The first concert of the ‘Imagine Baroque – Quasi una fantasia’ International Tour, performed by pianist Sînziana Mircea – Young Steinway Artist, will take place on today, May 25, 2023, at 8:00 PM in Timișoara. The concert is organized by the Banat Philharmonic as part of the International Festival ‘Timișoara Muzicală’ and will be hosted by the New Millennium Reformed Center, home to one of Romania’s newest and most advanced organs. The festival is part of the cultural events program of ‘Timișoara – Capitală Culturală 2023’. This year, the 47th edition of the festival features prominent names such as conductor Cristian Măcelaru, the National Orchestra of France, and pianist David Fray.

This tour reflects the grandeur of the Baroque era in all its splendor, bringing together the organ, the most representative instrument of that period and most complex instrument ever created, together with the piano. It has been a thought that has followed me in recent years, the idea of intertwining the sounds of the piano with this extraordinary instrument, and now this idea becomes a reality, thanks to the generosity of our concert hosts who embraced this unconventional concept with great courage. Without a producer who would bet on such an innovative and unusual project, it would have been impossible. Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to the Banat Philharmonic, the ‘Vara Magică’ Festival, the Conservatory of Sassari, Associazione “Arte in Musica di Alghero” and all the project partners. Firstly, we need a venue that can accommodate both instruments. Then, a repertoire needs to be created because there is no existing literature for this duo. I can’t wait to hear, for the first time, the sound of a piano and an organ in a church in Timișoara, then in a cathedral in Sardinia, Italy, the birthplace of European musical Baroque history, and finally, to perform at the Romanian Athenaeum within the ‘Vara Magică’ Festival, in a show with live video mapping, where this project was born last year,” stated pianist and composer Sînziana Mircea.

The International Tour ‘Imagine Baroque – Quasi una Fantasia’ represents a continuation of the project launched by the pianist in 2022. This year, the series of innovations continues with the presentation of an extremely rare duo: piano and organ. Piano and organ recitals are very rarely presented, even at a global level, due to the lack of literature for such a duo. The repertoire includes the presentation of unknown works by the Italian composer Benedetto Marcello, discovered by Sînziana Mircea at the Library of the Conservatory in Venice. These works are the results of the pianist’s doctoral research as a PhD student at the West University of Timișoara, as well as her study period in Venice, within the ‘Nicolae Iorga’ Research Scholarship for a duration of 14 months. The International Tour, which begins on Thursday, May 25th, in Timișoara, includes a series of concerts held in Romania and Italy, including Sardinia (Sassari Cathedral – Conservatorio “Luigi Canepa” di Sassari, May 30), Sfântu Gheorghe (Arcuș Cultural Center, July 4), Bucharest (Romanian Athenaeum – ‘Vara Magică’ Festival, July 12), Como (Caglio, August 3), Milan (Rotonda del Pellegrini, October 2), and others. The concert in Sardinia is part of the “Festival del Mediterraneo”, XXIII International Organ Concert Series organized by the “Arte in Musica di Alghero” Cultural Association.

The “Timișoara Muzicală” International Festival brings within its 47th edition, in the year in which the city is the European Capital of Culture, the National Orchestra of France, alongside its artistic director, Maestro Cristian Măcelaru. In the festival agenda we also find a series of valuable artists from Romania and abroad: French pianist David Fray, violinist Sarah Nemțanu, French flutist Matthieu Gauci-Ancelin, soprano Dragana Radakovic, but also the conductor Gabriel Bebeșelea. We are very happy that pianist Sînziana Mircea accepted our invitation to participate in this edition of the festival”, as declared by Ovidiu-Florian Andriș, Manager at Banatul Philharmonic, the organizer of the festival.

The guest of Sînziana Mircea in this tour is Italian organist Davide Mariano, one of the most talented and active young organists internationally, with performances on stages such as Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna, and Notre Dame in Paris.

“I am very happy and honored to participate as an organist in the International Tour ‘Imagine Baroque – Quasi una Fantasia,’ especially because it will be my first time visiting Romania. I am thrilled to start the tour in Timișoara, the European Cultural Capital this year, where I will also teach an Erasmus course at the West University of Timișoara, followed by our return to Romania for the concert at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. Together with my good friend, Sînziana Mircea, we propose an unusual repertoire full of surprises,” stated the Italian organist Davide Mariano. Joining the mentioned musicians will be the mezzo-soprano Roberta Serra (Sassari) and the flutist Maria Velia (Bucharest). The concert at the Romanian Athenaeum (Bucharest Philharmonic) will be accompanied by multimedia projections and live video mapping created by the visual artist Adistu.

If in 2022, we emphasized technology by combining the piano with live electronics, now the focus is on the unprecedented innovation of the Baroque era, the sounds that characterized it, and the instruments that were born during that time, including the ‘fortepiano,’ the precursor to the piano invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori. Coincidentally or not, one of the three surviving instruments of Cristofori belonged to Benedetto Marcello, a composer included in our concert program in various formats.v I look forward to welcoming you to the concerts!”, said Sînziana Mircea.