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A Different Kind of Cinema: teenage drama ‘The World Is Mine’ at the Romanian Cinematheque

Miercuri, Aprile 26, 2017 7:00 pm
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26/04/2017 @ Romanian Cultural Institute London, 1 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PH

We are excited to host, at our Cinematheque, one of the most praised debuts of the last years, Nicolae Constantin Tănase’s disturbing, pessimistic 'The World is Mine'. The intensity of the performances, the documentary-like realism and the relevance of the topic make it one of the most poignant films about growing up in the turbulent peripheries of Romanian big cities in recent times.

The film had its UK premiere in 2016 at the East End Film Festival, with RCI London support.

'The World Is Mine' is a coming of age drama focussing on the story of Larisa (Ana Maria Guran), a regular teenager from Constanța, Romania. Larisa wants a lot from life: money, power, influence, popularity, and respect. Now that she is in love, she will do anything for that.

‘A teen girl with a crush on the local stud finds misplaced confidence through this uneven liaison in ‘The World Is Mine', a millennial-generation drama that announces an assertive new voice in debuting helmer Nicolae Constantin Tanase.’ - Variety

‘An intense, female-driven debut feature (directed by a man).’ - Hollywood Reporter


Screenplay: Raluca Mănescu

DoP: Daniel Kosuth

Music: Vlaicu Golcea

Producer: Tudor Giurgiu, Radu Stancu

Cast: Ana Maria Guran, Iulia Ciochină, Oana Rusu, Ana Vătămanu, Florin Hritcu

In Romanian with English subtitles.

Nicolae Constantin Tănase (b. 1985) comes from an artistic family and his passion for storytelling became apparent at an early age. He graduated from FAMU International, subsequently continuing film directing studies at the National University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest. His graduation short, 'Outrageously Disco' (2009), earned him several awards. He also directed the shorts 'Zombie Infectors 3' (2008), 'Next' (2008), '12 minute' (2013) and the multi-awarded 'BLU' (2012). 'The World Is Mine' is his debut feature which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.


When: 26 April 2017, 7pm

Where: Romanian Cultural Institute London, 1 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PH

Free entry. Please book your seat here.

Oberon Symphony Orchestra plays Enescu’s Symphony No. 4 | St James's Church, Sussex Gardens | 29 April @ 7pm

Sambata, Aprile 29, 2017 7:00 pm
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 On 29 April, the 'Pascal Bentoiu: A London Homage' programme continues with a showcase of Bentoiu’s fantastic orchestral skills, celebrated at St James's Church, Sussex Gardens with the UK premiere of Enescu’s Symphony No. 4 in E minor, completed by Bentoiu, in the interpretation of Oberon Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Samuel Draper. Also in the programme: Gustav Mahler - 'Blumine', Bela Bartók - 'Romanian Folk Dances', and  Franz Schubert - Andante in B minor from Symphony No. 10 in D.


When: Saturday, 29 April, 7pm

Where: St James's Church, Sussex Gardens, Paddington, London, W2 3UD

Tickets: £10 and £6 (concessions). You can book your tickets HERE: http://www.wegottickets.com/oberonsymphonyorchestra


Who's Who:

"Pascal Bentoiu was born in Bucharest on 22 April 1927. His father, a well-known lawyer, dreamed that his son studied law, and so he did. Nevertheless, passionate about music, he privately studied violin with Vasile Filip, piano with Teophil Demetriescu, harmony, counterpoint and composition with famous Romanian composer Mihail Jora, whose favourite disciple he became. Pascal Bentoiu was forced out of the University and condemned to three years of hard labour immediately after the communists came to power in Romania. During this first Stalinist period, heavy persecutions followed for his family, especially his father, Aurelian Bentoiu, who died after 13 years of imprisonment. Released from prison in 1953, Pascal Bentoiu spent the next three years researching harmony and rhythm in Romanian folk music at the Bucharest Folklore Institute and continued composing. During the communist period and until 1989, Bentoiu kept a low public profile, refused to become a member of the Communist Party and dedicated his whole existence to music writing. His impressive body of work comprises 8 Symphonies, 4 Symphonic poems, 4 Concertos for piano, violin and cello, 3 operas, 6 String quartets, 2 sonatas, 30 songs, 21 special compositions for theatre and 6 books, among which the seminal 'Masterworks of George Enescu'. Pascal Bentoiu spent a decade working on the completion of George Enescu’s 4th and 5th Symphonies, the Symphonic Poem 'Isis' and the 'Clément Marot' song cycle. Bentoiu received two international prizes - Premio Italia for his radiophonic opera 'Iphigenia’s Sacrifice', the Guido Valcarenghi Prize for his 'Hamlet' as well as many important Romanian prizes. After 1989 he was elected president of the Composer’s Union. He remained in charge for two years and a half, working to transform the procedures according to the democratic times. Pascal Bentoiu was married to Swiss-Romanian writer Annie Bentoiu and was the father of Ioana Bentoiu, soprano and voice professor in Switzerland. His interests were far more extended than those in the music field. He read immensely, especially literature, philosophy and history and fluently spoke six languages (including Latin). He loved football, was a great jazz fan and held an enormous sense of humour, which greatly contributed to help him and his family during some sombre years." (Ioana Bentoiu)   


Ioana Bentoiu is the daughter of writer Annie Bentoiu and composer Pascal Bentoiu, with whom she learned solfeggio, theory and harmony. She studied with Romanian canto legend Arta Florescu and Valentina Creţoiu in Bucharest, with Juliette Bise in Lausanne and with Sena Jurinac in Augsburg. She began her operatic activity singing roles such as Die Zweite Dame and Pamina in 'Die Zauberflöte', Mimì in 'La Bohème', Poppea in 'Incoronazione di Poppea', Contessa in 'Nozze di Figaro' and Violetta in 'La traviata'.  She also performed with various orchestras in 'Carmina Burana', 'Vier Letzte Lieder', 'Les Nuits d’été' or 'Les Illuminations'. She sang in Romania, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, Croatia, Czech Republic and the USA and worked with conductors and pianists Jean-Marie Auberson, Armin Jordan, Cristian Mandeal, Horia Andreescu, Jan Hobson, Jean-François Antonioli, Valentin Gheorghiu, Alexis Hauser and Camil Marinescu. She recorded works by Jean Perrin, Arthur Honegger, Pascal Bentoiu, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakow, Cui, Borodine and Rachmaninoff for Claves, Podium, Timpani and The Romanian Composer’s Union. She published a biography of her beloved teacher, professor Valentina Creţoiu, and holds a Ph.D. at the National University of Music in Bucharest with and extended study on voice. Ioana Bentoiu has been teaching for a long time at the Institut de Ribaupierre in Lausanne and delivers master classes in Romania, USA and Switzerland.  


Born in Moscow into a family of musicians, Lena Vieru Conta studied piano in Bucharest, Salzburg, Moscow and Geneva with Gabriel Amiras, Carlo Zecchi, Lev Naumov and Harry Datyner. She also studied drawing and painting with Gyuri Glauber and Clarette Wachtel. Her repertoire includes classical and contemporary works. She performed in Romania, Germany, France, Switzerland, Holland, the U.S.A. and Canada and recorded for the Romanian Radio, France Musique and CBC Canada. As a visual artist, Lena Vieru Conta exhibited paintings, drawings and decorative art in Romania, Holland, the U.S.A. and Canada; her works can be found in private collections in Canada, in the United States, Japan, Israel, Russia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Romania. She holds a Ph.D. in musicology with an interdisciplinary approach pertaining to theory and history of art and psychology. Currently she teaches interdisciplinary classes at the National University of Music in Bucharest.


