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The 2019 edition of “George Enescu” International Festival proposes diversity, balance and glamour

The twenty-fourth edition of “George Enescu” International Festival is the most complex so far and is defined by diversity and balance, as regards the structure of the programme, the format and “dosage” of the performances and repertoire, as well as with respect to the festival experiences. At the same time, the edition proposes glamour, due to the large number of exceptional artists who will give concerts in Bucharest, in the country and the world.

Between 31 August and 22 September, under the aegis of the Festival, over 2,500 foreign musicians of the highest international level and over 1,000 Romanian artists from the most prestigious music institutions in Romania, along with soloists with solid international careers, will give concerts and recitals in an exceptional music marathon.

The 84 concerts in the Capital will be joined by over 30 concerts in 10 other cities in Romania (Sibiu, Cluj, Târgoviște, Piatra Neamț, Bacău, Iași, Târgu Mureș, Bârlad, Timișoara, Satu Mare) and 6 cities in the world (Florence, Berlin, Liège, Toronto, Montréal, Kishinev). The partners in these cities, mainly Philharmonic Orchestras and local cultural promoters, have developed little musical jewels under the aegis of the Festival, whose soloists are guest artists of “George Enescu” International Festival.

Over 300 events within the associated programs will share the joy of music in the entire city, in unconventional spaces such as parks, office buildings, public squares, shopping malls, gas stations or museums. We have prepared exhibitions about music, alternative concerts, film screenings, music activities and games, a national art competition inspired by Enescu’s works, experiments, guided tours through the city, in the footsteps of Enescu, children’s shows, a children’s Festival, even food dishes inspired by music themes.

“The theme in 2019 is ‘The World in Harmony’, and if we look at what is going on around us, this title sounds more like hope than reality. We present this year’s program and we wish the musical treasures and the revelations it includes will give you not just joy and inspiration, but will also encourage understanding, help you respond to challenges successfully, exceed limits, and contribute to deeper harmony for future generations.

Keeping this goal in mind, we won’t just offer performances in concert halls, but we also wish to bring music to the streets of Bucharest, to companies, common areas, as part of our mission to interact with new audiences and open new artistic conversations. It is a privilege to invite my colleagues, illustrious musicians, to Bucharest this year, in larger numbers than ever before, but what is even more valuable is that, aside from the concerts in Bucharest and the rest of Romania, renowned international artists will perform Enescu’s works in partner events in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Republic of Moldova and Canada, thus contributing to an increase in the visibility and appreciation for the extraordinary musical heritage left by the great Romanian composer.

I am proud that this year’s program continues the festival’s long-term investment in promoting new music, creating platforms for living composers to reflect upon the world we are living in. In addition, the program highlights our concern for the world of opera, presenting a variety of masterpieces, from the maestros of the Baroque era to the elites of 20th century musical theatre. I believe that opera, more than any other form of art, can bring together music and text, sound and vision, the individual and the global, so as to examine profoundly and explore those questions that try and define us all, as artists and humans”, says maestro Vladimir Jurowski, Artistic Director of “George Enescu” International Festival.

The structure of the Festival’s program

Each of the four sections of the Festival, in turn, proposes the audience a well-dosed combination of classical, traditional performances, alternating with new, daring, different approaches.

A total number of 313 works by 149 composers will be presented. They cover the history of music, from the Baroque period (Frescobaldi, Vivaldi) to this day, the 21st century music having been dedicated an entire section, where 45 composers with 48 works will be represented. The best represented periods in this edition’s repertoire are the classical, romantic and modern ones.

“If we analyse the structure of the compositions to be performed in the Festival, we can notice some sort of musical bell curve, peaking in the romantic and modern periods, only to cover all great movements, from Baroque to the first listens of today, to the left and to the right of the peak. It is an observation that describes the balanced, yet diverse structure of the program, which explores the same theme of harmony”, says Mihai Constantinescu, Executive Director of “George Enescu” International Festival.

At least one work composed by George Enescu will be played every day, except on 3 and 20 September. A total number of 35 works and 36 concerts, with a special mention for George Enescu’s Symphony No. 3, which will be presented twice. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Rundfunk Sinfonie both wished to present their vision of this composition of Enescu, to the delight of music lovers. The next composers are Mozart (thanks to the Mozart Week in Residence program), Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Beethoven, with over five compositions each.

