Romania – Music
George Enescu (1881-1955) is considered to be the most important Romanian musician of all time. Having dreamed of being a composer from a very young age, Enescu began his studies at the Music Conservatory in Vienna before moving to Paris. Graduating early at the age of 17, the young artist embarked on an outstanding career as a composer, violinist, pianist, and conductor, performing on the most important stages in Europe and the United States. He was a mentor to great violinists such as Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, and Yehudi Menuhin, for whom Enescu remained “one of the true wonders of the world.” In America, starting from 1923, he conducted prestigious orchestras, among which we can mention Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Orchestra and Chicago Symphonic Orchestra.
In memory of the artist, the George Enescu Festival has been organized every year since 1958 in Bucharest (the National Museum “George Enescu” was opened in the Cantacuzino Palace, one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest). More than 120,000 spectators attended the 2013 edition of the festival, with more than 4,000 artists performing during the event that lasted for the whole month of September. At the European level, Enescu’s musical heritage is also felt by the current generations, who have heard of him or maybe even listen to his old songs. His musical activity alternated between Bucharest and Paris, with tours in many European countries, together with famous partners like Alfredo Casella, Pablo Casals, Louis Fournier.
Known as the “King of the Pan Flute,” Gheorghe Zamfir (b. 1941) has an impressive track record, having sold over 40 million recordings and with five decades of world-class performances under his belt. His success is more surprising considering the secondary status given to his instrument of choice; nevertheless, Gheorghe Zamfir managed to bring the flute the fore. His repertoire is an authentic musical journey, which passes through gypsy influence, Romanian folklore, and classical music.
He transforms the notes, twists the compositions, and makes the sound his own, and he had hundreds of millions of records sold around the world. Gheorghe Zamfir’s influence has long crossed the borders of Europe. In 1959, he recorded the first songs, own compositions in folk style, with the Romanian Radio Folk Music Orchestra, directed by Radu Voinescu, following other tours in URSS and Greece, until 1964, wining the 1st price to Levadia (Greece). In 1966, he was appointed conductor of “Ciocârlia” Ensemble. In 1966, signs for the first “Electrecord” disc, which will include his famous compositions “Doina de Jale”, “Doina as in Visina”. In 1972, he collaborated for the soundtrack of the “Great Blond with Black Shoes”, of the French producer Ives Robert, and then for movies like: “Picnic at Hanging Rock” (1975), in Australia, “Brâncuși and the Moldavi- a Monasteries” (1975), “Once upon a time in America” (1984), “Karate Kid” (1984). In Venezuela, the movie “Ciao Cristina” used as main theme a composition of the musician Gheorghe Zamfir.
In 1978, he composed the music for the movie “The Curse of the Earth, the Curse of Love”, directed by Mircea Mureșan, based on the novel “Ion”, by Liviu Rebreanu, (he won the 1st prize for composition). In 1996, he recorded the music for the Macedonian movie “The Lake”. In 2004, the interpretation of the song “The lonely shepherd” is included in the movie “Kill Bill”. In 1968, he recorded the second disc, “Roumaine, Gheorghe Zamfir, the pan flute”. In 1968, he won the gold medal and “Golden Orpheus” at the World Youth and Students Festival from Sofia.