A rapt audience of Purcellians, teachers and guests spent two hours getting to know better the violin music of George Enescu (1881 – 1955) thanks to a recital and lecture which took place on 22nd June in the school’s Constance Pilkington Hall. Sir Noel Malcolm, world authority on the life and music of Enescu gave a fascinating lecture introducing the composer and his work. Alda Dizdari (violin and Purcell Instrumental Specialist Teacher) played three works by Enescu, two of which were accompanied by Tom Blach (piano). The dazzling virtuosity of Enescu’s writing for both the violin and the piano reminded the audience of Enescu’s legendary status as one of the great performers of all time, whilst Sir Noel’s lecture underlined the importance and originality of Enescu’s compositions.
Whilst Enescu is an iconic figure in the history of twentieth-century music, his compositions have hitherto been less well-known in this country. The Purcell event follows a recent production of Enescu’s operatic masterpiece Oedipe at Covent Garden – it seems that a revival of interest in this most erudite and scintillating composer is well underway in England. During the interval, Mr Sherban Cantacuzino presented the school with a gift from the Romanian Cultural Institute in London: some Enescu scores for our pupils to use.