MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Report on the 2021 George Enescu Festival

Here’s my report on the recent 25th edition of the George Enescu International Festival, published in today’s New York Times:

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania has a long record of defying the catastrophes history has served up, so it certainly would not allow the pandemic to derail the George Enescu International Festival, devoted to its premier musical native son, which ended on Sunday. At stake was not only the 25th edition of this country’s largest cultural event, but also the renewal of a global artistic exchange that this still-marginalized part of Europe considers essential to its development…

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Filed under: festivals, George Enescu, New York Times

2021 George Enescu Festival

The 25th annual George Enescu Festival is now underway in the composer’s native Romania. This year’s edition, held between 28 August and 26 September 26, is presenting over 3,500 international and Romanian artists. Most of the performances take place in Bucharest, but some are planned for other cities around Romania.

Paavo Järvi conducted the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in the opening night concert–Ensecu’s Romanian Rhapsody Op. 11, no. 2, the Sibelius Violin Concerto, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 on Saturday, with Hilary Hahn as the soloist. A complete listing of events programmed for this ambitious festival can be found here.

Filed under: George Enescu, music festivals, music news

An Enescu Discovery

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My latest piece for STRINGS magazine is on the very belated US premiere of an early string trio by George Enescu:

Fellow musicians — especially string players — have resorted to some striking superlatives to characterize George Enescu (1881–1955). Pablo Casals, a frequent chamber partner, once remarked that since Mozart, there had been no greater musical phenomenon, while Enescu’s student Yehudi Menuhin believed the Op. 25 Third Sonata (“dans le caractère populaire roumain”) represented “the greatest achievement of musical notation” he had ever known…

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Filed under: chamber music, George Enescu, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Strings

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