Virgil Mihaiu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Virgil Mihaiu
Mihaiu Virgil in wikiped.jpg
Virgil Mihaiu
Born (1951-06-28) June 28, 1951 (age 66)
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Occupation writer, jazz critic, diplomat, jazz aesthetics professor, polyglot, cultural promoter, performer
Nationality Romanian

Virgil Mihaiu (born June 28, 1951 in Cluj, Romania) is a Romanian writer, jazz critic, diplomat, jazz aesthetics professor, polyglot, and performer. He was co-founder and the first director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Lisbon, and served as minister-counselor at the Romanian embassy in Portugal.


Virgil Mihaiu graduated from the Faculty of Letters at Babeș-Bolyai University in 1974, after studying English and German, as well as Spanish and Portuguese.

Between 1971 and 1983, he was on the editorial staff of Echinox,[1] a cultural magazine. In 1981, he became a member of the Writers' Union of Romania.[2]

Between 1983 and 1993, he was part of the editorial staff of Jazz Forum, the International Jazz Federation's magazine in Warsaw.[3]

He joined the editorial staff of Steaua, the cultural monthly of the Writers’ Union, in 1990.

Mihaiu became an assistant professor at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj in 1992. Five years later, he became a professor of Jazz Aesthetics of the jazz department at Gheorghe Dima.[4]

In 2002 he received a doctorate for his monograph on F. Scott Fitzgerald.[5]

In 2006, he founded and became the first director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Lisbon,[6] continuing in the post until 2012. He also served as minister-counselor at the Romanian embassy in Portugal[7]

Mihaiu is an honorary or full member of several organizations, including an honorary member of the United States' Jazz Journalists Association (JJA),[8] a member of the Romanian PEN Club,[9] and an honorary member of the Czech-Romanian Cultural Association.

Since 1999, he has been a part of the Down Beat Jazz Critics Poll[10] and the international editorial college of Down Beat,[11] a jazz magazine edited in Chicago.

Since 2004, he has served as a member of the European Jazz Prize Jury (the Hans Koller Prize) and a member of the editorial council of the "Tribuna" cultural magazine.

Writing and lecturing[edit]

Mihaiu is a prolific author of poems, essays, criticism, and translations. He has been published in Romania’s major cultural magazines as well as publications in Portugal, Poland, Great Britain, Germany,[12] Latvia,[13] Switzerland, Russia,[14] Croatia,[15] the United States,[16] France, Brazil, Serbia, Austria, Italy, Norway,[17] Spain,[18] Moldova,[19] Hungary, Costa Rica, Montenegro,[20] Turkey, and Canada.

Mihaiu has delivered Jazzology lectures at various universities and institutes, and participated as a guest in congresses and festivals (Sweden, Portugal, Romania, Croatia, Germany, England, Austria, Spain, Lithuania, Switzerland, Serbia, Scotland, the United States,[21] France, Italy, Montenegro, Moldova, Hungary, Greece, Slovakia, Ireland, Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Belgium).

Between 2000 and 2005 he participated at the F. Scott Fitzgerald World Conferences. He has also given a series of lectures, recitals and documentation tours through universities and cultural institutions of the United States (New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, San Francisco, Stanford, Boston, Chicago, New Jersey, and Berkeley).

Performing, media, visual arts[edit]

Mihaiu is co-founder of Jazzographics, a loose-knit jazz and poetry outfit featuring different combinations of the following artists:

He has performed his own poetry as a solo act, with the Jazzographics, with Portuguese piano-improviser João Paulo Esteves da Silva, and the group Trigon. Mihaiu has performed his poetry in Ireland, Scotland, Romania, England, Austria, USA, Serbia, Germany, Northern Ireland, Hungary, France, Croatia, and at the Lisbon World Exhibition.

Mihaiu produced the regular Eseu Jazz broadcast on Radio Cluj and CD Radio Napoca and the Jazzorelief TV broadcast. He has also served as a producer of cultural programs on Romania’s Public Television channels (TVR1, TVR2, TVR Cultural, TVR International, TVR3).

Guest producer[edit]

  • Guest producer of cultural programmes on Radio Switzerland (Bern, Lugano & Lausanne Studios).
  • Contributions to Sveriges Radio AB, BBC, Romanian Radio & TV, Radio & TV Cluj, Radio & TV Chisinau, Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Sender Freies Berlin, Radio Norway (NRK), Yugoslovenska Televizija, Radio France Internationale, Radiodifusão Portuguesa, Radio Paris-Lisboa, Radio Nova de Porto, Radio Moskva Kultura, Radio Europa-Lisboa, RDP-Antena 2 Lisbon.
  • Co-producer/liner-notes author of records issued in Romania, Lithuania, Great Britain, Russia, Germany, France, Switzerland, Moldova
  • Author of musical collages for visual essays by architect/stage designer/director Horațiu Mihaiu, staged at theaters in Cluj, Ramnicu-Valcea, Sfântu Gheorghe, Sibiu, Târgu-Mureş, Piatra Neamţ, Târgovişte, and at Hungary’s Cultural Centre in Bucharest.

