When times get tough most countries slash public spending, without realizing that spending generates income. So much respect is due for Romania, which is suffering economic meltdown like everyone else, but supporting an ambitious arts programme. Read about Festival Enescu in Romania in this article by Ivan Hewett HERE.
It's an extremely ambitious festival, bringing in many mega names like the Royal Concertgebouw and Lief Ove Andsnes. Certainly an international festival, not just local interest. It's a daring venture for a small country, but if it succeeds it could make Bucharest the Salzburg of the south east. As it's been running several years now it's good to see it getting the publicity it deserves.
From all accounts, Bucharest is a remarkable place, still relatively untouched by bland modernism. Apparently it's also cheaper than most European cities. Several of my friend are there at the moment, one of them a regular. The Romanians are wise - festivals like this bring valuable income, and the kind of tourists who come don't get drunk and mess up - in fact they come back for more, which further increases interest in Romania's cultural stock. Were other countries that imaginative.
But the big draw is George Enescu. The photo shows the Enescu Museum in downtown Bucharest, a magnificently ornamental building, which houses the Enescu archives, returned to Romania after the change in regime. Enescu's music forms the core of the Festival, especially his opera Oedipe. Read more about it HERE The writer, Evan Dickerson, is an Enescu specialist, who's writing a book on the composer and the opera. There's also an older book on Enescu by Noel Malcolm, see HERE. It's not very big so one day perhaps there'll be more. Enescu was an interesting man and his music is lovely too, and quite accessible. Please also see my other post about Enescu and Bucharest HERE, with good new links to blogs !