Tag Archives: roman

Dan Grigore – the extraordinary pianist

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Dan Grigore is considered one of the greatest pianist of the second half of the twenties century. His passion for music started early, he started piano lessons at three years old under the influence of his mother, also gifted for music. As a child, being ill for two weeks he asked his parents to take him with his blanket to his piano; from the beginning he was attracted irresistible by music.

Dan Grigore was born in Bucharest in 1943. At only 8 years old, he continued his piano lessons with great teachers from the Bucharest Conservatory, Eugenia Ionescu, Constantin Jora and then Florica Musicescu. He followed the courses of the Bucharest Conservatory but also in Sankt Petersburg at Rimski-Korsakov Conservatory with Tatiana Kravcenko. In 1969 he received a scholarship for Vienna, where he studied with Richard Hauser.

In the Romanian Communist period, as many other artistic Romanian personalities, he was marginalized. He received other scholarships, like the scholarship offered by Nadia Boulanger at the Fontainebleau Conservatory (1968), at the Madison-Wisconsin USA (1969-1971), by Sergiu Celibidache in Munchen (1979) or the invitation of the American Government for o trip in USA(1987). All are refused by the Romanian communist administration. We can not wonder, what could have been the artistic career of Dan Grigore in other times? Travelling through the grand scenes is after all essential for any music artist.

After the falling of the communist regime, Dan Grigore was invited to play in Tokio, Kyoto, Osaka, Anvers, Berlin, München, Budapesta, Birmingham, Cardiff, Paris, Roma, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Barcelona, Copenhagen … and so, as a tribute, the public worldwide appreciated  him.

In 1996, he sustained three concerts with the Munches Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Sergiu Celibidache, the last concerts of the Romanian extravagant conductor.

Two of the important services that Dan Grigore made to Romania were bringing home on the Romanian stages the great artists left during the communism (Ileana Cotrubaș, Marina Krilovici, Silvia Marcovici, Radu Lupu, Radu Aldulescu, Sergiu Celibidache) and the project  “Dati un leu pentru Ateneu” (“Give a coin for the Athenaeum”) for the restoration of the Romanian Athenaeum.

In October 2013, Dan Grigore will perform with the great Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Two Romanians on one of the greatest stages in the world, what an honor!

photo: evz.ro

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Damian Drăghici – star, gypsy, music, Mensa, poor, famous, generous, Grammy, Romanian, …

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So … star, Gypsy, music, Mensa, poor, famous, generous, Grammy, Romanian, … can you put these words together? … You have to! ‘cause we are starting to talk about Damian Drăghici, the genius with panpipes … the one who makes us forget the appearances and believe in destiny.

Damian Draghici was born in a family of musicians, traditionally gypsy music (lăutărească). He started playing at the age of three … cymbal, piano, contrabass, skins … at the age of ten, panpipes … and this was what he  has chosen for life.

Maybe without a traditionally education, he said he was never interested in school (as many gifted children), but with a strong musical education, from a family with many generations of musicians, starting learning at a very young age, always interested in “the music that chosen him” … in fact, some of these details can be found in many biographies of great musicians, from classic to modern music.

Really gifted, he was soon renowned as prodigy in Romania, participations of National festivals and concerts. Then invitations to play abroad, 1885 Denmark, again in 1987, 1988 the invitation of Richard Clayderman … all refused by the communist regime.

In 1988 he left clandestinely crossed the border at Timişoara in Yugoslavia, he walked many kilometers intending to get in Italy, but finally arriving in Greece … there he played initially at tables for money, then he succeeded in  playing keyboards in clubs … then, after a jazz concert with only four-five as audience, he decided to risk again for making what he always wished, real music.

The first step was a contract in Holland, a CD with Sony Music and then “the American dream”. He, “the Romanian gypsy”, dares to participate to an audition for Berklee College of Music, Boston and he obtained a full scholarship. He wasn’t having the money to get there, but they wanted him deeply so resolved this too. He finished Berklee College in one year and two months instead of four years with Magna Cum Laude; Damian Drăghici, obviously a phenomenon.

Someone that saw him so “rapid” in everything, always “bored”, speaking quickly, searching for something new, proposed him to give a Mensa test, he took this one too, Damian Drăghici is now a Mensa’s member.

In America, he becomes recognized for his outstanding talent …. release Damian’s Fire with the London Symphony Orchestra and musicians such as Dave Weckl, Neil Stubenhaus, Jimmy Johnson, John Robinson, Mike Miller, Ramon Stagnaro, Luis Conte … then in 2004 he joined as one of the headliners the Night of the Proms along with James Brown, Joe Cocker, Shaggy, Cyndi Lauper, Zucchero, Gypsy Kings, Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), The Pointer Sisters … and also a Grammy prize.

