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Irina Muresanu Rediscovers Ragtime for the Enescu Soirees Online

Updated: May 26, 2020

We are thrilled to welcome in the Enescu Soirees Online dazzling Romanian-American violinist Irina Muresanu, a darling of the classical music circuits in North America and one of our closest collaborators. Her recital presents a captivating program highlighting the confluence of French and American music through compositions by Maurice Ravel and George Gershwin complemented by the world premiere of Romanian composer Dan Dediu’s “Riesling Ragtime”, indeed the best combination in a time of isolation and social distancing.

Ravel and Gershwin met in Paris and greatly admired each other’s music. The "Three Preludes" were written in 1926, just one year before Ravel’s Sonata no. 2 for Violin and Piano. The second movement of the sonata is titled "Blues", a musical genre that has also inspired Libby Larsen’s "Blue Piece", "Rag Blue Rubato" and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s "Blue/s Forms". In a unique twist, Irina's recital juxtaposes standard repertory pieces (such as the Ravel Violin Sonata) with works from an oft-neglected genre, which is nevertheless a jewel of American music: Ragtime. While popular, ragtime works are rarely included in traditional classical music performances and there are very few written for the violin and piano ensemble. The occasion presented to Irina the perfect opportunity to commission a new ragtime piece from Romanian composer Dan Dediu.

This program, comprising recordings from the "Rorem, Ravel and Ragtimes", the last concert Irina performed (accompanied by pianist Max Levinson) before the Coronavirus crisis on March 1, 2020 in Boston, is featured exclusively in our online concert series. Enjoy!

Romanian-American violinist IRINA MURESANU has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike with her “irresistible” (Boston Globe), exciting, elegant and heartfelt performances of the classic, romantic and modern repertoire. The Los Angeles Times has written that her “musical luster, melting lyricism and colorful conception made Irina Muresanu’s performance especially admirable”. Her performances have been frequently cited among the Best of Classical Music Performances by the Boston Globe. Muresanu has performed in renowned concert halls throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Her solo engagements include concerts with the Boston Pops, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Williamsburg Symphonia, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Geneva), the Transvaal Philharmonic (Pretoria, S. Africa), the Romanian National Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Radio Flamande (Brussels), the Boston Philharmonic, amongst others. Her most recent recording releases include the Thomas Oboe Lee’s Violin Concerto (which the composer dedicated to her) on the BMOP label, and works of Elena Ruehr on Avie Records. She has also recorded the complete William Bolcom sonatas on the Centaur label with pianist Michael Lewin. In Europe, her recording of the Guillaume Lekeu and Alberic Magnard late Romantic Violin and Piano Sonatas with pianist Dana Ciocârlie for the AR RE-SE French label has sparked enthusiasm. She currently serves on the Faculty at the University of Maryland School of Music and has taught at Boston Conservatory and in the Harvard and MIT Music Departments. She received the prestigious Artist Diploma degree and a Doctor in Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory. She plays an 1849 Giuseppe Rocca violin and an Étienne Pajeot bow.

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