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Wed, Oct 30


Romanian Cultural Institute

Nina Cassian: The Unknown Musician

A celebration of the flamboyant poetess as musician and composer

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Nina Cassian: The Unknown Musician
Nina Cassian: The Unknown Musician

Time & Location

Oct 30, 2019, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Romanian Cultural Institute, 200 East 38th Street, New York, NY, USA

About The Event

Admired for her rich opus and charismatic persona, Nina Cassian’s talent for music is one facet of her brilliant personality that has largely remained unsung. Join us in a celebration of the flamboyant poetess as musician and composer in an evening of music, film and verse in the company of rising-star pianist Sinziana Mircea, awarded film-maker Mona Nicoara, and cultural explorer and husband Maurice Edwards.  Some of Nina’s best piano works, excerpts from Mona Nicoara’s film, "The Distance Between Me and Me", and Iuliana Ciugulea’s Nina episode of "Frame within Frame" together with reminiscences of those who knew her well will paint a portrait that remains as fascinating as ever.  

Sînziana Mircea is one of the most active young Romanian pianists, with an international career spanning over three continents: Europe, North America, and Asia. Along the years, Sînziana performed on prestigious stages such as Tokyo Metropolitan Theater and St Martin-in-the-Fields London. Her debut recital at Carnegie Hall in New York took place when she was 24, in a sold-out concert rewarded with standing ovations. Sînziana is the first Romanian pianist to have become a Young Steinway Artist (2017) and to have received a scholarship from the Van Cliburn Foundation and TCU School of Music at the PianoTexas Festival & Academy (2014). The 2018/19 season included her debut as a soloist of the Radio Chamber Orchestra at the Radio Hall in Bucharest in a sold-out concert, as well as an extensive tour in Japan. Sînziana Mircea won the 1st Prize at the "Golden Classical Music Awards" International Competition 2019, which brings her back on the prestigious stage at Carnegie Hall in November 2019. She was also awarded the 1st Prize "Salzburg” & “Amsterdam” at the 2019 Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition.

Director and producer Mona Nicoară started working in film in 1997 as an Associate Producer for "Children Underground" (2001), which received the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. Her directorial debut, "Our School" (2011), premiered in the US at Tribeca Film Festival, went on to over 60 festivals worldwide, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best US Feature at SilverDocs, and was nominated for Best Eastern European Documentary at the Silver Eye Awards and for Best Romanian Documentary at the Gopo Awards. The film was released theatrically in Romania, Switzerland, and the US. Her latest film, "The Distance between Me & Me" (2018), was co-authored with Siver Bear-winner Dana Bunescu and produced by Berlinale-winner Ada Solomon of HiFilm. The documentary, a vivid portrait of Nina Cassian, won the Romanian preview section Audience Award at Films de Cannes à Bucarest. It screened at Trieste Film Festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music and held over 18 weeks in Romanian cinemas.


In 1998, Maurice Edwards met and married Nina Cassian. He was definitely a Renaissance man of the arts with a history to match hers. Born in the US, he left his native Wisconsin to serve in World War II. In Paris, he joined the literary and artistic circle of famous couple Gertrude Stein - Alice B. Toklas. After returning to the States, he enrolled at NYU to study Philosophy and Comparative Literature, but his true passion became theatre. He played on legendary Broadway shows such as the original "Fiddler on the Roof" and helped found an off-Broadway theatre group named Cubiculo. In 1954, he joined Brooklyn Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and later served as its executive director and artistic director. He is the author of "How Music Grew in Brooklyn: A Biography of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra" and "Revelatory Letters to Nina Cassian: A Memoir".

Early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. 


Our events are free and seating is available on a first-come-first-served basis. We generally overbook to ensure a full house.


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