Prodan Romanian Cultural Foundation
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
+44 (0) 20 7831 9905



Sherban Lupu, Violinist (1952 – 2023)

Violin performer, teacher and music editor Sherban Lupu has died, aged 71. He was considered one of the leading Romanian violinists of the last century and a champion of George Enescu’s compositions.

Born in Brasov, Romania in 1952, Lupu studied in Bucharest with George Manoliu and in London with Yfrah Neaman. He took master classes with Yehudi Menuhin, Sandor Vegh and Norbert Brainin of the Amadeus Quartet.

Lupu held the positions of violin professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, artistic director of the Gubbio Festival in Italy and associate concertmaster of the San Francisco Opera. He performed worldwide as a soloist. 

In collaboration with the composer Cornel Taranu, Lupu finished and reconstructed the Caprice Roumain for violin and orchestra by George Enescu. Together with the Romanian Cultural Institute, Lupu published six volumes of previously unknown works for violin by Enescu, which he had discovered, edited and arranged. He held the post of president of the George Enescu Society of the United States from December 2011.

In 2000, Lupu received a lifetime achievement award from the Romanian Cultural Foundation for promoting Romanian culture and music internationally. Two years later, he received an honorary doctorate from  from Cluj Academy of Music  (Romania). In 2004 he received the title of Commander of the National Order of Merit and Service from the president of Romania. 2007 saw Sherban Lupu receive an honorary doctorate from the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania. He received a Fulbright Grant for the 2009-2010 academic year. He was the artistic director of the ’The Musical Citadel of Brasov’ International Festival, Romania from 2002. 

Pianist Alexandra Dariescu announces a busy season
Autumn and Winter 2022

Dear Friends, 
Hope you enjoyed your summer! I am delighted to share my new season with you all, so here we go!

This season I will once again explore fascinating pairings in my programming, juxtaposing mainstream piano concertos written by male composers with their female counterparts in the same concert.

In this way, we share with our beloved audiences interesting stories and connections between the composers, while painting a fuller, more relatable and inclusive picture of the times and the various artistic movements.
Debut with Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie under Alain Altinoglu on La Monnaie’s 250th anniversary, performing Cesar Franck’s Symphonic Variations at the BOZAR in Brussels

I will be Artist in Residence three times this season - at the Richmond Symphony in the US, Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern and Iserlohn Internationale Herbsttage für Musik in Germany

The world premiere recording of the newly discovered piano concerto by Leokadiya Kashperova, which I made with the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chris Hopkins will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week programme in December ’22

Debuts with Florida Symphony & JoAnn Falletta and Richmond Symphony & Valentina Peleggi in the US, George Enescu Philharmonic & Cristian Bebeselea in Romania, Real Filharmonía de Galicia in Spain and Uppsala Chamber & Rebecca Miller in Sweden

Return visits to Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec & Valentina Peleggi and Kitchener Waterloo Symphony & Andrei Feher in Canada

“The Nutcracker and I" is back touring for the 6th year - in the UK, Germany and Greece

I will once again join Angela Gheorghiu in recitals, this time in the US

Radu Lupu, Pianist

Radu Lupu, Pianist (1945-2002)

The great Romanian pianist Radu Lapu has died at the age of 76. Born in the Moldavian port city Galati to Jewish parents, Lupu won three of the world's most prestigious piano competitions: the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (1966), the George Enescu International Piano Competition in his native Romania (1967), and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition (1969). These victories launched Lupu's international career, and he appeared with all of the major orchestras and at all of the major festivals and music capitals of the world. He was widely recognized as one of the greatest pianists of his time. 

Graduating from the Popular School for the Arts in Bra?ov, Lupu continued his piano studies at the Bucharest Conservatory (1959–1961) with Florica Musicescu (who also taught Dinu Lipatti). Aged 16, in 1961, he was awarded a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied for seven years. 

Lupu won a Grammy Award in 1996 for an album of Schubert piano sonatas. In 1995 he won an Edison Award for a disc of piano works by Schumann. Other awards included the Franco Abbiati Prize in 1989 and 2006, and the 2006 Premio Internazionale Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli award. 
In 2016 Radu Lupu was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 UK New Year Honours for services to music.

Lupu retired from the concert stage in 2019. He died in Lausanne after a long illness.

Links to two renowned performances by Radu Lupu:

A rare video recording of a Lupu performance,
Mozart: Piano Concerto no 19 in F, K459, with David Zinman and the Deutsche Kammerphiharmonie  

Generally acknowledged to be one of the greatest piano-duet recordings of all time, with Lupu partnered in 1984 by his fellow Leeds prize winner Perahia.
Schubert: Fantasia in F minor, with Murray Perahia

Alexandra Dariescu triumphs,
even during the pandemic

Alexandra Dariescu

Despite the limitations on performances caused by Covid 19, Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, who has received support from the Foundation, has had a busy diary this season. Among other highlights Alexandra has played Clara Schumann’s rarely performed Piano Concerto in festivals and concert halls around Europe. Alexandra discovered she has played the concerto more times in one season than Clara Schumann did in her entire life.

