The brilliant violinists Sarah and Deborah Nemţanu are two sisters who use music to speak of the close relationship between them. by Mădălina Mărgăritescu
One man. One violin. These two concepts are enough to create a Universe. And when the man is Alexandru Tomescu and the violin is a Stradivarius, the new-born Universe is inhabited by fascinating creatures made out of sonorous colour and density, all destined to cast a spell upon the public.
Alexandru Tomescu proved himself capable of taming any form of music, especially after the „Paganini – angel or demon?” project, a turning point into his career. It was the moment when the violonist reinvented his identity and which brought a radical change in the path to which Alexandru Tomescu engaged himself a few years ago, the one meant to modify the perception of classical music in Romania. Since his return to his native country, after having studied in Switzerland with Tibor Varga and in the U.S. with Eduard Schmieder, Alexandru has undertaken the mission of demonstrating that classical music is a window towards harmony between people, a world open to everyone, and that all deserve the chance to explore it.
After a more than fruitful career in Europe and the world, filled with successes in halls such as Théâtre des Champs Elysees – Paris, Carnegie Hall – New York or Metropolitan Arts Centre – Tokyo, appearing with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Kurt Masur or Christoph Eschenbach, Alexandru came back to Romania, where he comitted himself to organizing classical music national tours, realized exclusively out of private funds. He understood that the non-conventional seen as a combination between professionalism and inovation is the access-key to a large cathegory of public, so he became the main character of several pioneering events in the Romanian classical music world: he played his Stradivarius in a subway station, to prove people are receptive to quality music; he played in a forest to state his position concerning the irational exploitation of the Romanian woods. He played in front of a house in ruins, to stop the destruction of Romania’s National Heritage buildings. He played in order to raise funds destined to the Romanian Association for the Blind or for helping deaf children obtain hearings aids. He is among the first Romanian artists who made a mission out of taking the message of classical music in towns where there are no philharmonic orchestras. His name on a poster is enough to sell all the tickets days before the event.
Alexandru Tomescu is not just playing before his public, but cultivates an intense dialog with it, either on scene, explaining what he plays, either in TV and radio interviews. Wether his voice appears on specialized radio posts or at general ones, wether his thoughts appear in culture newspapers or in glossy magazines, he explains what being an artist in XXIst century Romania is, what nurtures his inspiration and why classical music deserves a chance.
Receiving the Stradivarius Elder-Voicu violin in november 2007, he promised he would familiarize a large number of the Romanian public to the sound of the splendid instrument. After an almost uninterrupted series of concerts in Romania and abroad, his name and the one of his instrument became perfect synonyms.
In the end – a relevant quote, which although reffers to a single concert of Alexandru’s, can be extended to his whole career: „Alexandru Tomescu makes uncommon music out of Paganini’s Caprices, playing up contrasts, letting each phrase live and breathe. I expected an evening of champagne bubbles. Tomescu serves up whiskey.” (David Larsen – Metro Magazine, Noua Zeelandă).