We can definitely say that Damian Drăghici lived in America “the American dream”, but this wasn’t his dream … he started speaking about his depression in this world of glamour, “without substance, where everything is fake” for him … psychologists came into scene, the last one find the treatment: “You don’t need medicaments. Go back to your roots. Go back home”. Quincy Jones said the same thing “Damian, go home. What I did for black people, what Spielberg did for Jewish, you can make for Gypsies”.

The Project “Damian & Brothers” was for his soul, returning in Romania, playing with Romanians Gypsies … a show that went through all Europe, a project that finally lasted three years, not three months as he initially thought. His appearance also changed from the Hollywood one to a “free” one … getting some weighs, having beard, singing drunk … he was amazed how much money you can make beating the drum … how many women you can have (he’s a man after all) even if you don’t look “pretty” … how you have to return to jazz until you lost yourself.

And jazz it was, the “best” of it, in 2010 with Eddie Daniels and Diane Schuur and in 2011, Classical Meets Jazz with Nigel Kennedy.

Now, Damian Drăghici, gives us another lesson. He decided to give up music, something that he says he has done only for his ambition, in order to help the others. Damian Drăghici has now a foundation that helps gifted children.

For some reason, glory is never in enough, why  having a Grammy when you can have two, three, four … it never actually ends … and this is the lesson of Damian Drăghici, knowing to choose the “other” way.

I don’t know if Damian Drăghici is now happy, even I think that in different ways he has always been and he always will. I know he is making an enormous generous thing by helping gifted children, another reason for admiring him even more.

And I also think that he will return someday to music, because “music chosen him” first plays, but maybe this is just a thought of someone used to think in patterns.

photo: last.fm, cinemagia.ro, a1.ro, cultural-china.com, adevarul.ro

Simion Liftnicul by Petru Cimpoesu – Just Intro

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Simion Liftnicul” (“Simeon the Liftite”) – 2001

Book of the Year 2006 in the Czech Republic, the Magnesia Litera Prize

Now, “Simion Liftnicul” is translated in Croatian, Italian, German, Bulgarian, Spanish.

“I’ve started writing fictions out of a psychoanalytical superstition, hoping that in this way the demon of my neurosis would devour itself. By writing, by plunging into my own dreams and breathing within them like some amphibious creature, I have gradually discovered that the reality of fiction is stronger, or at least richer in meaning than the fragmentary.” Petru Cimpoesu

www.petru.cimpoesu.ro

Irina Ciurea – Just Intro

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born 1978

The College of Arts “Nicolae Tonitza” Bucharest, Romania

The University of Fine Arts  Bucharest, Romania

2001 scholarship  – The Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan, Italy

2002 scholarship – The University of Perugia, Italy

photo: www.irinaciurea.com

Romanian Young Artists – International Exhibition (2)

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The project Mosaiken 5 – Betahaus Berlin (2009)
with Otilia Cadar, Ioana Ursa, Florin Pantilimon, Iulia Morcov, Delia Orman
Otilia Cadar
Ioana Ursa
Florin Pantilimon
Iulia Morcov
Delia Orman
“Mosaiken means 5 distinct artistic directions but still united through the same conceptual instrumentality like intimacy, personal histories, symbols, critique of spirituality and sin.
Mosaiken talks about the mirage capacity of reality , about the beauty and resorts of fantastic realism, in the context of Romanian contemporary art.

Each artist exhibits a mosaic of works creating a personal world. There are therefore five segments of mosaics. The subjects are distinctive and representative to each one of them.”

mosaiken5.blogspot.com

Romanian young artists – International Exhibition (1)

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I’ll begin from two international exhibitions,  that have the young art critic Cosmin Nasui as curator, in order to introduce you some amazing young Romanian artists.

Radu Belcin, Dragos Burlacu, Francisc Chiuariu, Maxim Dumitras, Ana Maria Micu, Catalin Petrisor, Flavia Pitis, Bogdan Rata, Aurel Tar were part of “Post Humanism – Rewriting Worlds” Moscow and “Colouring the Grey – State of Mind” Tel Aviv.

Radu Belcin

photo: www.radubelcin.blogspot.com

Dragos Burlacu

photo: www.dragosburlacu.ro

Francisc Chiuariu

photo: www.francisc-chiuariu.ro

Maxim Dumitras

photo: www.maximdumitras.ro

Ana Maria Micu

photo: www.anamariamicu.com

Catalin Petrisor

photo: www.catalinpetrisor.com

Flavia Pitis

photo: www.flavia-pitis.blogspot.com

Bogdan Rata

photo: www.bogdanrata.blogspot.com

Aurel Tar

photo: www.aureltar.eu