Co-author of art documentary-films[edit]

  • The Voice of the Poet / with Radu Ţuculescu (TVR Cluj, 1994, 15 min.)
  • Paradise Lost in Memory / with Alex Huppert (TV Studio, Arad, 1996, 35 min.)
  • Sighişoara şi Teiuş – ombilicul lumii [Sighişoara 2000 and Teiuş – Navel of the World] / with Carmen Cristian (TVR2, 2000 and 2002, 60 min. each)
  • Art-deleni / with Emese Vig (TVR Cultural, 2008, 30 min.)
  • Vestuarul / with Andrei Magalie (TVR Cultural, 2009, 30 min.)
  • Români fără frontiere / with Corina Ionuț (TVR3, 2010, 30 min.)

Published works[edit]


  • Legea conservarii adolescentei (Law for the Conservation of the Adolescence) / Dacia, Cluj, 1977
  • Sighisoara, Suedia si alte stari de spirit (Sighisoara, Sweden and other States of Mind) / Albatros, Bucharest, 1980
  • Indicatiuni pentru balerina din respiratie (Directions for the Ballerina Inside Breath) / Eminescu, Bucharest, 1981
  • Cutia de rezonanțǎ – eseuri despre jazz din perspectiva culturii contemporane (The Resonance Box – Essays on Jazz from the Perspective of Today's Culture) / Albatros, Bucharest 1985;[22]
  • Poeme (Poems) / Dacia, Cluj, 1986
  • Jazzorelief / Nemira, Bucharest, 1993, ISBN 973-9144-60-8
  • Paradis pierdut in memorie (Paradise Lost in Memory) / Cartea Romaneasca, Bucharest, 1993, ISBN 973-23-0346-8
  • Incantari & descantari clujene (Canticles & Enchantments of Cluj) / Dacia, Cluj, 1996, ISBN 973-35-0525-0
  • Recensamant de epifanii/Census of Epiphanies – bilingual volume of poetry translated into English by Adam J. Sorkin – Paralela 45, Pitesti, 1999, ISBN 973-593-041-2
  • Jazz Connections in Portugal – conceived and published in English / Alfa Press, Cluj, 2001, ISBN 973-85060-2-6
  • Jazzografii pentru imblanzit saxofoniste (Jazzographies for the Taming of She-Saxophonists) / Dacia, Cluj, 2001, ISBN 973-35-1231-1
  • Between the Jazz Age and Postmodernism: F. Scott Fitzgerald – conceived and published in English / Editura Universitatii de Vest, Timisoara, 2003, ISBN 973-8433-33-9;[23]
  • Aur din coama Ariadnei / Gold aus Ariadnes Maehne (Gold from Ariadna’s Mane) – bilingual volume of poetry translated into German by Rolf-Frieder Marmont / Limes, Cluj, 2004, ISBN 973-7907-90-6
  • Jazz Connections in Romania – conceived and published in English / Institutul Cultural Roman, Bucharest, 2007, ISBN 978-973-577-531-5
  • Lusoromana punte de vant (Lusoromanian Bridge of Wind) / Brumar, Timisoara, 2010, ISBN 978-973-602-499-3


  • Russian Jazz New Identity – edited by Leo Feigin / Quartet Books, London, 1985, ISBN 0-7043-2506-3
  • Jazz in Europa – edited by Wolfram Knauer / Darmstaedter Beitraege zur Jazzforschung, Wolke Hofheim/Germany, 1994, ISBN 3-923997-42-6
  • Pentru Gellu Naum (For Gellu Naum) – edited by Iulian Tanase / Vinea & Icare, Bucharest, 2002
  • The Foreign Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald – edited by Linda C. Stanley / Praeger, Westport, Connecticut & London 2004
  • Sadovaia 302 bis (Mikhail Bulgakov and Moscow from Today’s Perspective) – together with Ruxandra Cesereanu, Marta Petreu, Corin Braga, Ovidiu Pecican, Ion Vartic / Apostrof, Cluj, 2006, ISBN 973-9279-80-5
  • Cartea cu bunici (The Grandparents Book) – edited by Marius Chivu / Humanitas/Bucharest, 2007, ISBN 978-973-50-1828-3
  • A Cidade de Lisboa (The City of Lisbon) – conceived & published in Portuguese – edited by Micaela Ghitescu / Fundatia Culturala Memoria, Bucharest, 2007
  • Clujul din cuvinte (The Cluj of Words) – edited by Irina Petras / Casa Cartii de Stiinta, Cluj, 2008, ISBN 978-973-133-474-5
  • Primii mei blugi (My first Jeans) – edited by Corina Bernic / Art, Bucharest, 2009, ISBN 978-973-124-452-5
  • Sapte decenii de melancolie si literatura (Seven Decades of Melancholy and Literature) – edited by Stefan Borbely / Eikon, Cluj, 2011, ISBN 978-973-757-458-9
  • Promenada scriitorilor / Uniunea Scriitorilor din Romania Filiala Cluj (The Writers' Promenade / The Writers' Union of Romania, Cluj Department) – edited by Irina Petraș / Eikon, Cluj, 2012, ISBN 978-973-757-607-1


