Dear President Trichet,
Copyright © ECB, 2009
Let me first thank President Trichet for the kind words of introduction and for his steady personal support and friendship shown along the years.
It is a great pleasure and a privilege to say a few words about the cultural wealth of my country. Romania belongs to Europe not only in geographical terms, but also thanks to its unique cultural features.
Standing at the confluence of the East and the West, being the sole Christian Orthodox nation among the Latin peoples, the sole Latin people in the Orthodox East and a cultural “melting pot” in itself, Romania boasts a culture that carries a valuable historical legacy.
You will discover both these particularities and the foreign influences in the series of events that will follow during the three-week Cultural Days.
The programme we are launching today offers contemporary performances such as concerts – both classical and modern; dance and theatre shows – musical and children addressed; movie nights featuring highly awarded motion pictures, literature readings by the authors themselves and art exhibitions.
These events will reveal a mix of popular traditions sprung from the three Romanian historical provinces – Moldova, Transylvania – or Siebenbürgen and Muntenia, with their own customs, values and influences, as well as avant-garde forms in masterpieces of renowned artists such as George Enescu, Constantin Brancusi or Gheorghe Zamfir.
Tonight’s opening concert brings you a flavour of the works by George Enescu – the most famous composer and virtuoso Romania has had so far.
Born in the 19th century, in Northern Moldova, Enescu, who studied in Vienna, lived both in Bucharest and Paris and gave concerts in most of the European capitals, was evidently the European citizen avant-la lettre.
His utmost creed in the European dream is obvious in what he used to say: “the holy mission of music is to extinguish the hatred, to appease passions and bring nearer the hearts in a warm union”.
Enescu’s favourite student, Yehudi Menuhin, labelled him as “one of the great discoveries of the 21st century”.
Let ourselves indulge in the pieces performed tonight by the prestigious Romanian Radio Orchestra under the baton of the renowned conductor Cristian Mandeal.
I wish you a very pleasant evening and hope you’ll be willing to find out more about Romania at other events of the ECB Cultural Days.
Copyright © ECB, 2009