The section Recitals and Chamber Music also includes sophisticated ensembles, some of which are coming to the Festival for the very first time: La Cetra d’Orfeo, Orchestra Pelleas, New Europe Ensemble, Cameristi della Scala, La Grande Chapelle de Madrid, La Barocca, Les Talens Lyriques would be some of the nine ensembles that are participating in the Festival for the first time. Music lovers can choose from numerous performance formulas, from intimate, smaller ones with one or two soloists, to ensembles, chamber orchestras or symphony orchestras proposing an extensive repertoire.

By Midnight Concerts continues the series of novel musical experiences, and this section is often noted for the interesting approaches proposed by the artists, or for the special repertoire, including rare compositions or pieces presented for the first time in Romania. The audience will enjoy the inspired interpretations of classical and modern compositions created for the 12 cellos of Berliner, concert versions of operas by Gluck, Händel, Vivaldi or Beethoven, and a truly special atmosphere given by night-time concerts.

Music of the 21st Century enjoys the presence of 40 contemporary composers that have enjoyed the approval of large audiences, are already collaborating with international orchestras and are known for their approaches. Some of them, like Lera Auerbach, Nicola Piovani or Krzystof Penderecki, will present their own vision of their works from the stand, while others will attend the performances and be available for dialogues with those who are interested in the newest formulas of creation in classical music.

Some of the most expected artists

Inspired conductors. Spectators will be able to enjoy the conducting vision of some of the most inspired and appreciated maestros, such as Lawrence Foster, Vladimir Jurowski, Mariss Jansons, Kirill Petrenko, Gianandrea Noseda, Vasily Petrenko, Fabio Luisi or the Romanians Cristian Mandeal, Horia Andreescu, Gabriel Bebeșelea, Cristian Badea, Tiberiu Soare, Ion Marin – 40 world-class conductors will take the helm of the Festival for one or two concerts.

Soloists of extraordinary expressivity, strength, broad reach, friends of the Festival, participating for the second or third time, or first-timers will give extra glamour to the shows and atmosphere in the concert halls.

A total number of 19 piano concerts and recitals, over 20 concerts and recitals placing the violin or the cello at the forefront, 14 operas in concert, along with other forms of shows that highlight the sounds of each instrument, including old instruments such as the lute or the viola da gamba.

Each of the six stages of the festival will see artists with special personalities and artistic approaches, sought after by music lovers all over the world: Mitsuko Uchida, Yuja Wang, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Evgeny Kissin, Julia Fischer, Denis Matsuev, Leif Ove Andsnes, Maxim Vengerov, Elisabeth Leonskaja are just some of those who will delight every audience.

Those who love the lyrical genre will have the chance to listen to the almost perfect timbres of an entire gallery of artists: Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Sir Bryn Terfel, Marlis Petersen, Rolando Villazon will go on the stages of the Festival in recitals or operas in concert, or in special stagings like the Mozart Week in Residence program. This year’s edition also hosts the event show of the Liège Philharmonic, starring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard in Jeanne d’Arc, on 19 September.

“This edition’s program has been developed on several planes, so that music lovers may choose from a diverse program, classical and novel formulas, as the repertoire covers various eras, huge composers and world-class artists. We hope that we can thus take forward the essence of Enescu’s mission, that of sharing the transforming, sometimes healing effect of music with a wide and diverse audience”, concludes Mihai Constantinescu.

This edition was made possible by:

The High Patronage of the President of Romania, Producers: Ministry of Culture and National Identity, Co-producers: Bucharest Municipality City Hall, Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company, Organisers: Artexim, Art Production Foundation, Institutional partners: Administration of Museums and Heritage Tours, Cantus Mundi, Comic Opera for Children, Bucharest Municipality Museum, Expoarte, Bucharest Airports, National University of Music of Bucharest.

Main partners: Raiffeisen Bank, Rompetrol, Audi, Sinteza. Partners: Mastercard, CBRE, Electrica furnizare, Samsung, Tarom. Sponsors: Orange, Aqua Carpatica, Peter and Liliana Ilica Foundation, La Mama, DC Communication, VMS, SSG Security, Speed Taxi, Yokko, Official wines from Rottenberg and Valahorum Wineries, along with cultural partner Wilo Foundation and with the support of Cocor, Media Trust, Biroul de Traduceri Champollion and Țuca, Zbârcea și Asociații law office.



