From 1-28 September 2013 Bucharest will host the 21st biannual George Enescu International Festival and Competition. The month long festival offers a rich and diverse programme that will see fourteen orchestras and twenty one ensembles from across the world performing four operas, two ballets and forty eight concerts. During this year’s Festival these artists will perform in over 150 cultural events performing the music of Enescu (Romania's most famous composer) and composers celebrating key stone anniversaries: Wagner, Verdi and Britten.

The Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim will open the festival. They will be joined by Radu Lupu to perform George Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody Op. 11 and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. Orchestral highlights in the festival programme include Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, Saint Martin in the Fields with Neville Marriner, London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi, Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra with Juja Wang, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra conducted by Antonio Pappano, The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra with Sakari Oramo and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Semyon Bychkov.

This year’s festival will see concert performances of Wagner’s Rheingold, Die Walküre and Siegfried performed by Berliner Rundfunk conducted by Marek Janowski, and a staged performance of Tannhäuser under the baton on Cristian Mandeal with the Orchestra of the Bucharest Opera. The festival will also feature fully staged performances of Verdi’s Otello and Enescu’s Oedipe.

Included in the Festival’s stellar line up of soloists are Pinchas Zuckerman, Evgeni Kissin, Jordi Saval, Fazil Say, Emanuel Ax, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Murray Perahia, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov with the Bucharest "Virtuozii" and Hilary Hahn performing George Enescu’s Intermezzi op 12. Other highlights are the Vortice Dance Company with a performance of Dracula, and Martin Haselböck conducting “The Infernal Comedy” narrated by John Malkovich with the Wiener Akademie.

As in previous years, the emphasis on Enescu’s music continues to be paramount and the majority of concerts will feature at least one work by the composer. The Festival works to raise the international profile of George Enescu as well as of local artists and ensembles. Romanian artists appearing in the Festival include Horia Andreescu. Liviu Dănceanu, Tiberiu Soare, Silvia Marcovici and Marin Cazacu. Romanian orchestras also take on a prominent role in the Festival with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra performing Schoenberg’s “Gurrelieder” and the National Radio Orchestra of Romania playing Britten’s “War Requiem” in celebration of the Britten Centenary year.

Following its success in 2011, the Festival will run a ‘Music of the 21st Century’ series featuring works by contemporary Romanian composers such as Dan Dediu, Cornel Taranu, Adrian Iorgulescu as well as Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, Rolf Martinsson, Harrison Birtwistle, and Jörg Widmann.

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