On 29 April, the Romanian Cultural Institute presents a showcase of Pascal 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.
This event is part of ‘Pascal Bentoiu: A London Homage’, our celebratory, one-month programme revolving around the fascinating personality of legendary composer, musicologist and educator. The series of events recalls the genius of Pascal Bentoiu, who passed away at the age of 88 last year, through two concerts complemented by an exhibition and a talk.
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.
You can book your tickets HERE