Andrei Stănculescu

Ph.: Roberto Ricci


by Bianca L. Nica
May 14, 2020


Andrei Stănculescu was born in Râmnicu Vâlcea, the capital city of Vâlcea County, a royal city with a huge cultural heritage located on the right side of the Olt River. When he was just three years old, his kindergarten teacher, sister Julia Palumbo, discovered his ability to vocally reproduce the melodies that she played and informed his parents enthusiastically. Even though Andrei’s grandmother was a French professor at one of the best colleges in Râmnic, his parents ignored the obvious choice. Despite many people’s misgivings, Andrei passed the musical skill test before starting primary school. This “exam” confirmed his talent, and little Andrei chose, without hesitation, the instrument closest to his vocality, the violin. Thus, Andrei Stănculescu began his music studies when he was six years old, at the Music High School in Râmnicu Vâlcea, discovering the queen instrument, the violin, a companion that would influence his entire artistic journey. After graduating high school, he continued his studies at the National University of Music in Bucharest, the Faculty of Musical Performance, Violin. After that, he decided to pursue a second degree at the Faculty of Composition, Musicology and Musical Pedagogy, Conducting. Musicology and Musical Pedagogy, Conducting. Andrei has been conducting since 2012. In high school, he was the assistant conductor of the Râmnicu Vâlcea Theological Seminary Choir. Later on, when he pursued his first bachelor’s degree, he founded and conducted the Rubato Choir, a vocal ensemble that played numerous concerts in Romania and Switzerland, with the main purpose of shining a spotlight on contemporary Romanian composers. 2016 was the year of faithful encounters for conductor Andrei Stănculescu. It was the year maestro Voicu Enăchescu discovered him at a festival he was organising. Shortly after, Andrei became a lyrical artist and assistant conductor of the Preludiu National Chamber Choir, a choir whose activity stretched over 45 years in Romania and abroad under maestro Voicu Enăchescu. As an assistant conductor, he was directly responsible for the musical training of the Preludiu choir for the Messiah Oratorio by Georg Friedrich Händel in 2016 and for the Matthaus-Passion Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach in 2018. The protagonists of both concerts were the Preludiu Choir, the Romanian National Youth Orchestra and the Conductor of the orchestra – Cristian Măcelaru, the main conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, another conductor that greatly influenced Andrei’s vision in terms of vocal and symphonic music. Together with Preludiu Choir, Andrei Stănculescu conducted a series of works performed for the first time at the International Week of New Music Festival – S.I.M.N in Bucharest. The young conductor is fascinated with contemporary music. Also, in 2016, since he was excited by the incredible laboratory that he had access to, he decided to pursue a second degree, and that’s how he met his maestro, the musician and exceptional teacher Gabriel Constantin Popescu, the choirmaster of the Romanian Operetta for over two decades and a professor at the Bucharest Conservatory ever since 1990. As if ”by accident”, meant to thank the first person who had noticed his talent, sister Julia Palumbo, in 2017, Andrei became the conductor of the choir of ”Sfântul Iosif” Cathedral in Bucharest, where he had the opportunity to conduct a considerable number of Masses and sacred works and the huge honour to musically coordinate the Papal mass in Bucharest during the apostolic visitation of Pope Francis to Romania. In 2019, together with Sfântul Iosif Cathedral Choir, Andrei also conducted the Romanian premiere of the Christmas Oratorio by Camille Saens, supported by BRD Groupe Societe Generale, a bank that has offered constant support to the young artist. As a result of the experience that he had gained in the field of baroque music, the manager of the Iași National Opera House, Beatrice Rancea, invited the young conductor to be the choirmaster during the 2017-2018 season for the Les Indes Galantes opera by Jean Phillipe Rameau, directed by Andrei Șerban. This was Andrei’s first direct contact with great French music, and he decided to learn more about it. Over time I’ve had a lot of contact with old music. Even though Messiah and Matthaus Passion or the Les Indes Galantes Opera, music that I’ve studied and conducted, are indubitably works of art that cannot be ranked, I felt closest to Rameau’s opera. This ballet heroique” didn’t just appeal to me because I am naturally drawn to opera music, but because I felt the entire syncretic spirit of French art in it, a syncretism that doesn’t let any of the facets of an ”Opéra-ballet” fade into the background. I came into contact with the music, the theatre, and the dance in four acts that don’t just move you emotionally but transport you to distinct geographical areas. After this project, I started to look into old French music, beginning with the Franco-Flemish school and up to the late French Baroque, a subject that was addressed very little in Romania. In 2018, Andrei became the conductor of the Romanian Royal Choir, a choir under the high patronage of the Romanian Royal Family, with which he performed at many public events, such as the “Union Capitals” International Tour in Bucharest, Râmnicu Vâlcea, Iași, Cluj, Alba Iulia, Chișinău (Republic of Moldova), Chernivtsi (Ukraine), Balchik (Bulgaria), or the Royal Concert at the George Enescu International Festival that took place last year, in September. Another important encounter was that between Andrei Stănculescu and BRD Group Societe Generale. In the best-case scenario, this contact between the man and the bank, which would usually just result in a loan, gave rise to the most novel project on the Romanian music scene, a choir of bankers, the BRD Choir. With the BRD Choir, he played a series of concerts at the Paris Philharmonic, George Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest, Pitești Philharmonic, Ion Dumitrescu Philharmonic in Râmnicu Vâlcea, and so on. Andrei Stănculescu was accepted for a residence of the Royaumont Foundation between 2019 and 2021. There, he will get the opportunity to work with one of the best choirs in France – the Les Metaboles Choir, under the guidance of In 2019, Stănculescu made his debut as an orchestra conductor on the stages of Vâlcea and Pitești Philharmonic. As a result of this experience, he also became interested in learning more about the symphonic repertoire under the guidance of one of the greatest Romanian conductors, maestro Cristian Mandeal. When his Holiness, Pope Francis, came to Romania, Stănculescu received the Archiepiscopal Cross decoration. The thinking of a conductor – with balanced movements, refined phrasing and a passion for transmitting his love for art to others (Liviu Peţu – Radio România Muzical producer) are the qualities that Andrei Stănculescu puts to good use in his music. I was chosen as the Romanian conductor that would train the Group Societe Generale Choir for a concert on the stage of the Paris Philharmonic, together with my colleagues from Romania, France and Senegal, in late 2018. Over more than one year, in my activity alongside the Romanian choir, I received support and guidance from extraordinary French musicians, such as Leo Warinsky and Francois-Xavier Roth, the conductor of the Les Siecles orchestra. Thanks to this project, at the tender age of 22, I had the opportunity to conduct on the stage of the Paris Philharmonic. Long before that, but especially after the “Playing for Philharmonie” project, I fell in love with French music for life.


Sir Colin Davis
Colin Rex Davis was born on September 25th, 1927, in Weybridge, Surrey, England, and was known for his exceptional interpretations of a wide range of classical and contemporary repertoire. His early exposure to music was through the clarinet, which he started playing at a young age. His interest in conducting developed during his time at...
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We continue our Theaters around the World column, and in this issue, we arrive in Sicily, more precisely in Palermo. It is known that Teatro Massimo di Palermo was, for a long time, the third largest opera house in Europe, after Palais Garnier and Wiener Staatsoper. The construction of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily,...
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Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.


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