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Sat, 27 Apr


Romanian Cultural Institute

Conductor Cristian Măcelaru and Pianist Mihai Ritivoiu, Ambassadors of the George Enescu Competition

A special event organised in the Enescu Concerts Series 2023-2024

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Conductor Cristian Măcelaru and Pianist Mihai Ritivoiu, Ambassadors of the George Enescu Competition
Conductor Cristian Măcelaru and Pianist Mihai Ritivoiu, Ambassadors of the George Enescu Competition

Time & Location

27 Apr 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH, UK

About the event

We are delighted to partner up with Artexim, proud organizer of the George Enescu International Festival and Competition since 1991, to promote in the UK the upcoming 19th edition of the Competition, taking place in Bucharest from 31 August – 27 September 2024. The Enescu Concerts Series will host a thrilling and much-awaited event featuring Maestro Cristian Măcelaru, GRAMMY Award-winning conductor and Artistic Director of the George Enescu International Festival and Competition. Maestro Măcelaru will be presenting, alongside Cristina Uruc, Executive Director of the Festival, the story behind one of the most successful classical music events worldwide, extending an impassionated invitation to young musicians to take part in this year’s George Enescu International Competition. The discussion will be moderated by British journalist Peter Quantrill. The dialogue will be followed by a piano recital by virtuoso Mihai Ritivoiu, 2011 laureate of the competition. The programme features works by Chopin, Beethoven and, of course, George Enescu.


Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata No. 31, in A flat major, Op. 110

Frédéric Chopin: Mazurka Op. 59 No. 2, in A flat major and Etude Op. 10 No. 4, in C sharp minor

George Enescu: Sonata in F sharp minor, Op. 24 No. 1

The George Enescu International Competition (31 August – 27 September 2024) is the most important classical music competition in Romania and one of the most important in the world. Registration is open for all four sections of the Competition: cello, violin, piano and composition. Access the official registration page HERE. The George Enescu International Competition is an event held under the High Patronage of the President of Romania and a strategic cultural project financed by the Government of Romania through the Ministry of Culture.

GRAMMY Award-winning (2020) conductor Cristian Măcelaru is Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival and Competition, Music Director of the Orchestre National de France, Chief Conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Interlochen Center for the Arts’ World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. At the 2023 George Enescu Festival, his inaugural season as Artistic Director, Măcelaru conducted the George Enescu Philharmonic, WDR Sinfonieorchester and Orchestre National de France alongside the Romanian Youth Orchestra. The 2023 festival presented more than 100 concerts in six separate series spanning over four weeks in five different venues. Among the 3,500 guest artists of the 2023 edition, we highlight the presence of Martha Argerich, Gautier Capuçon, Yuja Wang, Zubin Mehta, Klaus Mäkela and Sir Simon Rattle. Performances included 39 Enescu compositions, as well as Romanian premieres from composers Tan Dun, John Adams, Jörg Widmannand and others. Măcelaru devotes significant time to mentoring young musicians in his capacity as an educator, continuing the great legacy of the Cabrillo Conductors / Composers Workshop that brings together the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and leading faculty with early career conductors and composers for a professional training program focused on the creation and performance of new music. He also holds annual conducting masterclasses in Timișoara with the Romanian Chamber Orchestra and each year calls for scores from young Romanian composers. More than 40 compositions thus far have been written through this initiative. This season, Măcelaru will also work with young musicians during his residency at the Kronberg Academy in Germany.

Peter Quantrill writes and speaks about music. His work appears in Gramophone, The Strad, Pianist, Hi-Fi News, Bachtrack, and many other print and online publications. He also contributes essays on music and musicians to performing arts organisations and record labels such as the Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and Deutsche Grammophon. He gives concert introductions across the UK and abroad, and he has given talks at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

The London-based Romanian pianist Mihai Ritivoiu is a laureate of numerous national and international competitions most notably a laureate of the George Enescu International Competition, where he was also distinguished with the special prize for the best interpretation of a piano sonata by George Enescu. Mihai has played concertos with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and MDR Leipzig, and with conductors such as Joshua Weilerstein, Robert Trevino, Michael Collins, Cristian Mandeal, Christian Badea and Horia Andreescu. He has been invited to play at prestigious festivals, including Young Euro Classic in Berlin and the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, and has performed in halls such as the Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. He appeared live several times on BBC Radio 3’s programme ‘In Tune’, and his performances have been broadcast by Radio Romania Muzical, Radio Television Suisse and Medici TV. His debut album, released under the label Genuin with solo works by Franck, Enescu and Liszt, has been praised as “beautifully recorded, handsomely played - a solo recital to cherish” (The Arts Desk). A graduate with the highest honours from the National University of Music in Bucharest and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, Mihai studied with Professors Viniciu Moroianu and Joan Havill. He has been mentored by Valentin Gheorghiu and Christopher Elton. In addition to his solo recitals and concerto appearances, Ritivoiu has a rich chamber music activity, playing with Corina Belcea, Antoine Lederlin, Roland Pidoux and Alexander Sitkovetsky. He has also worked closely with the contemporary French composer, Stéphane Delplace, recently having performed the world premiere of one of his pieces.

Cristina Uruc began her career in concert management, cultural events, and shows in 2007 at ARTEXIM, accumulating over six years of experience in all stages of production and organisation of one of the world's largest classical music festivals. She served as the general project manager of the International Week of New Music Festival and tour manager of renowned early music ensembles such as Il Giardino Armonico and Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri.  She studied composition at the National University of Music Bucharest under the guidance of composer Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea (bachelor's and master's degrees), and in 2019, she was awarded the title of "Doctor of Music" at the same institution under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Dan Dediu.

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