Alexandra Dariescu triumphs,
even during the pandemic
Despite the limitations on performances caused by Covid 19, Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, who has received support from the Foundation, has had a busy diary this season. Among other highlights Alexandra has played Clara Schumann’s rarely performed Piano Concerto in festivals and concert halls around Europe. Alexandra discovered she has played the concerto more times in one season than Clara Schumann did in her entire life.
Alexandra has been made an Associate Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music.
Link here to Alexandra’s site:
Alexandra Dariescu World Tour
The celebrated Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu visited 13 venues worldwide in late 2018 and early 2019 with her The Nutcracker and I World Tour, working with the ballerina Désirée Ballantyne. The performance, based on Tchaikovsky’s great ballet, is an arrangement for piano, ballerina and digital animation. During the tour Dariescu was also Playing repertoire including works by Enescu, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich. Venues included eight European concert halls, and cities in The UAE, China and Australia.
Foundation Awards Grant to Pianist
The Foundation is giving a grant towards the purchase of a piano to the prize-winning Romanian pianist and piano teacher Greta Gasser. Greta studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, after her initial training in Romania, and is based in Manchester. She has given many UK recitals, playing at venues including Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and St. Martin’s in the Fields London. Greta played the piano in the 2016 ITV Series Victoria as a hand double for the actress Jenna Coleman who portrayed the young queen.
Madalina Rusu Competition Finalist
Madalina Rusu has got through to the final of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, which is on Saturday 14th of March, at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings, East Sussex at 6pm. She will play the Grieg Concerto with the Sussex Concert Orchestra.
Madalina Rusu Recitals
26th of November 1pm, lunchtime recital at Chappell's of Bond Street, Schubert - 4 Impromptus op.90, Rachmaninoff - Corelli Variations, and Liszt - Mephisto Waltz.
Madalina performed a recital of Rachmaninoff 1st Piano Concerto at the Family Concert at the Fairfield Hall on 15th of November 2008.
Madalina gave the lunch time recital at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church Trafalgar Square, in London on Monday October 20th.
Brancusi Music Award 2008 Announced
The Prodan Foundation has established an annual award in the field of music, named after Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. The recipient of the Award for 2008 is pianist Madalina Rusu. She was recommended to the Foundation for an award by Stephen Walsh, former music critic for the London Observer, as she recently came second in a British competition of which he was judge. After hearing Madalina’s recordings of Rachmaninoff, her extraordinary talent was easily recognised. Madalina was born in Romania in 1985 and started to play the piano at the age of 8. From 2000 to 2004 she attended the National Academy of Music in Bucharest, and since 2004 has studied at the Guildhall School in London, where she has now commenced work towards her Masters Degree.
Madalina won First Prize at the National Olympiade of Music in 2000 in Romania, and First Prize at the National Stage of Concours Musical de France in 2002. She has also won First Prize at the International Competition Pro-Piano in 2002 and the Croydon Concerto Competition in 2007. She has won several other prizes in competitions, as well as the Beethoven Piano Prize at the Guildhall in 2005 and the Romantic Piano Prize at the Guildhall in 2008.
Madalina has given numerous recitals and concert performances of chamber music as well as concert performances of concertos, including the Grieg Piano Concerto and the Liszt No. 1 Concerto as part of the 2007 London Proms.
Madalina gave a recital as part of the Rachmaninov Festival at London's Barbican Hall on 20th September 2008. The concert was deemed the biggest success of the festival by one critic:
"Rachmaninoff’s idiom was captured much more tellingly in a recital by the young Romanian pianist Madalina Rusu, which in a nutshell made the distinction between the lyrical luxuriance of the early Moments musicaux Op 16 and the lucidity of the later Corelli Variations. The flagship orchestral events were not quite so forthcoming."
Adolfo Barabino recital
Adolfo Barabino receiving applause after his recital
The Foundation sponsored a recital by the talented Italian pianist Adolfo Barabino on Sunday 20th April at Hever Castle in Kent. The programme included Dinu Lipatti’s Second Nocturne and his transcription of Bach’s ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’, both being First British Performances of these pieces. Details of the recital may be downloaded here.
Adolfo Barabino recital (Jpeg file, 235KB)
Stefano Greco has been awarded the accolade of being made a Steinway Artist. Steinway and Sons has cultivated this special relationship with great pianists for many decades. It is a tribute to Greco's standing as an artist. Here are links to the Steinway Artist's and Stefano Greco's own site:
Stefano Greco played J.S. Bach's The Art of the Fugue at the Accademia San Felice World Sacred Music Festival in Florence on April 5th 2007 at the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte. The development of this performance is a Brancusi Classics project.
Below is the front cover of the programme from the Stefano Greco recital that took place in November 2005. Click on the image to see a bigger version of the programme plus the programme lineup in PDF format.
Two articles were written by Stefano Greco and Robert Temple to be included in the printed programme. These articles concerned the Fugue and can be viewed here:
Concerning the Fugue by Stefano Greco (PDF - 0.2MB)
The Philosophy of the Fugue by Robert Temple (PDF - 0.5MB)