George Enescu Festival

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The George Enescu Festival (also known as George Enescu Festival and International Competition), held in honor of the celebrated Romanian composer George Enescu, is the biggest classical music festival and classical international competition held in Romania and one of the biggest in Eastern Europe. Enescu's close associate George Georgescu organized the first festival in 1958; highlights included a performance of Bach's Concerto for Two Violins with Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh as soloists and a staging of Enescu’s sole opera, Œdipe, with Constantin Silvestri conducting.[1]

Editions of the festival were held every three years from 1958 until 2001. In the present century, festivals have been held every two years, the most recent being in 2013, when events were presented from 1 to 28 September. One of the most important events in the Festival is the George Enescu International Piano Competition.

The concerts are held in three different venues in Bucharest, Iaşi and Sibiu. The 2007 presentations ended with a performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana before an audience of over 4,000 at the Sala Palatului.

The competition portion of the Festival lasts about a week, and it consists of three different categories: composition (118 participants in 2007), piano (44 in 2007), and violin (41 in 2007), each a record number of participants.

In the 2005 and 2007 presentations a daily open-air concert was added to the festival program. It is known as the Festival Piazza and features 3½ hours of classical music, in addition to movies about the life of George Enescu.


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