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“7 eMotions” – 4 / Surprise

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

One writer and seven composers explore together seven powerful human affects

Join us online for a new episode of the music & literature series “7 eMotions”, presented by RCI New York in partnership with ISVOR Cultural Association Bucharest, which delves into the complicated inner lives of artists aiming to reveal how their rich panoply of feelings is turned into timeless works of art. The author and cultural journalist Ioana Bâldea Constantinescu and seven contemporary Romanian composers explore seven powerful human affects that define our psychological life and inspire our creativity: disgust, anger, sadness, surprise, contempt, joy, and fear.

The forth episode of the series, an original composition by Aurelian Băcan with Alexandra Stanciu on bassoon, deals with the feeling of surprise.

Ioana Bâldea Constantinescu graduated from the Faculty of Foreign Languages ​​and Literatures of the University of Bucharest, with a specialization in English and Spanish, and a master's degree in American Cultural Studies. From 2001 to 2020, she worked as a journalist at the Romanian Broadcasting Society. She is well known for her interviews with Richard Flanagan, Mathias Énard, Andrew Solomon, David Mitchell, Elizabeth Gilbert, Isabel Allende, Evgheni Vodolazkin, David Lodge, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, Care Santos, Sarah Dunant, Alain de Botton, Guzel Yakhina, Jonah Sachs, John Freeman, Jón Kalman Stefánsson, Jhumpa Lahiri among others. Since 2019, he has been writing the Off Air editorial for Forbes Life. Ioana Bâldea Constantinescu is also a translator and, most of all, appreciated writer. Her first two novels „Dincolo de portocali” / ”Beyond the Organge Trees” (nominated in 2016 for the Observator Cultural magazine awards) and ”Nautilus” were published by Humanitas Publishing House in 2015 and 2017. In 2019 she published at Nemira Publishing House „Poveste pentru Maria” / ”Story for Maria”, volume nominated, in 2020, for the Writers' Association Awards. Ioana also publish short stories and essays in the anthologies “Selfie” (Arthur Publishing House, 2018) and „Dragă Virginia” / “Dear Virginia” (Black Button Books, 2019). In 2020, Ioana launched her own platform,, and the PLAY podcast, a meeting place for lovers of vintage conversation, with a touch of playfulness typical of 21st century creativity.

Aurelian Băcan is a Romanian clarinetist and composer. His musical education began at the age of six, when he started playing the accordion. At the age of eleven, Aurelian started playing the clarinet under the guidance of professor Petrea Gogu (Hariclea Darclée Music School, Brăila) and by this time he had also developed a great passion for harmony and musical theory. He continued his studies at the

Sigismund Toduță Music College, Cluj-Napoca with professor László Gheorghe.

He graduated from his Bachelor and Master studies (2008, 2010) under Professor Ioan Goilă and Professor Flavius Trif at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy, Cluj-Napoca. At that

point of his career he already developed numerous musical skills and accumulated vast experiences by performing in several chamber music ensembles (Axis Mundi Trio, AdHoc Ansamble, Duende Quintet, etc.), recitals and solo concerts. He then continued his studies, graduating with a BA in composition in 2012 under Professor Adrian Pop at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy, Cluj-Napoca. Thus, his musical personality became almost complete. Aurelian has been given the academic title of Doctor in the field of music with summa cum laude in 2019 for his thesis entitled "The Compositional Process And Its Dynamics From The Perspective of the Performing Composer – Considerations of the Author’s Creative Journey". At present, Aurelian Băcan holds the position of principal clarinet soloist in the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra in Cluj-Napoca (since 2009) and he is a lecturer (chamber music) at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy, Cluj-Napoca (since 2019). He is simultaneously an active performer and composer.

Alexandra Maria Stanciu (b. 1997) is a Romanian basoonist. She graduated

the National University of Music Bucharest, bassoon section, class of Prof. Dr. Gödri Orban. Currently, she is co-principal bassoon at the Mihail Jora

Philharmonic, Bacău, member of the Romanian Youth Orchestra and the

baroque music ensemble, Barocharest.

She collaborated with numerous orchestras, such as: National Radio Orchestra; George Enescu Philharmonic; , Paul Constantinescu Ploiești Philharmonic, the Royal Camerata etc. She is also participating in numerous projects at European level: IPSIA Kosovo: "Music: A bridge between people"; Italy through UCIMR, as well as national projects like ConnectArts, organized by ISVOR Cultural Association. She studied at the Universität fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien, with Professor Richard Galler. Alexandra participated in numerous solo and ensemble recitals in prestigious halls like: The Suțu Palace, the Romanian Athenaeum, the Palace of the Parliament, the Lutheran Church, the Hungarian Cultural Center, the Elbphilharmonie of Hamburg. Chamber music represents the passion she shared with other musicians, playing in various chamber ensembles, among which we mention the "Alley of Winds" Quintet, the “Ars Spiritum” Trio (winning the first prize at the Dan Cumpătă 2018 competition and one mention in 2019 at the Eduard Caudella competition,

Iași). Alexandra had her very first debut as a bassoon player and also an actress in “Pen’s Worlds”, a musical directed and written by Carmen Dominte, within the

DIPLOMA Festival.

The artistic team of the project also include: Bogdan Vuluță – music director; Andrei Barbu - sound designer; Florin Ghenade – video director; Irinel Cîrlănaru – photography, editing, color grading; Daniel Ivașcu – graphics; Oana Ivașcu – producer and coordinator.

Project co-funded with the support of AFCN Romania.

Next in the series: contempt, joy, and fear.

Watch the previous episodes here:

Ep. 1 / Disgust

Ep. 2 / Anger

Ep. 3 / Sadness


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