Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra

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The Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra of Cluj-Napoca has grown to be a valuable institution of music, having a sustained presence in the Romanian and European cultural space.


As an artistic institution dedicated exclusively to concert activities, The Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic was founded through an official decree of Romania’s Council of Ministers, in the autumn of 1955, carrying the name "The Transylvania State Philharmonic Cluj-Napoca". At that time, the symphonic orchestra had 75 musicians and the ensemble of traditional music had 20 members. Under the supervision of Maestro Wilhelm Demian, the members of the new institution were selected. Maestro Antonin Ciolan was appointed principal conductor of the symphonic ensemble. The first concert took place on December 4, 1955.

Nonetheless, the tradition of symphonic activity in Cluj-Napoca has its history since the beginning of the 19th century, maintained by associations like The Orchestra of the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre, Music Society and Music Circle. During the inter-war period, there ware series of symphonic events, sustained by the orchestras of the Cluj-Napoca Romanian Opera, Hungarian Theatre and by an orchestra belonging to the city’s Jewish community, called "Goldmark Orchestra". In 1947, there was the first attempt to found a concert institution – The "Ardealul" Philharmonic, which had a short existence of two seasons, but which set the basis for what the cultural life in Cluj-Napoca was to become.

Due to Maestro Ciolan’s experience and the training of the young musicians from the Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca (called the Music Conservatory at that time), the Philharmonic’s progress was extremely fast. It soon became an important name among the national artistic values.

In 1966, the Chamber Orchestra was founded, under the baton of the well-known Mircea Cristescu. In 1965, the Philharmonic organized the first edition of its own yearly festival, Cluj Musical Autumn. In 1972, under the composer Sigismund Toduță’s directorship, the Philharmonic’s Choir was founded and trained by Maestro Dorin Pop, followed by Florentin Mihăescu and Cornel Groza.

The orchestra today[edit]

The Philharmonic’s current situation is difficult. In its 50th year of existence, the institution does not have its own headquarters and its own concert hall. The Students’ Culture House, the present location of the symphonic concerts, has an improper acoustic and a rather unpleasant ambiance. All this endangers the artistic level of the ensembles and had slowly reduced the public. The Philharmonic’s management started off a campaign to build a new concert hall with the support of the local authorities. The new building is to be built in the middle of a 150-year-old park, which is a historic monument. The situation is unclear, because many people and organizations (including the Romanian Order of Architects) are against the initiative, considering that this will destroy the park.[1] The mayor Emil Boc stated that he is open to suggestions involving the location of the new concert hall and the administration will search for other suitable locations, thus delaying the construction.[2]



  1. ^ "Petition against building in the parc" (in Romanian). 
  2. ^ "Cluj Philharmonic Situation" (in Romanian). Clujeanul Newspaper. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 

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