Virgil Mihaiu has had works included in the following poetry anthologies:

  • Jahresring 79-80, German translation by Oskar Pastior / Deutsche-Verlag-Anstalt, Stuttgart, 1980
  • Erkezö szel, Hungarian translation by Tibor Hergyan / Tankönyvkiado, Budapest, 1986
  • Young Poets of a New Romania, translated by Brenda Walker, Forest Books, London & Boston, 1991, ISBN 0-948259-89-2
  • Streiflicht, Eine Auswahl zeitgenössischer rumänischer Lyrik, German translation by Christian W. Schenk, Dionysos Verlag, Kastellaun, 1994, ISBN 3-9803871-1-9
  • Transylvanian Voices, An Anthology of Contemporary Poets from Cluj-Napoca, translated into English by Adam J. Sorkin and Liviu Bleoca, The Romanian Cultural Foundation, Iaşi, 1994, ISSN 1223-1908
  • Savremenik, Serbian translation by Adam Pusloijc / Apostrof, Belgrade, 1995
  • Transylvanian Voices, anthology by Adam J. Sorkin & Liviu Bleoca, second edition / East European Monographs, Columbia University Press, 1994, The Center for Romanian Studies, Iaşi, 1997, ISBN 973-98091-4-6, 12 bis
  • Gefährliche Serpentinen, German translation by Dieter Schlesak / Galrev, Berlin, 1998, ISBN 3-933149-01-0
  • Vid tystnadens bord, Swedish translation by Jon Milos / Symposion, Brutus Ostlings Forlag, Stockholm, 1998
  • Day After Night – Twenty Romanian Poets for the Twenty-First Century, edited by Gabriel Stanescu & Adam J. Sorkin / Criterion Publishing, USA, 2000
  • Meet, French translation by Alain Paruit / Maison des ecrivains etrangeres et des traducteurs, St. Nazaire, 2002
  • Cantecul stelelor / Il canto delle stelle, anthology by Aurel Rau & Adrian Popescu; Italian translation by Stefan Damian & Bruno Rombi / Editura Limes, Cluj-Napoca, 2004, ISBN 973-7907-77-9
  • Un pahar cu lumina / Poharnyi feny, Romanian-Hungarian anthology by Lajos Molnos / Ed. Tinivar, Cluj-Napoca, 2005
  • The Poetry of Men’s Lives, edited by Fred Moramarco & Al Zolynas, English translation by Adam J. Sorkin / University of Georgia Press, Athens Georgia USA, 2004, ISBN 0-8203-2351-9
  • Mi-ar trebui un sir de ani / It Might Take Me Years, Romanian-English anthology by Constantin Abaluta / PEN Romanian Centre, Casa Cartii de Stiinta, Cluj-Napoca, 2009, ISBN 978-973-565-0

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1977 – Debut prize for poetry awarded by “Dacia” publishing house (Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
  • 1984 – Amicus Poloniae, honorary badge awarded by Poland's Minister of Culture
  • 1994 – Poetry prize of the Writers’ Association Cluj, Romania
  • 1996 – Poetry Book of the Year, prize at “Salonul naţional de carte”/National Book Award, Romania
  • 1998 and 2002 – Poetry prize of the Writers’ Union Cluj Section[24]
  • 2001 – Cultural Ambassador of Cluj, honorary title conferred by the Romanian National Opera, Cluj-Napoca and the Transylvanian Business Center;
  • 2003 – prize for jazz criticism awarded by the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation;
  • 2008 – prize for jazz criticism awarded by the “Muzza” Cultural Foundation;[25]
  • 2009 – Movimento Arte Contemporanea Foundation/Association of Contemporary Art (MAC), prize for excellence in Lisbon (Portugal), for promoting international cultural cooperation.