Alexandra has been made an Associate Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music.
Link here to Alexandra’s site:

Alexandra Dariescu World Tour

Alexandra Dariescu

The celebrated Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu visited 13 venues worldwide in late 2018 and early 2019 with her The Nutcracker and I World Tour, working with the ballerina Désirée Ballantyne. The performance, based on Tchaikovsky’s great ballet, is an arrangement for piano, ballerina and digital animation. During the tour Dariescu was also Playing repertoire including works by Enescu, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov and  Shostakovich. Venues included eight European concert halls, and cities in The UAE, China and Australia.

Foundation Awards Grant to Pianist
Greta Gasser

Greta Gasser

The Foundation is giving a grant towards the purchase of a piano to the prize-winning Romanian pianist and piano teacher Greta Gasser. Greta studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, after her initial training in Romania, and is based in Manchester. She has given many UK recitals, playing at venues including Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and St. Martin’s in the Fields London.   Greta played the piano in the 2016 ITV Series Victoria as a hand double for the actress Jenna Coleman who portrayed the young queen.

Madalina Rusu Competition Finalist

March 2009
Madalina Rusu has got through to the final of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, which is on Saturday 14th of March, at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings, East Sussex at 6pm. She will play the Grieg Concerto with the Sussex Concert Orchestra.

Madalina Rusu Recitals

November 2008
26th of November 1pm, lunchtime recital at Chappell's of Bond Street, Schubert - 4 Impromptus op.90, Rachmaninoff - Corelli Variations, and Liszt - Mephisto Waltz. 

Madalina performed a recital of Rachmaninoff 1st Piano Concerto at the Family Concert at the Fairfield Hall on 15th of November 2008.

October 2008
Madalina gave the lunch time recital at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church Trafalgar Square, in London on Monday October 20th.

Madalina Rusu Recital
Madalina Rusu
Brancusi Music Award 2008 Announced

September 2008
The Prodan Foundation has established an annual award in the field of music, named after Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. The recipient of the Award for 2008 is pianist Madalina Rusu. She was recommended to the Foundation for an award by Stephen Walsh, former music critic for the London Observer, as she recently came second in a British competition of which he was judge. After hearing Madalina’s recordings of Rachmaninoff, her extraordinary talent was easily recognised. Madalina was born in Romania in 1985 and started to play the piano at the age of 8. From 2000 to 2004 she attended the National Academy of Music in Bucharest, and since 2004 has studied at the Guildhall School in London, where she has now commenced work towards her Masters Degree.

Madalina won First Prize at the National Olympiade of Music in 2000 in Romania, and First Prize at the National Stage of Concours Musical de France in 2002. She has also won First Prize at the International Competition Pro-Piano in 2002 and the Croydon Concerto Competition in 2007. She has won several other prizes in competitions, as well as the Beethoven Piano Prize at the Guildhall in 2005 and the Romantic Piano Prize at the Guildhall in 2008.

Madalina has given numerous recitals and concert performances of chamber music as well as concert performances of concertos, including the Grieg Piano Concerto and the Liszt No. 1 Concerto as part of the 2007 London Proms.

Madalina gave a recital as part of the Rachmaninov Festival at London's Barbican Hall on 20th September 2008.   The concert was deemed the biggest success of the festival by one critic:

Stefano Greco
"Rachmaninoff’s idiom was captured much more tellingly in a recital by the young Romanian pianist Madalina Rusu, which in a nutshell made the distinction between the lyrical luxuriance of the early Moments musicaux Op 16 and the lucidity of the later Corelli Variations. The flagship orchestral events were not quite so forthcoming."

Adolfo Barabino receiving applause after his recital
Adolfo Barabino recital
April 2008

The Foundation sponsored a recital by the talented Italian pianist Adolfo Barabino on Sunday 20th April at Hever Castle in Kent. The programme included Dinu Lipatti’s Second Nocturne and his transcription of Bach’s ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’, both being First British Performances of these pieces. Details of the recital may be downloaded here.

Adolfo Barabino recital (Jpeg file, 235KB)

Stefano Greco

January 2007
Stefano Greco has been awarded the accolade of being made a Steinway Artist. Steinway and Sons has cultivated this special relationship with great pianists for many decades. It is a tribute to Greco's standing as an artist. Here are links to the Steinway Artist's and Stefano Greco's own site:

April 2007
Stefano Greco played J.S. Bach's The Art of the Fugue at the Accademia San Felice World Sacred Music Festival in Florence on April 5th 2007 at the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte. The development of this performance is a Brancusi Classics project.

Below is the front cover of the programme from the Stefano Greco recital that took place in November 2005. Click on the image to see a bigger version of the programme plus the programme lineup in PDF format.

Two articles were written by Stefano Greco and Robert Temple to be included in the printed programme. These articles concerned the Fugue and can be viewed here:

Concerning the Fugue by Stefano Greco (PDF - 0.2MB)

The Philosophy of the Fugue by Robert Temple (PDF - 0.5MB)