The 2019 edition of “George Enescu” International Festival is the most extensive so far as regards associated programs, as well, organised through partnerships.

At this year’s edition, 312 associated projects support the expansion of the connection between the Festival and the city, as well as the diversification of the communication with an increasingly diverse audience, including outside concert halls. Aside from these, over 100 events will be held in Enescu Festival Square.

Cantus Mundi project, in the associated program City of Music – includes over 2,000 chorus singers and instrumentalists who will give 250 micro-concerts and recitals in parks, museums, shopping centres and office buildings all over Bucharest, between 31 August and 22 September. It is a project developed by the Cantus Mundi National Program, through the “Madrigal – Marin Constantin” National Chamber Choir, as an associated program of “George Enescu” International Festival 2019, with the support of the Bucharest Municipality City Hall (by PROEDUS – Centre for Educational and Sports Projects) and CBRE Romania.

Children’s Enescu Festival with the Comic Opera for Childrenassociated program of “George Enescu” International Festival – which includes eight shows dedicated to young music lovers, organised between 31 August and 22 September 2019. The shows reproduce, in a format adapted to the comprehension of young music lovers, the concerts held at the Festival on weekend days. Children’s Enescu Festival is organised by the Comic Opera for Children in Bucharest, at its seat in Calea Giulești nr. 16.

The concert From Classical to Jazz, created and performed by jazz artist Teodora Enache, presents for the first time George Enescu’s Rhapsodies Nos. 1 and 2 interpreted in a vocal jazz manner. The show From Classical to Jazz is an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival and will have a single performance on 9 September, at 7.30 PM, at the Bucharest National Theatre, with Teodora Enache (voice), Călin Grigoriu (guitar), Joca Perpignan (percussion) and Răzvan Suma (cello).

Enescu hors les murs – three novel events offered by the renowned French composer and improvisation pianist Jean-François Zygel, as an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival 2019. The events will be: an improvisation masterclass (16 September) at the National University of Music of Bucharest, a cine-concert with live improvised piano music, The Phantom of the Opera (17 September, at 7.30 PM, at the Elvire Popescu Hall of the French Institute in Bucharest) and the improvisation concert “Music of Bucharest”, together with guests Damian Drăghici and Cristian Soleanu (18 September, at 7.30 PM, on the stage in George Enescu Festival Square). The project Enescu hors les murs is offered by the French Institute in Romania.


“Enescu’s Images” National Art Competition, an associated program of “George Enescu” International Festival, where 171 Romanian artists, painters and graphic designers, have answered the invitation to translate into a visual artistic language six works by Romanian composer George Enescu: “Impressions d’enfance”, “Vox Maris”, “Suite No. 2 for Piano”, “Villageoise”, “Sept chansons”, “Suite No. 3 for Piano”. 30 works chosen by the jury for the final will be exhibited and promoted in digital format on the Festival website. “Enescu’s Images” National Art Competition is a project initiated by Artexim, in partnership with ExpoArte and implemented with the support of cultural project

“Confessions about Music” exhibition – open between July 2019 and March 2020 at Suțu Palace, part of the Bucharest Municipality Museum. A museum exercise dedicated to music, meant to help visitors experience three centuries of the evolution of music in history. A museum project associated with “George Enescu” International Festival, created by the Bucharest Municipality Museum.

Museicorum Concerts (31 August – 22 September), associated with “George Enescu” International Festival and coordinated by soprano Arlinda Morava. A series of 15 concerts offered by the Bucharest Municipality Museum in three of its museums – Suțu Palace, Filipescu-Cesianu House and Theodor Aman Museum. The program includes works by Romanian and Albanian composers, as well as an international repertoire, focusing on the personality and creation of great Romanian composer George Enescu.

16 guided tours will be organised in Bucharest with the occasion of “George Enescu” International Festival, inviting locals and tourists alike to follow in the footsteps of George Enescu. Two types of guided tours will be organised in Bucharest: “Musicians in the city – In the footsteps of Enescu”, focusing on buildings and places where George Enescu and other Romanian musicians used to spend their time, and “Bucharest Hidden Gems”, which will present architectural jewels where music was given pride of place. The guided tours are free, they will be organised between 6 and 22 September by the association with the support of Raiffeisen Bank Romania.

