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George Enescu Festival

George Enescu Festival

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The George Enescu Festival (also known as George Enescu Festival and International Competition), held in honor of the celebrated Romanian composer George Enescu
George Enescu
George Enescu was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher.-Biography:Enescu was born in the village of Liveni , Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County. He showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical...

, is the biggest classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 festival and classical international competition held in Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and one of the biggest in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. Enescu's close associate George Georgescu
George Georgescu
George Georgescu was a Romanian conductor. The moving force behind the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra for decades beginning shortly after World War I, a protégé of Artur Nikisch and a close associate of George Enescu, he received honors from the French and communist Romanian governments and...

 organized the first festival in 1958; highlights included a performance of Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

's Concerto for Two Violins
Double Violin Concerto (Bach)
The Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D Minor, BWV 1043, also known as the Double Violin Concerto or "Bach Double", is perhaps one of the most famous works by J. S. Bach and considered among the best examples of the work of the late Baroque period. Bach wrote it between 1730 and 1731...

 with Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh as soloists and a staging of Enescu’s sole opera, Œdipe, with Constantin Silvestri
Constantin Silvestri
-Early life:Silvestri, born of Austro-Italian-Romanian stock, was brought up on his own by his mother, his father dying from alcoholism and his stepfather dying when the boy was 16. He had learnt how to play the piano and organ before the age of 6. He played the piano in public at 10 and was a...

 conducting. The festival now is held every two years; the 2007 festival ran from 1 September to 23 September.

The concerts are held in three different venues in Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, Iaşi
Iasi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

 and Sibiu
Sibiu
Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania with a population of 154,548. Located some 282 km north-west of Bucharest, the city straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt...

. The 2007 presentations ended with a performance of Carl Orff
Carl Orff
Carl Orff was a 20th-century German composer, best known for his cantata Carmina Burana . In addition to his career as a composer, Orff developed an influential method of music education for children.-Early life:...

's Carmina Burana
Carmina Burana (Orff)
Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1935 and 1936. It is based on 24 of the poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana...

before an audience of over 4,000 at the Sala Palatului
Sala Palatului
Sala Palatului in Bucharest, Romania is a conference centre and concert hall immediately behind the National Museum of Art of Romania, the former royal palace in the heart of the city. It was built between 1959 and 1960, during the communist era...

.

The competition portion of the Festival lasts about a week, and it consists of three different categories: composition (118 participants in 2007), piano (44 in 2007), and violin (41 in 2007), each a record number of participants.

In the 2005 and 2007 presentations a daily open-air concert was added to the festival program. It is known as the Festival Piazza and features 3½ hours of classical music, in addition to movies about the life of George Enescu.

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