News Bureau | University of Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign logo


2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008
Email to a friend envelope icon for send to a friend

Composer George Enescu to be celebrated with symposium Oct. 20-22

Melissa Mitchell, Arts Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Fifty years after Romanian composer George Enescu's last residency at the University of Illinois, the campus is celebrating the anniversary with a three-day symposium Oct. 20-22.

"Enescu has been a towering figure of the 20th century as a composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and pedagogue," said UI violin professor and event coordinator Sherban Lupu. "Together with Bartok, Szymanowsky, Janacek and Stravinsky, he engineered the rebirth of the East European national schools, thus creating the bridge linking the romantic era to the modern and contemporary language of music."

From 1948 through 1950, Enescu was a regular visitor to the UI campus. During his extended visits, he gave master classes in violin, piano and chamber music, and performed and conducted.

During that period, "Enescu's presence would be an inspiration and a catalyst of music-making and learning for students and faculty alike," Lupu said. "The present festival is an attempt to revive those glorious moments in our School of Music's past and tradition, and serve as an inspiration for our present and future generation of music students," said the UI professor, who, like Enescu, was born in Romania and began playing violin as a young child.

A member of the George Enescu Chamber players and founder of the UI's Enescu Ensemble, Lupu is regarded as one of the world's leading performers of Enescu's music. The upcoming festival and symposium is co-sponsored by the Russian and East European Center, School of Music and Romanian Student Club, with assistance from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The event will feature lectures, concerts for large and small ensembles, vocal recitals and instrumental.

Lectures will be held each day of the event from 10 a.m. to noon, and 2 to 4 p.m., in Room 25, Smith Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana; most performances will be staged in Smith Hall's recital hall. The exception is the opening-night concert featuring the Enescu Ensemble (conducted by Lupu) and members of the UI music faculty and guest artists, which will take place at 8 p.m. in the Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets cost $5 ($4 for senior citizens; $2, students) and are available at the Krannert Center Ticket office, 333-6280.

Subsequent evening concerts take place at 8 p.m. on Oct. 21, and at 7 p.m. on Oct. 22 in Smith Hall. Admission is free. Other festival highlights include a lecture dedicated to Enescu's residency at the UI.

The lecture will feature remarks by former faculty members and students who were on campus at the time, as well as films about Enescu and taped rehearsals and concerts recorded during his visits. Also featured will be the American premiere of Enescu's Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, which, Lupu said, has been revised into a new edition by the eminent Romanian composer and musicologist Pascal Bentoiu. Bentoiu and other Romanian composers and scholars will be on campus to participate in the event.

Except for the Krannert Center performance, symposium and festival events are free and open to the public. Preregistration is not required.