The official launch of the biography dedicated to soprano Marina Krilovici – an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival – on 2 September and 6 September in Bucharest. The book entitled “Marina, Marina, Marina – Marina Krilovici” was written by experienced journalist Alice Năstase Buciuța, editor-in-chief of Tango magazine.

Silent Symphony, in the associated project The Festival is Everywhere – which gives access to compositions from previous editions of the Enescu Festival in bookshops, office areas and other public areas. A project supported by Raiffeisen Bank and Humanitas.

Enescu’s masterpiece “Œdipe”, staged by the Bucharest National Opera – an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival – on 21 September at 7.00 PM, conducted by Tiberiu Soare. Among the soloists: baritone Ștefan Ignat, bass-baritone Cătălin Țoropoc, mezzosoprano Oana Andra and baritone Dan Indricău.

Royal Concert – organised under the auspices of the Romanian Royal Family (17 September, at 7.00 PM, in the Cerchez Salon of the Cotroceni Palace)an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival. Opera Clandestina and the Royal Choir will perform works by Henry Purcell, Georg Friedrich Händel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with soprano Daniela Bucșan, mezzosoprano Alina Silvia Dragnea, tenor George Vîrban and bass Iustinian Zetea, under the baton of conductors Răzvan Apetrei and Andrei Stănculescu.

Enescu Spirit – an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival, including an opening and a closing party (31 August and 22 September), as well as a space for interactions dedicated to music and Festival lovers, a mash-up of experiences organised by magazine, at Universul Palace.

Exhibition of String Instruments organised by the Romanian Luthiers’ Association – at the Great Palace Hall (between 31 August and 22 September) – as an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival 2019. The exhibition helps enhance the image of Romania as one of the largest manufacturers of string instruments in the world.

Five novel letters signed by George Enescu, presented for the first time, in the round hall of the Romanian Athenaeum (31 August – 22 September).

Screening of documentary “The Music of War Wounds”, an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival 2019, discussing the period before and during World War I and addressing a lesser‑known facet of George Enescu’s life. The film will be screened at Apollo 111, on 31 August, at the after-party organised by, after the official opening of the Festival. Then you will be able to see it in the Festival Square before the live broadcasts of the shows in the Festival. The screening schedule will be displayed in the Enescu Experience app and on the website The project “The Music of War Wounds” is run by Mens Sana Association for Education and Health, financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, and supported by the official partner George Enescu National Museum.

Open art workshops – an associated project of “George Enescu” International Festival 2019 a journey into the laboratories of creation of over 100 Romanian fine artists, as part of the cultural project The Contemporaries. A one-of-a-kind chance to see the spaces where Romanian artists dream and work, and even to talk and interact with them, “at home”. Minibuses are provided for the tours, which are organised during the weekends. For more information, visit and the Ateliere app.

Classic is Fantastic – The Childhood of great musicians (21 and 22 September 2019), an associated project run by the association with the same name, in partnership with Odeon Theatre. Music shows for children aged 3-4 and 8-9.

Enescu Festival Square (31 August – 22 September 2019) – The program includes events, activities conducted by our partners for the public at large, projects for children, concerts held by young artists from music high schools, live broadcasts of the concerts at the Romanian Athenaeum and the Palace Hall, within the “George Enescu” International Festival. The project is coordinated by the Administration of Museums and Tourist Heritage.

The Enescu Experience mobile app, available for free in Google Play and AppStore, locating all the events of George Enescu International Festival 2019, including associated programs, and providing details about how the public can enjoy the festival experience. The Enescu Experience app was developed in partnership with Samsung Romania.


The partners that made it possible to organise this edition became involved through resources, ideas, projects dedicated to the public and to expanding the experience provided by the Festival and represent both the institutional and the commercial segments.

The event is organised under the High Patronage of the Romanian President, is supported financially by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, enjoys the involvement in organisation and resource allocation of the Bucharest Municipality City Hall, through cultural institutions such as the Administration of Museums and Tourist Heritage for the organisation of the Festival Square, the Bucharest Museum for the exhibition “Confessions about Music” and the Museicorum program, the Comic Opera for Children and Cantus Mundi for Children’s Enescu Festival and the project “City of Music”, and ExpoArte for the “Enescu’s Images” National Art Competition. The Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company is another co‑producer, ensuring the recording and broadcasting of the concerts, so as to give access to them to a very large audience. The National University of Music of Bucharest supports the organisation of the shows and hosts events and rehearsals throughout the Festival. Bucharest Airports ensures the management of the great artists’ arrivals and departures, as well as the logistics required for the transportation of larger groups such as orchestras.

