What we can see on the stages of the George Enescu International Festival: Tuesday, 10th of September, 2019
An international mosaic of artistic repertoires and personalities
The musical amplitude of the George Enescu International Festival 2019 can only be compared with its exceptional international dimension: in the 23 days of the Festival and in the 84 concerts and recitals, over 2,500 of the most valuable musicians the world has today, of more than 50 nationalities, will be on stage in Bucharest. A true musical marathon for musicians and musicians alike, which makes the capital of Romania, for almost a month, the luminous core of world classical music.
The Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, one of the most talented opera singers of the moment, and Canadian pianist Carrie-Ann Matheson bring a Spanish music recital to the stage of the Enescu Festival in the first event of Tuesday, 10th of September. The concert is taking place at the Romanian Athenaeum, from 5 P.M., in the series Recitals and Camerale Concerts.
In the program: Seven Spanish folk songs – by Manuel de Falla, Neu from „For melodies”– by Federico Mompou, Damunt de tu només les flors from „Combat del somni” – by Federico Mompou, Classical Spanish Songs – by Fernando Obradors, Five song for children– by Silvestre Revueltas, Las nubes – by Carlos Guastavino, Canción del árbol del olvido – by Alberto Ginastera, Coração triste – by Alberto Nepomuceno, Gitana – by Luis Antonio Calvo.
Acclaimed on the most important opera scenes of the world, Rolando Villazón has established himself as one of the most appreciated and beloved stars in the world of music and one of the most important contemporary tenors. He was named by The Times “the most charming divo of today” and by Crescendo magazine “a great singer and a brilliant entertainer, extremely funny and profound at the same time”. Versatile and prolific artist, Rolando Villazón is also a director, novelist and TV star. His special vocal stamp and his magnetic stage presence prompted critics to consider him as “an authentic and amazing artist, always looking for the truth without compromise” (The Guardian).
The talented tenor, born in Mexico City, has been rewarded with many prestigious awards throughout his career. Rolando Villazón was nominated to become Chévalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a highly prestigious title in the field of arts and literature in France. In early 2017, he was appointed Ambassador of the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg. Rolando Villazón also serves as Ambassador of the charity Red Noses Clown Doctors International and is an active member of the College of Pathophysics in Paris.
Rolando Villazón is this year also the curator of the Mozart Week in Residence section at the George Enescu International Festival 2019.
The Canadian pianist and conductor Carrie-Ann Matheson is a close collaborator of conductor Fabio Luisi, who named her choreographer and conductor at the Zurich Opera in 2014. She was previously a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She has collaborated with prestigious directors such as James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, Daniele Gatti, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gianandrea Noseda, Marco Armiliato and many others. Due to her special interest in the professional development of young artists, she has been a permanent choreographer in the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist development program at the Metropolitan Opera.
As an accompanying pianist, Carrie-Ann Matheson has collaborated with high caliber artists, including Rolando Villazón, Jonas Kaufmann, Piotr Beczala, Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni, Barbara Bonney, Ruth Ann Swenson and Marilyn Flue.
The second event of the evening brings on the Festival stage a new international dimension: a German conductor, a reputed Japanese pianist and a Romanian orchestra. The Romanian Youth Orchestra, conducted by Michael Sanderling, will perform on the stage of the Grand Palace Hall from 8 P.M. The soloist of the evening is the pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii.
In the program: The Romanian Concert – by György Ligeti, Concert no. 2 for piano and orchestra – by Serghei Rahmaninov, Piano Quartet no. 1 – by Brahms / Schönberg.
Born blind, Japanese pianist and composer Nobuyuki Tsujii amazes the world with his exceptional musical talent, being included, at only 30 years old, in the international charts alongside the best musicians in the world. Impressed by his special musical sense, John Giordano, the musical director and conductor of the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the president of the jury for the Cliburn competition, confessed: “It’s amazing! I closed my eyes and it is so phenomenal that it’s hard to hold back your tears. Nobu sang seamlessly one of Beethoven’s most difficult songs for an hour [Sonata no. 29]. Which is, in itself, something extraordinary for any musician. But for a blind person, who has learned it by ear, it is something close to unthinkable.
