The Society of Concerts Bistrita (Romania) hosted three concerts June 5-7 for American Musicians in Bistrita, 2012. Faculty members Kevin Bylsma, Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu, and Penny Thompson Kruse were invited by BGSU DMA student Ioana Galu. Galu co-founded the festival which is in its third year. Other performers included BGSU alumna violinist Iuliana Cotirlea, and pianists Vera Negreanu and Mihaela Gavris, as well as violist Steven Kruse. All concerts were in the Bistrita Synagogue, a historic building from 1856 refurbished in 2000.
The first concert featured violinists Ioana Galu, Iuliana Cotirlea, and Penny Thompson Kruse with pianist Kevin Bylsma. The program included works by Amy Beach, Rebecca Clarke, Aleksey Igudesman, Fritz Kreisler, and Jules Massenet.
Wednesday’s concert featured the Kruse Duo (Penny Thompson Kruse, violin and Steven Kruse, viola) assisted by pianists Kevin Bylsma and Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu, performing works by Max Bruch, Rebecca Clarke, Jeremy Cohen, Thomas Dunhill, Maurice Ravel, Augusta Read Thomas, and John Williams.
The final concert featured pianists Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu, Kevin Bylsma, Vera Negreanu and Mihaela Gavris. Liu performed J.S. Bach’s Caprice Leaving Loved Brother and Franz Liszt’s Isolde’s Liebestod. The Romanian piano duo performed Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and Valery Gavrilin’s Seven Pieces for Piano Four Hands. Bylsma and Liu performed Claude Debussy’s Little Suite for Piano Four Hands.
The Society of Concerts Bistrita was founded in March 1996 by a group of intellectuals to fill the absence of professional musical institutions in Bistrita, Romania. The Society sponsors music concerts and theatrical productions in Bistrita, music education courses through lectures and recitals, the National Symposium of Painting, a photography camp, workshops in direction, acting, and drama, exhibitions of art and photography, and publishes books, recordings, and magazines.