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Little to go till first edition of Romania's 'Clara Haskil' International Classical Music Festival


The Bucharest Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Tiberiu Soare will perform on August 30 as of 19:30 in the 'Thalia' Hall of the Sibiu Philharmonic alongside French violinist Marina Chiche, in the opening concert of the 'Clara Haskil' International Festival of Classical Music, the first project of international scale whereby Romania honors the memory of the legendary Romanian-born pianist.

The festival running between August 30 and September 4 will offer music lovers the chance to enjoy works by Beethoven, Schubert, Bach, Debussy in the rendition of six high-profile names of the international music scene who will play alongside Romanian household artists.

Conductor Tiberiu Soare, the Bucharest Symphonic Orchestra, the 'Arcadia' String Quartet and top caliber international artists - violin player Marina Chiche (France), cellist Vardai Istvan (Hungary), French piano player Adam Laloum - winner of the prestigious 'Clara Haskil' International Contest (Vevey, Switzerland) in 2009, pianist François-Xavier Poizat (Switzerland), violin player Julien Quentin (France) and Alina Azario - the remarkable Romanian pianist who has already conquered the international scene, and winner of numerous international contests, are the outstanding musicians who will enchant the public at the Sibiu Festival.

An evening will be dedicated to compositions by George Enescu and Dinu Lipatti, the recital given by French violinist Marina Chiche and Romanian pianist Alina Azario including Enescu's famous 'Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano in F minor' and Lipatti's 'Nocturne in F sharp minor.'

Pianist Alina Azario, the initiator of the event and artistic director of the festival, expressed her surprise at the Romanian public being less acquainted with Clara Haskil, who 'paradoxically, is less known in her native country than abroad, where everyone knows about Radu Lupu, Dinu Lipatti and Clara Haskil.'

'Clara Haskil is a strong bond between our countries, and in Switzerland, where she has lived and whose citizen she was, we have a piano competition bearing her name, which has been running since 1963, for already 51 years now,' Marc Bruchez, cultural attaché of the Swiss Confederation's Embassy in Romania, told AGERPRES, expressing also hope that the Clara Haskil Festival turns into a permanent event in Romania.

An art exhibition dedicated to the famous pianist will also be presented at the festival this year: artist of French origin Margot Point will display her works at the 'Thalia' Hall of Sibiu.

The 'Clara Haskil' International Festival of Classical Music is a project co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the Sibiu City Hall, several prestigious institutions joining the organizers' cultural demarche: the 'Clara Haskil' International Foundation in Switzerland, the embassies of Switzerland and Israel in Romania and the French Institute.

Born in Bucharest, on January 7, 1895, Clara Haskil honed her artistic skills in Paris with Alfred Cortot and came to perform with some of the world's greatest musicians, from Dinu Lipatti to conductor Herbert von Karajan. She was revered for her perfect and sensitive phrasing of Mozart, Scarlatti or Beethoven.

In 1942, the pianist settled in Vevey - Switzerland, and took the Swiss citizenship in 1949. In tribute to her personality, one of the most important classical music competitions in the world, already with a tradition of over 50 years, was named after her: the 'Clara Haskil' International Piano Competition - Vevey.

In a radio interview, Charlie Chaplin, a friend of Haskil, described her talent by saying: 'In my lifetime I have met three geniuses; Professor Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Clara Haskil. I am not a trained musician but I can only say that her touch was exquisite, her expression wonderful, and her technique extraordinary.'

Clara Haskil, an artist physically frail but strong to the core, has set a landmark in the the rendition of Mozart and Schubert, hers being widely regarded as legendary.