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'Romanian Rhapsody' - an extraordinary SoNoRo concert, at Europalia Festival opening gala
Festival George Enescu

The 27th edition of the Europalia International Festival, where Romania is an honorary guest country, will open on October 1 in Brussels with "Romanian Rhapsody" - an extraordinary SoNoRo concert, the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) announced on Tuesday in a release.

"The musical program of the 'Romanian Rhapsody' project was chosen based on several considerations: to be representative for Romania, both musically and spiritually, and no other composition could have fitted better than George Enescu's Rhapsody No. 1, in a special arrangement created by Thomas Wally for Ensemble Raro - the resident ensemble of the SoNoRo Festival. Then, with this concert, we wanted to create a link between the 'Constantin Brancusi' exhibition and the official opening of the Europalia Festival," said Razvan Popovici, the initiator of the SoNoRo project and of the eponymous festival.

He explained that the inspiration for the project were "Brancusi's workshop in Paris and the famous informal soirées he organized there, with the participation of great and extraordinary artists of the time."

"Eric Satie, a staple guest at these soirées, will represent them through his renowned Trois Gnossiennes for cello and piano. Through our repertoire we hope to revive that effervescent atmosphere in the workshop of the great Romanian artist. We will also play Enescu's 'Ville d'Avrayen' nocturne, a miniature for piano quartet, full of charm and mystery. Bela Bartok's famous Romanian folk dances for violin and piano will not be missing from the bill either, so that we manage to bring together the essence of the Romanian spirit, from the folklore roots brimming with vitality, to the sophisticated refinement of the compositions of great musician George Enescu, who also found inspiration in the Romanian folklore and who succeeded through his genius to distill it and transpose it into some of the masterpieces of universal classical music," Razvan Popovici notes.

Joining viollist Razvan Popovici and pianist Diana Ketler on the stage of the Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts on October 1 will be cellist Valentin Radutiu and violinist Erik Schumann.

The SoNoRo concert will take place in the presence of representatives of the Royal Family of Belgium, of the Presidency and the Government of Romania.

ICR is the coordinator of this year's edition of the event, which is being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and National Identity and the Government's Secretariat General, along with Europalia International - the organizer of the event. The festival includes visual arts, performing arts, music, film, literature, and cultural education events.


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