The Transilvania State Philharmonic, in an anniversary extraordinary concert given in Cluj-Napoca (western Romania), marked the 55th anniversary of the first concert given by the symphony orchestra under the baton of conductor Antonin Ciolan, the 40th anniversary of the choir and the 25th anniversary of the Transylvanian Quartet.
Fifth-five years ago the orchestra of the Transilvania State Philharmonic included 75 instrumentalists and a peasant music instrumental ensemble made up of 20 musicians.
Maestro Antonin Ciolan was appointed main conductor of the symphony orchestra and conducted the first concert, on December 4, 1956. The same year the Maestro became manager of the Philharmonic. Prestigious Cluj soloists of that time, such as flutist Dumitru Pop and violinist Stefan Ruha, were co-opted into the orchestra.
Maestro Antonin Ciolan’s disciples, the well-known conductors Emil Simon and Erich Bergel, then the prestigious Cristian Mandeal, covered one of the most fruitful stages of this orchestra’s development. Conductor Emil Simon laid the foundations of the repertoire of the Philharmonic and conducted more than 800 concerts.
The Philharmonic in Cluj-Napoca had guests of world repute, such as Sviatoslav Richter, Kurt Masur, Kirill Kondrashin, Stanislaw Wislocki, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Witold Lutoslawski, Carlo Zecchi, Yannis Xenakis, Janos Ferencsik, Aldo Ciccolini, Krzysztof Penderecky, Michi Inoue and Stefan Anton Reck.
In 1965 the Philharmonic launched its own annual festival, the Cluj Music Autumn, an important event that has successfully been held up to now.
In the opening of the anniversary extraordinary concert the Transylvanian Quartet, which is made up of Gabriel Croitoru, on the violin, Nicusor Silaghi, on the violin, Marius Suarasan, on the viola, and Vasile Jucan, on the cello, will perform music pieces by composers Joseph Haydn (1832-1809) and Paul Constantinescu (1909-1963). The quartet was founded in 1987 and was made up of four young instrumentalists of the Cluj Philharmonic Orchestra.
Conducted by Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, from Germany, the Orchestra of the Transilvania State Philharmonic will perform Tchaikovsky’s overture-fantasy ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and, together with the choir of the Philharmonic, conducted by Cornel Groza, Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana.’ The soloists of the famous cantata will be soprano Adela Zaharia, tenor Janos Szerekovan, from Hungary, and baritone Adrian Marcan.
The choir of the Transilvania State Philharmonic was set up in 1972, while the famous composer Sigismund Toduta was the manager. Its participating in prestigious festivals and the tours it made consolidated its position and the good international name it earned for itself.