Nobuyuki Tsujii is also a very talented composer. He composes a lot of film music, his creations illustrating many successful Japanese films. In 2011, his compositions brought him the Japan Film Critics Award. Nobu is very loved in Japan. The great Japanese figure skating champion, Midori Ito, carries Nobu’s fame and immense sensitivity in the sports world, skating at a world event (Master Elite Oberstdorf 2011) on his music, “Whisper of the River”.
The great pianist Van Cliburn said in an interview after Tsujii’s debut recital at Carnegie Hall (in November 2011): “What a thrill to hear this great, very talented, fabulous pianist. I felt the presence of God in the room when he sang. His soul is so pure! And his music is so wonderful that it can go up to infinity, to the highest heaven.”
Under the baton of Berlin conductor Michael Sanderling, pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii will play with the Romanian Youth Orchestra. It was formed in 2008, at the initiative of cellist Marin Cazacu, as an artistic and educational program supported by the “Friends of Music – Serafim Antropov” Foundation. Currently, the project “Romanian Youth Orchestra – Enescu’s spirit and European tradition” involves various creative development activities. The aim of the program is to offer the possibility of training musicians in the orchestra, to assimilate a rich repertoire by participating in masterclasses and, most importantly, to cultivate the pleasure of playing together with internationally renowned conductors and soloists, such as: Bogdan Băcanu, Sarah Chang, Amanda Forsyth, David Garrett, Stefan Geiger, Andrei Ioniță, Kristjan Järvi, Roman Kim, Elizabeth Leonskaja, Ivan Ludlow, Plamena Mangova, Valentina Naforniță, Olga Pasichnyk, Wave Quartet, Peter Sadlo, Olga Scheps, Emmanuel Séjourné, Aleksey Semenenko and Pinchas Zukerman.
The evening ends with a performance from the Midnight Concert series. The Bucharest Chamber Orchestra will perform on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum, from 10.30 P.M., under the baton of Mădălin Voicu. The soloist will be the violinist of Romanian origin Mihaela Martin.
In the program: Introduction, Arie and Presto – by B. Marcello, Concert no. 5 in D major for violin and orchestra – by W.A. Mozart and Symphony no. 85 “The Queen” – by J. Haydn.
The Romanian violinist, Mihaela Martin, has earned the reputation of being one of the most outstanding virtuosos of her generation. She began studying the violin at the age of five, with her father, continuing later with Professor Stefan Gheorghiu, a student of George Enescu and David Oistrach.
Her talent has been rewarded with numerous international awards and distinctions (the second prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at just 19 years old, the first prizes in Montreal, Sion, Brussels etc.). The first prize won at the Indianapolis International Violin Competition propelled her to a sustained international career. Her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York was described by the New York Times as “one of the most exciting debut concerts of the year,” and after the recital held at the Library of Congress, the Washington Post wrote: “Mihaela Martin will remain to adorn the musical world many years from now … She sang with energy and virtuosity, the premises for success. Her focus is absolute, she is very self-confident and, more than that, she has a lot of imagination.”
Approaching a vast repertoire, Mihaela Martin is a highly requested soloist on the worldwide stages. Her collaborations with orchestras include the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Hollywood Bowl. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit and Neeme Järvi are among the conductors she has worked with. She is constantly invited to chamber music festivals around the world. Mihaela has collaborated with musicians such as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Nobuko Imai, Leon Fleisher or Menahem Pressler.
The dialogue between the Bucharest Chamber Orchestra and the soloist Mihaela Martin will be performed under the baton of conductor Mădălin Voicu. Son of the violinist Ion Voicu, he initially studied the violin at the National University of Music Bucharest, and later dedicated himself to conducting. Over the years, he has benefitted from the guidance of prestigious musicians, such as Sergiu Celibidache, Carlo Zecchi, Corneliu Dumbrăveanu, Hans Swarowsky. Mădălin Voicu was conductor of the “Oltenia” Philharmonic and the “Paul Constantinescu” Philharmonic, at the same time being a permanent guest of the country’s orchestras, while the concerts held abroad enjoyed the public’s appreciation and criticism. He holds concerts with the Bucharest Chamber Orchestra, founded by violinist Ion Voicu. Since 2001, Mădălin Voicu has been an honorary member of the French Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.