Tag Archives: viena

Ioan Nemtoi – perfection in glass


As Romanian, it’s almost impossible not to know Ioan Nemtoi … articles in many magazines, tv shows, two galleries in Bucharest’s centre … as lover of art, it’s really impossible, his art is famous everywhere … what can I say more ? …

Working as a resident in the “Carol Davila” Hospital I had the privilege of passing by Nemtoi’s Gallery on Calea Victoriei (Bucharest) every day, many times reviewing the gallery. One day, I found Ioan Nemtoi there, very kind to explain his work … I used to think I knew a lot about Ioan Nemtoi, however, after talking with him, I realized it’s so much more to know.

How is Ioan Nemtoi? I see him as a kind of Ion Creanga, Moldavian from Dorohoi, Romanian to the bone, “neaos”, funny, … and, of course, not the least, brilliant. His art, perfection in glass I say, is love at first sight for anyone.

In the early 90′, he started the international exhibitions in private galleries in Norway, Sweden, France … he left Dorohoi, the place where his workshop still stands, he loaded his pieces of glass in an Aro (not in a very good shaped car) and left hoping to a get to the end of a very long road … longer than he initially thought, because now his exhibitions are everywhere … McLaren Technology Center Surrey… Oxo Tower Wharf London … World Trade Center, Rotterdam & Amsterdam …  Jacob Bach, Düsseldorf … Artech, SoHo, New York … Nemtoi Glass Art Gallery, Elvej, Danmark …

In Vienna, in an old home for medical students, later transformed in hotel, you can find Ioan Nemtoi’s work in every room … the restaurant, bar and the garden area are all Nemtoi’s design, not only Nemtoi’s glass … so visit Nemtoi Restaurant and Bar at The Levante Parliament Hotel in Vienna. Do you need more? His creations are permanently exposed  at UNICEF, New York, USA (“Bread and Fishes”) and White House, Washington DC, USA (”Genesis”), also in private collections: King Harald Norway, Vladimir Putin, Kofi Annan, Emma Nicholson…

Speaking about his greatest dream … an International Academy of Glass in Dorohoi … because Ioan Nemtoi, even though he had many opportunities to leave Romania, thinks that living here is better and tries to convince any Romanian to do the same, to live in Romania . Writing about Ioan Nemtoi was a really great joy.

photo: razvandinu.ro

Ioan Holender – great Opera’s manager


  I was thinking how to explain my daughter what “direct” is and that there couldn’t be a better  solution  than  “Radetzky March” for the end of the Vienne New Year Concert … and going from here to the memory of another cool Romanian.

For many of us, this concert, annually transmitted by the Romanian national television, is the only contact with Vienne State Opera. For Ioan Holender, the manager of Vienne State Opera for almost 20 years, it is much more,  it’s his life.

Ioan Holender was born in Timisoara, Romania, in 1935.  His father owned a factory in Timişoara, which was expropriated in the communist period.  He studied mechanical engineering, he also worked as a tennis coach and then he emigrated with his family to Austria. There, he followed music studies and was baritone for some years. In 1966 he started working at  the Starka theatrical agency and began to have success.

 In 1992 he became the manager of Vienne State Opera,  the largest audience Opera in the world. With Ioan Holender as manager, the number of shows and receipts achieved new records, over 50 operas and ballet works on around 300 days per season. And that is why the mandate of Ioan Holender as manager was another record, the longest in the history.

At the age of 75 years, Ioan Holender withdraw from this position. The show dedicated to this moment was a real tribute: a marathon of six hours, more than 40 interpreters, 12 conductors, all the funds being donated for the street’s children in Moldavia Republic.

What is Ioan Holender now? … artistic adviser for Tokyo Opera, Budapest Opera, New York Metropolitan Opera, …, the president and artistic manager of  “George Enescu” Romanian Festival, the honorary ambassador of Timisoara, the town that he had never forgotten and always promoted.

photo: cimec.ro