Ion Voicu

Ion Voicu (October 8, 1923, Bucharest – February 24, 1997, Bucharest) was a great Romanian violinist and orchestral conductor of Roma ethnicity. The roots of the Voicu family date from the middle of the 19th century, when a violin player, Nicolae Voicu, used to play in a Bucharest band. His son, the violinist Ştefan Voicu (1893-1976) had a solid occupation as an instrumentalist in the orchestras of the capital (it seems that he had become a virtuoso double bass player as well), taking pride in his four children who took up three different instruments: Ion Voicu – the violin, Marin and Mircea Voicu – the piano, and Gheorghe Voicu – the double bass. This is actually the generation that received higher education in Bucharest and Moscow, which irrevocably imposed the name of the Voicu family on the national and global level in the 20th century, the son of the great late violinist (Mădălin) being today an internationally recognized conductor.

Raised in Bucharest, he received his first violin at the age of 5, and he was initiated into the study of this instrument by a student, Constantin Niculescu. Garabet Avakian and Vasile Filip subsequently guided him for the examination admission to the Royal Academy of Music in Bucharest where, at the age of 14 years old, he was directly matriculated in the 5th year. Here, he studied under remarkable professors (George Enacovici, Cecilia Nitzulescu-Lupu, Vasile Filip) and was polished in Moscow, at the Music Conservatory “Piotr Ilici Tchaikovsky”, by the scrupulousness of the great Soviet masters (Abram Iampolsky and David Oistrakh), the young Romanian virtuoso was to begin a brilliant career.

In 1946, having won the National Prize “Enescu–Menuhin” he went to Switzerland. In 1950 he became the soloist of Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest; the young violinist's huge potential and his ascent convinced the administration of the Ministry of Culture to get an exceptional instrument and and to place it at his disposal. In 1956, Ion Voicu became the first Romanian who had a Stradivarius violin.

Ciprian Porumbescu - Balada (Ion Voicu)

He gave concerts on the greatest stages of the world (Royal Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Scala in Milan, Carnegie Hall in New York, Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna a.s.o.) with the most famous orchestras (Berliner Philarmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo, the Symphony Orchestra in Cincinatti, Seattle, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Dresden, München a.s.o.) and co-operated with eminent musicians: Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Henryk Szering, Monique Haas, Christoph Eschenbach, Sergiu Celibidache, John Barbirolli, Antal Dorati, Vàclav Neumann, André Cluytens, a.s.o.

He was a juror in prestigious international violin competitions: “Piotr Ilici Tchaikovsky” (Moscow), “Carl Flesch” (London), “Jan Sibelius” (Helsinki), “Johann Sebastian Bach” (Leipzig) and during his career, he was awarded by many prizes and titles, among which: “Medaille d'or” of the French Academy, the Honorary Diploma of the Foundation “Eugène Ysaye”, The Prize of the Romanian Academy, The Honorary Diploma of the Ministry of Culture and Prize of Excellency of the Union of Interpreters, Choreographers and Musical Critics of Romania. He was member of the Foundation “Henryk Szering” and of UNICEF Council. From 1972 to 1982, he was the director of the Romanian Philharmonic. In 1969 he founded the award-winning Bucharest Chamber Orchestra, which is now conducted by his son Mădălin Voicu.


Mihaela said...

Enjoy the blog very much, great team work. Amazing what a team of dedicated secondary school students and teachers can do.

Anonymous said...

Great work, thank you so much. Grazie