The Youth Orchestra Romania-Moldova makes its Young Euro Classic debut in 2016. Founded in 2014 by Marin Cazacu, the artistic director of the Romanian Youth Orchestra, and the conductor Cristian Mandeal, it gave its very first performance to great acclaim at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest in February 2015. Its name is programmatic: about three quarters of the 90 musicians aged 17 to 25 are also members of the Romanian Youth Orchestra; the remaining quarter is made up by members of the Youth Orchestra of the Republic of Moldova. These two ensembles are also still relatively young; the Romanian Youth Orchestra was founded in 2008, its Moldovan counterpart in 2013. The cooperation between the two orchestras also has a political dimension, since relations between the two countries are problematic to this day, due to negative experiences during the era of Communism and the Soviet Union (to which Moldova was annexed after World War II).
Philosopher, Journalist and Author
Richard David Precht (b. 1964) is a philosopher, journalist and author and one of the most prominent intellectuals in the German-language region. He holds an honorary professorship at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg and also teaches philosophy and aesthetics as an honorary professor at the Music Academy Hanns Eisler in Berlin. His books, such as Wer bin ich – und wenn ja, wie viele? (published in English as Who am I – And if so, How Many?), Liebe – ein unordentliches Gefühl and Die Kunst, kein Egoist zu sein are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than 40 languages. Since 2012 he has moderated the philosophy show Precht on the German ZDF television channel.
The Romanian conductor Cristian Mandeal, born in 1946, graduated from the Bucharest Music Academy before continuing his studies with Herbert von Karajan in Berlin and Sergiu Celibidache in Munich. From 1987 to 2009 he was chief conductor and general music director of the Bucharest Philharmonic. Apart from Romanian ensembles, he has led renowned orchestras all over Europe and was principal guest conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester until 2009 and of the Philharmonic Orchestra Copenhagen until 2013. During this time, he led more than 60 world premieres by Romanian and other composers. Mandeal is a tireless champion of the oeuvre of his compatriot George Enescu, whose complete symphonic works he has recorded on CD. During recent years, the 70-year-old conductor has dedicated much of his time to the establishment of the Romanian Youth Orchestra, with which he already appeared at Young Euro Classic in 2012 and 2014, and the Romanian National Symphony Orchestra.
At the moment, Andrei Ionita is still a student with Jens-Peter Maintz at Berlin’s University of the Arts. Yet the 22-year-old is already well on his way to a great career: in June 2015 he won the 1st Prize at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow – ever since, one invitation has been chasing the next, for example for concerts with Valery Gergiev in St. Petersburg, Munich, Baden-Baden and London. Ionita’s success was not a surprise, having already won 2nd Prizes at the ARD Competition in Munich and at the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann in Berlin in 2014. He was subsequently invited to the Kronberg Academy, where he gave concerts with Gidon Kremer and Christian Tetzlaff. Born in Bukarest, Andrei Ionita began playing the cello at the age of eight, moving to Berlin in 2012. He is a fellow of the German foundation “Musikleben” and plays a Rogeri cello built in 1671.
Suite No. 1 in C-Major Op. 9 (1903)
Variations on a Rococo Theme Op. 33 (1877)
“Romeo and Juliet” Suite Op. 64 (1936):
1. The Montagues and Capulets 2. Juliet, the Little Girl 3. Masks 4. Romeo‘s Farewell from Juliet 5. Tybalt’s Death 6. Romeo at Juliet’s Grave
7 pm: Pre-concert Lecture with Katja Tschirwitz in the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free for ticket holders (admission at 6:45 pm)
The concert of the Youth Orchestra Romania-Moldova, which thereby makes its Young Euro Classic debut, draws from the fullness of Eastern Europe’s rich musical repertoire. Of course, the greatest Romanian composer, George Enescu, takes pride of place, opening the concert with his imaginative Suite for Orchestra No. 1 in C-Major of 1903. Its combination of Romanian folk melodies, French elegance and German expressivity is far too rarely heard in concert halls in this country. A firework of instrumental effects is unleashed in Sergey Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, depicting the tragic story of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers; the young musicians from Romania and Moldova perform a selection of its most famous “numbers”. And then there is one more set of fireworks: the fiendishly difficult Rococo Variations by Piotr Tchaikovsky, in which the young Romanian cellist Andrei Ionita will prove his brilliant talent.