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The 18th Edition of the Enescu Competition

The Ministry of Culture held a press conference today, June 28, together with ARTEXIM, the organizer of the George Enescu International Festival and Competition. The event was attended by the Minister of Culture Lucian Romașcanu, Sergiu Nistor (Presidential Advisor for the Department of Culture, Cults and National Minorities), Cristian Măcelaru (Artistic Director of the George Enescu International Festival and Competition), Cristina Uruc (ARTEXIM interim manager), but also Mihai Constantinescu (advisor for Artexim).

On this occasion, the director of Artexim, Mrs. Cristina Uruc, received the High Patronage diploma awarded to the George Enescu International Festival and Competition, signed by the President of Romania, Klaus-Werner Iohannis. The distinction was given by Sergiu Nistor, presidential adviser within the Department of Culture, Cults and National Minorities.

The main topics of the meeting were the organization process for the 18th edition of the George Enescu International Competition (September 2022) – a cultural project funded by the Romanian Government through the Ministry of Culture -, the vision of the new Artistic Director of the Festival and Competition, but also the program of the 2023 Enescu Festival.

“We have a team that we can rely on for the George Enescu International Festival and Competition and in this context I am honored to introduce you to the Artistic Director, Mr. Cristian Măcelaru, who will lead the festival for the next three cycles. We have brought extremely competent people in our team, who give us confidence that the event will achieve excellence. Administratively, we managed to carry out a reform in Artexim, Mrs. Cristina Uruc holding the position of interim director, in the next period. This way, I also want to thank Mr. Mihai Constantinescu, the former director of Artexim, for agreeing to remain close to the team and whose expertise we will continue to enjoy. The Ministry of Culture guarantees the financing process, with priority, of this large-scale event “, said the Minister of Culture, Lucian Romașcanu.

The 18th edition of the Competition will have its opening at the Romanian Athenaeum, on September 4, with a Gala Concert performance by the George Enescu Philharmonic, under the baton of maestro Peter Ruzicka, with an international premiere: An Ax For The Frozen Sea by Karlo Margetic, award-winning work in the composition section of the previous edition of the Enescu Competition. The program also includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano, performed by the winners of previous editions: cellist Jaemin Han, violinist Valentin Serban and pianist Yeon-Min Park from South Korea.

For the first time in the history of the Competition the first stage took place online, in May 2022, and the Semifinals and Finals will take place at the Romanian Athenaeum, between September 4-18, 2022. The program of this edition includes recitals and concerts, representing both competition stages as well as extraordinary recitals given by outstanding musicians, members of the juries.

“As a general artistic direction, the most important thing for me is to continue what has already been built. The Enescu International Festival and Competition has reached an international level, in which the most important thing is to maintain its visibility and what has already been created in Romania. (..) One of the first things we will add is a series of concerts for children through which we present and introduce to art and culture a young audience, a new audience. It is something missing in today’s society, and I want this focus to be brought back through the Festival “, said the Artistic Director, Cristian Măcelaru.

For the 2023 edition of the Festival, the new Artistic Director of the George Enescu International Festival aims to maintain the highest artistic standards that represented the previous editions of the Festival, by continuing the close relationships created with the world’s top artists. Another step is to expand the sphere of our cultural diversity by challenging the public through showcasing new and representative symphonic or opera masterpieces of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, rarely heard in Romania, many of them being premieres.

“What I can assure you of is that together with the ARTEXIM team and together with Mr. Mihai Constantinescu, we will do our best to offer to the invited artists and in the service of the artistic concept all our effort and involvement to logistically solve any problem that could come up. I am very happy to say that, this year, the Competition starts on September 4, exactly 64 years after the beginning of the first edition of the Festival and Competition. “, declared the interim manager of ARTEXIM, Cristina Uruc.

The total value of the prizes is 120.000 euros including the international promotion and the artistic debut of the most talented competitors. Winning first place at the 2022 Enescu Competition is the ticket to the George Enescu International Festival’s stage: at the 2023 edition of the Festival the most talented contestants will have the opportunity to perform with some of the largest orchestras in the world.

Tickets for the George Enescu International Competition will go on sale on July 7 at 12 pm. There will be two categories of tickets, with prices between 45 lei and 130 lei. Also, two subscription categories will be available for the 9 concerts and recitals performed during the Competition.


The finals of the Competition will be conducted by three important musicians of the international music scene: Wilson Hermanto returns to the Enescu Competition for the violin section final, and Tito Muñoz and Kensho Watanabe will participate for the first time in the Enescu Competition for the cello and piano section’s finals.

The George Enescu International Competition functions as an international launching platform for future world-renowned musicians and also for promoting compositions of the great Romanian musician among the new generation of artists from around the world and is thus a natural complement to the George Enescu International Festival, the most important cultural event organized in Romania. The competition has four sections – violin, cello, piano and composition – and ranks in the top five worldwide among classical music competitions.