Romanian musicologist and journalist Mihai Cosma, Ph.D., holds a National University of Music in Bucharest degree in musicology and opera directing and is the founder and the artistic coordinator of Le Grand Prix d’Opéra International Voice Competition, the most important contest of its kind in Eastern Europe. Between 2013-2016 he was advisor of the General Manager of Bucharest National Opera. He is the founder and the director of the Centre of Excellence for Research and Artistic Projects of the National University of Music in Bucharest and the editor in chief of the University’s Publishing House. Since 1990 he has been the editor in chief of The Musical News magazine. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Romanian Composers’ Society and member of the Musicology and Musical Criticism Executive Bureau. Currently he teaches Musicology and History of Music at the National Music University in Bucharest. He is part of all major national and international voice competition juries and organised numerous music festivals, tours and symposiums. Mihai Cosma published many books on history of music and on opera. His activity as a music journalist is prodigious and relates to national and international newspapers and music magazines. He was awarded twice the Musicology Prize of the Romanian Composers’ Society and several other awards, including Chevalier of the National Cultural Merit offered by the President of Romania.


In addition to many booklet notes for Naxos over the past 20 years (on 20th and 21st century music) and numerous other record labels, Richard Whitehouse reviews regularly for publications such as Gramophone and Musical Opinion. A founder contributor to the websites Classical Source, Arcana and The Cusp, he has written on a variety of topics from the 2009 Donaueschingen Musiktage to Brian Wilson’s ‘Smile’ concerts. He also presented a paper at a seminar on Nikos Skalkottas in Berlin and featured in an Italian TV documentary on Luigi Nono. He has attended the last three editions of the Enescu Festival, and in 2013 had the pleasure of meeting Pascal Bentoiu to discuss the composer’s music and his Enescu realizations.


Samuel Draper was born in London into a family with a continental refugee background (his mother is the grand-daughter of the Jewish-German philosopher Walter Benjamin). He trained as a doctor, reading medicine, physiology, and the history and philosophy of science at University College, Oxford, where he was also Organ Scholar. Whilst at Oxford, Samuel was first able to indulge his developing passion for conducting, which had arisen out of his orchestral experiences as a horn player, and was conductor of the Oxford University Philharmonia, directed a performance of Mozart's C minor Mass, and founded the Oxford Sinfonia Eroica. Samuel went on to study as a post-graduate scholar with the HR Taylor Trust Award for Conducting at the Royal College of Music in London with Robin O’Neill and Peter Stark. He has acted as assistant on projects with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski and John Wilson, and studied historical performance practice with Sir Roger Norrington. Samuel was awarded the Bob Harding Bursary for Young Conductors, working with the Havant Orchestras from 2009-2011, and was a prize-winner in the International Conductors’ Competition 2009 with the Kammerphilharmonie Graz at Weiz, Austria. He is currently conductor of the newly-formed Oberon Symphony Orchestra in London, but previously conducted the Nürnberger Symphoniker, Oxford Philomusica, Suffolk Sinfonia, Croydon Youth Orchestra, English Schools’ Orchestra and BBC Ariel Orchestra. Championing new music as well as old, he has given premières of works of several composers, including Charlotte Bray, Rachel Lockwood, and Luís Soldado.

Mesmerising Duo Lucian Ban and Mat Maneri in the 'Enescu Concerts' Series

Joi, Mai 04, 2017 7:00 pm
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04/05/2017 @ Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH

Characterised as "one of the most gifted pianists to move to New York in the past decade“ (Bruce Lee Galanter), enthusiastically  reviewed by major British jazz publications like Jazzwise and Jazz Journal, Romanian ground-breaking composer and pianist Lucian Ban and American Grammy nominee violist & improviser Mat Maneri debut at 1 Belgrave Square on 4 May with a programme inspired by the music of George Enescu as well as Romania’s ancestral soundscape.

The concert is presented within our 'Enescu Concerts' Series and is part of a tour that will also lead the innovative duo to Derby’s Voice Box on 5 May and London’s Vortex on 9 May.

Writing about the album 'Transylvanian Concert', which forms the core of the duo’s British tour, The Guardian praised the music’s “own kind of melancholy beauty and wayward exuberance”. The New York Times called it “a lovely and restive new album” while All About Jazz marvelled at its “moments of unanticipated beauty”. Village Voice considered 'Transylvanian Concert' “one of those records that whisk you away” while Lucian Ban and Mat Maneri’s performances were described by L.A. Weekly as no less than “mesmerizing, evocative and sensually explicit”.  

