Tag Archives: romanian

Eliza Leonida Zamfirescu


Eliza Leonida Zamfirescu (1887-1973) was one of the Europe’s first female engineers.

She was also the first Romanian member of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) and the first female member of the General Association of the Romanian Engineers (AGIR).

fig eng fem
photo: wikipedia, mirror.co.uk


She was born in Galati (Bucharest) in a family with eleven children, all very intelligent people. She was the sister of the Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida, that also sculptured face of the Christ the Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Her sister, Adela Leonida was the oftalmolog doctor who performed cataract surgery for Queen Mary of Romania. Another brother, Dimitrie Leonida, founded the Technical Museum in Bucharest that has now his name.

After finishing high school in Bucharest she was rejected from the University because she was a woman. Being confident that she has to be an engineer, she went to Germany where she was the first female student of the Royal Technical Academy Berlin, 1909. There it was also hard to overcome the idea of what a woman could be only “the three K (Kieche, Kinder, Kuche)”.

She married an engineer Constantin Zamfirescu, the brother of the Romanian writer Duiliu Zamfirescu and Queen Mary of Romania attended their wedding.

source: adevarul.ro


The little but very beautiful street where she lived has now her name, Intrarea Eliza Leonida Zamfirescu (Bucharest).


Dan Grigore – the extraordinary pianist


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