The commercial partners that have allocated resources to finance activities in the Festival and associated projects are:

Raiffeisen Bank Romania has undertaken, aside from the financing of the shows, the logistic support for the display signs in the concert halls, the production of the librettos, the arrangement of the press centre, the supply of almost 1.5 km of fresh flowers every day and developing special projects, activities in the Festival Square, the guided tours in the footsteps of Enescu, and the Silent Symphony project.

Rompetrol supports financially the technical organisation of the shows, it has undertaken the daily maintenance of the vehicles carrying the artists, promotes classical music in its own gas station chain, and supports classical music competitions in partnership with a radio station.

Audi will be in charge of carrying the artists participating in the Festival, providing vehicles and financial resources, and will ensure the public’s interaction with music in new, interesting forms, in the Festival Square.

SINTEZA provides promotional spaces for the Festival and for all the other partners.

Mastercard supports financially the organisation of the concerts and covers the building of the stage in the Festival Square, proposes interesting activities and provides sign interpretation of classical music for persons with hearing loss, with the help of specialised artists.

CBRE Romania has allocated financial resources, time and direct involvement for the development of the project “City of Music”, ensuring access for Cantus Mundi shows in 20 office buildings for 23 days. Moreover, the company will provide an interactive exhibition with glass instruments on the esplanade at the office building complex in Timpuri Noi Square.

Samsung gives support for innovation through financial resources, provides the screens required for informing the audience in concert halls, and has supported financially the development of the Enescu Experience app and promoting music through activities based on the augmentation of selected elements.

Electrica Furnizare supports financially the development of the projects and promotes the Festival through its own channels, directly to the public.

Senia and the Romanian Luthiers’ Association offer the instruments for some of the soloists and orchestras, ensuring their management as per the artists’ requirements, which is not an easy mission.

Tarom will be in charge of the proper transportation of some of the guest artists and offers favourable contractual conditions.

Official broadcaster Trinitas TV ensures the live and online broadcasting and distribution of the concerts, in compliance with the rights granted by the artists, ensures the Festival agenda, interview, reports with great artists and from the Festival events, has a dedicated section throughout the Festival and the rest of the year, giving access to recorded materials to anyone interested.

The sponsors have also allocated financial resources or products and services to meet the numerous needs for the organisation and management of an event that entails 23 days of events, 6 concert halls and over 3,000 artists.

Our sponsors are: Orange, Aqua Carpatica, La Mama, DC Communication, VMS, SSG Security, Speed Taxi, Yokko, Official wines from Rottenberg and Valahorum Wineries, along with cultural partner Wilo Foundation and with the support of Cocor, Media Trust, Biroul de Traduceri Champollion and Țuca, Zbârcea și Asociații law office.

International and Romanian media partners join these efforts and support us with reports, stories, interviews and reviews of the events held in Bucharest, with the same common goal of promoting classical music, the personality and works of Enescu, facilitating the access of a wider audience to the celebration of music occasioned by the 2019 edition of the Festival.

Our media partners are:

Mezzo, CNN, DeutscheWelle, Euronews

Romanian Television, Radio France International, Adevărul, Dilema veche, Antena 3,, Reporter Global, along with Hotnews, Gazeta sporturilor, Observatorul cultural, Liternet, Ziarul Metropolis,, Business Review, BookHub, Verbs describe us, Webcultura, Leviathan, Agerpres, Radio Europa liberă, Radio Tananana, Radio Rock FM, IQAds, Festivalier, Modernism, Igloo.


Contacts for the media:, + 40 746. 124. 388, +04 758. 236.015


About “George Enescu” International Festival

Having reached its 24th edition, George Enescu International Festival will take place between 31 August and 22 September 2019. In the Bucharest concert halls we will see over 2,500 of the most valuable musicians of the world, coming from 50 countries, and 84 concerts and recitals will be presented. This year’s edition of the festival has a total number of 34 figures coming to Romania for the first time: 25 artists, including Marion Cotillard, Kirill Petrenko, Mitsuko Uchida, and nine world-class orchestras.

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

For more details:


Translation provided by Biroul de Traduceri Champollion