  1. ^ Chapter on Virgil Mihaiu in Literatura Echinoxului by Nicolae Oprea, Editura Dacia, Cluj-Napoca, 2003.
  2. ^ Virgil Mihaiu’s Curriculum Vitae on the site of the Writers’ Union of Romania/Cluj:
  3. ^ Polska Federacja Jazzowa [Jazz Forum : Polish Jazz Federation magazine], periodical, ISSN 0021-5635.
  4. ^ Virgil Mihaiu’s Curriculum Vitae on the site of Gheorghe Dima Music Academy of Cluj-Napoca:
  5. ^ Between the Jazz Age and Postmodernism: F. Scott Fitzgerald (conceived and published in English), Editura Universitatii de Vest, Timişoara, 2003, ISBN 973-8433-33-9
  6. ^ Virgil Mihaiu’s Curriculum Vitae on the site of the Romanian Cultural Institute; see also Romanian Cultural Institute in Lisbon: [1].
  7. ^ Virgil Mihaiu’s Curriculum Vitae on the site of Romania’s Ministry of External Affairs: (; see also
  8. ^ For more information about the Jazz Journalists Association visit their official site:
  9. ^ Virgil Mihaiu’s Curriculum Vitae on the site of the Romanian PEN Club :
  10. ^ See Down Beat Jazz Critics Poll:
  11. ^ Down Beat (ISSN 0012-5768 ASIN B007L730M0)
  12. ^ Poetry by Virgil Mihaiu, translated into German by Rolf Frieder-Marmont, in Halbjahresschrift fuer Suedosteuropaeische Literatur und Politik, 13. Jahrgang, no. 1/2001, Germany.
  13. ^ Ja nebutu ta bijis, diez vai es to butu pastastijis. A selection of Virgil Mihaiu’s poetry (24 texts), translated into Latvian by Leons Briedis (with bio/bibliographical note) / Kulturas Forums, no. 18 / 2006, Riga/Latvia.
  14. ^ Interview with Virgil Mihaiu by Dmitry Ukhov, in Moscow’s JAZZ.RU magazine and on its website, POLNYI DJAZ/NR. 27/2005, 28/2005: part one:; part two:
  15. ^ Virgil Mihaiu – Jazzom protiv totalitarnih rezima, interview by Vid Jeraj in Up & Underground art magazine, no. 9-10/2007, Zagreb/Croatia:
  16. ^ Jazz Connections in Romania by Virgil Mihaiu, review by Bert Vuijsje, in Jazz Notes, the Magazine of the U.S. Jazz Journalists’ Associacion, vol. 19, no. 2 / Summer 2008. See also Jazz-poetry by Virgil Mihaiu; Selections from Mihaiu’s Playlist: How were you first introduced to jazz?, in World Literature Today, USA, March–April 2011.
  17. ^ Jazzen i et politisk Europa, Tekst: Virgil Mihaiu, oversatt av Grethe Tausvik – two parts, in JazzNytt, no. 3 & 4 / 2004, Oslo/Norway.
  18. ^ 'El jazz en Rumania a comienzos del siglo XXI by Virgil Mihaiu, traduccion Ricardo Aguilar, in Cuadernos de jazz, no. 86/2005, Madrid/Spain.
  19. ^ Virgil Mihaiu – De ce-și pune omul intrebǎri?, responses to 33 questions from the Contrafort cultural magazine, no. 5-6/2010, Chisinau/Rep. Moldova:
  20. ^ Virgil Mihaiu article about Montenegro Jazz Appreciation Month 2011, and video about the same event, in JJA NEWS, the site of The U.S. Jazz Journalists’ Association:
  21. ^ Audio samples from Virgil Mihaiu’s jazz-poetry performances, as presented on the website of the World Literature Today magazine (USA), March–April 2011:;
  22. ^ Book Review: The Resonance Box by Sorin Antohi, in Jazz Forum, The Magazine of the International Jazz Federation edited in Warsaw/Poland, no. 100/1986.
  23. ^ Book review: Reading Fitzgerald from a Reversed Angle – Between the Jazz Age and Postmodernism: F. Scott Fitzgerald by Virgil Mihaiu, Editura Universitǎții de Vest, Timișoara, 2003, in The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review / Vol. 3, Issue 1, USA, January 2004. See also Contribuție româneascǎ în fitzgeraldisticǎ by Virgil Stanciu, in România literarǎ, no. 12/2005.
  24. ^ Virgil Mihaiu entry in Romanian Writers of the 80s and 90s by Ion Bogdan Lefter, Editura Paralela 45, Pitești, 1999.
  25. ^ Virgil Mihaiu entry in Dictțonarul scriitorilor români (M/Q) by Mircea Zaciu, Marian Papahagi, Aurel Sasu, Editura Albatros, Bucharest, 2001; Virgil Mihaiu entry in Dicționar analitic de opere literare românești, coordinated by Ion Pop, ed. Casa cǎrtii de științǎ, Cluj-Napoca, 2003; Dicționarul general al literaturii române (L/O), volume IV, Editura Univers Enciclopedic, Bucharest, 2005.

External links[edit]