreign orchestras and Romanian orchestras and artists.

Contacts for the media:

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Translation provided by Biroul de Traduceri Champollion