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Two Pianists for an Evening of Passion

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

A program of all-time piano favorites at our next Enescu Soiree of New York

With a program full of diversity and color which reveal their assured technique and soulful expression, South Korean Grace Jee Eun Oh and Romanian Dragoș Andrei Cantea, both educated in Norway, are keen to demonstrate their exceptional ability at our next Enescu Soiree, organized with the support of Music Norway and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prepare for an evening of exuberance and passion fueled by some of the most irresistible piano compositions of all time.


Grace Jee Eun Oh:

Geirr Tveitt (1908-1981) – Velkomne med æra (Welcome with honour) (1954)

Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951) – Sonata Reminiscenza, op. 38, no. 5 from Forgotten Melodies (1922)

George Enescu (1881-1955) – Appassionato, op. 18, no. 5 (1916)

Nikolai Kapustin (1937-2020) – Eight Concert Etudes, op. 40, no. 7 – Intermezzo (1984)

Dragoș Cantea:

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) – Arietta (op. 12, no. 1) & Lonely Wanderer (op. 43, no. 2)

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1770-1827) – Valsa da dor (1822)

Leos Janacek (1854-1928) – Piano Sonata 1. X. 1905 (1905)

George Enescu (1881-1955) – Carillon Nocturne (1916)

Constantin Silvestri (1913-1969) – Bacchanale (1933)

Born and raised in Iaşi (Northern Romania), Dragoș Cantea spent the first eighteen years of his artistic education under the guidance of Ioana Stănescu – a partnership that led to international awards and concerts with top philharmonic orchestras in the country. After his move to Oslo in 2016, he had debuts in Norway, Finland, Switzerland, UK, Austria, collaborating with a variety of conductors, such as Radu Popa, Fergus MacAlpine, David Marcian, Ovidiu Bălan, Ștefan Novak to world renowned musicians such as Cristian Mandeal or Kathryn Stott. The year 2018 marked his first experiences as an Artistic Director, managing the cultural celebrations of Romania’s Centenary Year in Norway. In 2019 he had his first release for Grappa / Simax and performances as soloist in Grieg & Mozart Piano Concertos have been broadcasted on Romania’s National Television (TVR) on several occasions. As of 2020, he holds a Doctor of Musical Arts title with highest distinctions, after a 3-year research on the piano oeuvre of Leoš Janáček, advised by VOCES String Quartet cellist, Dan Prelipcean. He was invited to be a Jury member in the 2021 QMYPC Competition in Singapore. He also taught masterclasses during the competition and is often invited to Finland and Romania for teaching. He is also a cultural entrepreneur, representing DAC Music Performance as a Norwegian partner in EU projects in the arts and culture sector. Dragoș is an alumnus of the Norwegian Academy of Music under Kathryn Stott and Håvard Gimse, and as of 2020 is the co-Founder and Artistic Director of Classix Festival, the largest independent classical musical festival in Eastern Europe.

Born in South Korea, Grace Jee Eun Oh developed her musical path in the United Kingdom, first as part of the Wells Cathedral School, then moving on to Bachelor studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London and completing her Master Degree at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Since 2018 she has been based in Scandinavia, after polishing her studies at the prestigious Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo under Håvard Gimse and Marianna Shirinyan. Grace is a recipient of the 2015 Charity of Mary Barnes and Leverhulme Trust Scholarships and was invited to perform in prestigious venues such as London’s St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Milton Court and Barbican Centre and in festivals such as Bloomsbury Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Oslo Kammermusikkfestivalen a.s.o. Promoting her roots, Grace was the first ever Korean pianist to be invited to perform at the 41st Presentation Ceremony of H. R. H. Princess Benedikte of Denmark. She often premieres contemporary works in festivals such as Classix and recently debuted with George Enescu Philharmonic performing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2. As of today, Grace is actively engaged in a solo artistic research entitled Borderless Ends of the East and the West. The 2022/2023 season will highlight several orchestra appearances in Eastern Europe with Poulenc Piano Concerto. She is also currently part of the academic staff of Oslo International Piano School.

Program information:

• Geirr Tveitt (1908 - 1981) – Velkomne med æra (Welcome with honor) (1954):

Norwegian highly trending composer, following the Romantic approach of Grieg. Based on a “welcoming tune” from Hardanger region in Western Norway.

• Nikolai Medtner (1880 - 1951) – Sonata Reminiscenza, op. 38, no. 5 from “Forgotten Melodies” (1922):

The most important gem from the Russian’s cycle of “Forgotten Melodies”. The work can be regarded as Medtner’s reflection on the difficult times in Russia –the revolution that had just taken place and the anticipation of his imminent departure from his homeland.

• George Enescu (1881 – 1955) – Appassionato, op. 18, no. 5 (1916):

A very passionate, waltzy intermezzo from his so-called Third Piano Suite.

• Nikolai Kapustin (1937 - 2020) – Eight Concert Etudes, op. 40, no. 7 - Intermezzo (1984):

A light, jazzy tune is mirroring stylistically the rest of the repertoire with a variety of new musical patterns and groove.

• Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907) – Arietta (op. 12, no. 1) & Lonely Wanderer (op. 43, no. 2):

A fresh start, with two samples of Scandinavian solitude, collected from Grieg’s most famous cycle, Lyrical Pieces.

• Heitor Villa-Lobos (1770 - 1827) - Valsa da dor (1822):

Brazil's most important musical figure, Villa-Lobos collected material reflecting not only at his own Spanish-Indian ancestry, but also at the cultural mix of a new and vibrant civilization. Valsada dor shows intimate lyricism, melancholy andsorrow in a very exotic fashion.

• Leos Janacek (1854 – 1928) – Piano Sonata 1. X. 1905 (1905): I. Presentiment; II. Death

"The white marble of the steps of the Brno Philharmonic. The ordinary laborer František Pavlík falls, stained with blood. He came merely to champion higher learning and has been slain by cruel murderers." Czech street protests unravel in this mysterious, yet captivating work but one of the most realist composers of the nineteenth century.

• George Enescu (1881 – 1955) – Carillon Nocturne (1916):

Much of the power and profundity of this work comes from the bells imitation in a Transylvanian village around midnight. The dramatic symbolic effect of midnight is suggested by the twelfth-time repeated chord in the church, leaving behind only some harmonic dust. The silence before the storm has settled.

• Constantin Silvestri (1913 – 1969) – Bacchanale (1933):

Silvestri was one of the most brilliant Romanian conductors and composers, founding also the Bournemouth Symphony in the UK. A thrilling finale to our European journey, with a breathless, wild work dedicated to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and partying.


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