From its first edition in 1958 that saw such luminaries as Nadia Boulanger, Claudio Arrau, and Sir John Barbirolli in attendance, the George Enescu International Festival and Competition has regularly attracted the biggest names in classical music to come together from all over the world in Bucharest (Yuja Wang calls it "a must” for every orchestra). Master of multiple instruments, teacher of Yehudi Menuhin and Ivry Gitlis, and renowned composer, Enescu was a champion of contemporary music, and his legacy is reflected in the choice of works at the festival.
This documentary takes us backstage at the 2019 edition—the first to unfold internationally in cities outside of Bucharest, including Montreal, Berlin, and Florence—where Mitsuko Uchida, Evgeny Kissin, Fabio Luisi, Vladimir Jurowski, Elisabeth Leonskaja, and more of today’s most important musicians discuss Enescu and the festival that bears his name. The Enescu Festival’s commitment to a utopian vision of music and education as forces for unity and peace is beautifully evoked by Joyce DiDonato: “[The festival] gives a chance to gather and have a communal experience around the great themes of life and the great themes of humanity... It’s a beautiful statement by a culture to say, ‘this is something we value, this is something that makes us better as a society and as a culture because it connects us to our humanity in a deep way.’”
Festival International du Domaine Forget
Waldbühne 2007: Rhapsodies – Berliner Philharmoniker