This is the first time when jazz music features in our popular 'Enescu Series' but the great composer is as present as ever thanks to Ban and Maneri’s skilful  reinterpretations of some of his great compositions such as 'Impressions d'enfance' Suite, Orchestral Suite no. 1 and Sonata no. 3 “in Romanian folk style”. Another major source of inspiration for the brilliant duo is the ancient doina, the Romanian traditional musical genre included in the UNESCO heritage.  

The Lucian Ban-Mat Maneri tour is organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute. Media partner ECM Records.


When: Thursday, 4 May 2017 from 19:00 to 21:00

Where: Romanian Cultural Institute - 1 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PH

Entrance is free but it is required to book your ticket on Eventbrite.

Please note that the seating is unreserved.


”Mat Maneri has changed the way the jazz world listens to the Violin & Viola.” (All About Jazz)

A 2006 Grammy Nominee for “Best Alternative Album”, Mat Maneri has defined the voice of the viola and violin in jazz and improvised music. Born in Brooklyn in 1969, Maneri has established an international reputation as one of the most original and compelling artists of his generation, praised for his high degree of individualism, a distinctive marriage of jazz and microtonal music, and his work with 20th century icons of improvised music.  


In 1990, Mat Maneri co-founded the legendary Joe Maneri Quartet with his father, drummer Randy Peterson, bassists Ed Schuller and John Lockwood. The quartet’s recordings for ECM Records, Hatology and Leo Records were widely acknowledged by critics and fellow musicians as among the most important developments in 20th century improvised music. Maneri’s 1999 solo debut on ECM Records marked his emergence as a musician with a singular, uncompromised voice. Pianist Matt Shipp called him “one of the five greatest improvisers on the planet”, reflecting a growing consensus of Maneri as a central figure in American creative music. Since then, the long list of musicians with whom he has worked includes icons such as Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, Paul Motian and William Parker, as well as influential bandleaders such as Joe Morris, Vijay Iyer, Matthew Shipp, Marilyn Crispell, Joelle Leandre, Kris Davis, Tim Berne and Craig Taborn. Maneri’s recordings as a leader (trio, quartet and quintet) have been documented on Hatology, Aum Fidelity, Leo Records and Thirsty Ear.


“A name to watch” (John Fordham, The Guardian)

Pianist Lucian Ban was raised in a small village in northwest Transylvania, in “the region where Bartok did his most extensive research and collecting of folk songs” and grew up listening to both traditional and classical music. He studied composition at the Bucharest Music Academy while simultaneously leading his own jazz groups, and notes that his approach to improvisation has been influenced by “the profound musical contributions of Romanian modern classical composers like Aurel Stroe, Anatol Vieru and of course Enescu”. Desire to get closer to the source of jazz brought him to the US, and since moving from Romania to New York, in 1999, his ensembles have included many of New York’s finest players.  

Lucian Ban “ricocheted among orthodox post bop, free jazz, and inspired hybrids—including his inventive arrangements of the music of Romanian composer George Enesco" on his all-star octet album Enesco Re-imagined (Sunnyside, 2009) co-lead with bassist John Hébert. In 2013 Ban’s quartet Elevation released their first album, the "blustery Mystery (Sunnyside), where the searing, post-Coltrane blowing of tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton and the charged rhythms of drummer Eric McPherson and bassist John Hebert cut against the pianist’s controlled, abstruse austerity". Ban also has a duo with American violist Mat Maneri, Transylvanian Concert (ECM, 2013) where "Ban’s playing feels moodier and more brooding against the mahogany grain of Maneri’s microtonal viola" (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader). He has recorded 10 albums as a leader for labels such as Sunnyside, ECM, Jazzaway, etc. Lucian Ban has performed/recorded with among others: Abraham Burton , Nasheet Waits, Mat Maneri, Alex Harding, Barry Altschul, Gerald Cleaver, Bob Stewart, Badal Roy, Tony Malaby, Mark Helias, Sam Newsome, Ralph Alessi, Pheeroan AkLaff, Reggie Nicholson, Drew Gress, Brad Jones, John Hebert, Eric McPherson, among many others. His latest album “Songs from Afar” by Elevation Quartet released by Sunnyside Records in Jan 2016 received a 5* review in Downbeat Magazine.