“The transformation of the soul is the real reason for the existence of music.”
– George Enescu (1881-1955)
Born in the small village of Liveni in northern Romania, Enescu was influenced by folk music, simple country life and the deep faith of his homeland. As the only survivor of eight children, he was considered a classical music prodigy and was sent at the age of seven to study violin in Vienna and composition in Paris. He went on to attain world fame as a composer, interpreter, conductor and teacher.
Innumerable benefit concerts and private initiatives for the suffering rural population of his homeland, the untiring commitment to the preservation of cultural institutions in communist Romania, and the promotion of young musicians bear witness to his great philanthropic spirit.
He died in voluntary exile in Paris in 1955. The longing for the places of his childhood accompanied him throughout his life. The center of strength of his creative work is that longing which is preserved in the Romanian word “Dor” – a “sadness in the midst of joy”, as Enescu put it.
Inspired by the spiritual heritage of Enescu, The Enescu Project was created in 2016 by Romanian violinist Alexandra Bartoi. This non-profit organization is dedicated to giving everyone access to classical music, and to bringing Enescu’s magnificent chamber music back to the stage.
The Enescu Project made its debut in 2016 on the occasion of the “Festival of Lights” at UT Connewitz in Leipzig, the oldest still-functioning cinema in Germany. One year later, the Enescu Project was invited to the renowned international George Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Romania.
Since 2017 The Enescu Project has been organizing the chamber music series UT Classic. This cycle aims to reduce the barriers to the classical concert. In the unique setting of UT Connewitz, high-quality chamber music takes place in a relaxed atmosphere, at democratic ticket prices and free from the conventions of established concert halls.
A central concern of the Enescu Project is to bring Enescu’s music back to the place from which he drew his inspiration throughout his life. The population of rural Moldova in northeastern Romania is extremely impoverished and has been culturally neglected for decades. Thus in addition to its musical activities, The Enescu Project is currently establishing a music school and a music festival in Enescu’s home village Liveni.
Violinist Alexandra Bartoi, born in Bucharest, Romania in 1982, is a soloist, chamber musician and initiator of various concert projects. She studied in Hamburg and New York, followed by an engagement with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. She has been a member of the MDR Symphony Orchestra since 2010 and currently lives with her family in Berlin.
Ms. Bartoi has a special relationship to the music of the Romanian composer George Enescu: through his works she is able to reconnect to her own roots. She founded The Enescu Project in 2016, whereupon they were invited to play in the international George Enescu Festival in Bucharest in 2017. UT Classic, The Enescu Project’s own concert series, will enter its fourth season in 2020/21.
In addition to her concert activities, Ms. Bartoi and her Project are currently working to establish a music school and a chamber music festival in Liveni, George Enescu’s natal village in Northeast Romania.