George Enescu Museum: the home of musicians

Eva Poteaca | Live the World

November 23, 2022

When talking to foreigners, what are the main things that they seem to know about your country? For me, it's easy. Dracula and George Enescu. Once an important member of the Romanian society, George Enescu is recognized as a true artist who united the musicians in a place that was befitting to them. The building that is now the George Enescu Museum in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, was and continues to be that place. It is the home of musicians, where they can be inspired and create without limits. 

Who was George Enescu?

For those of you who don't know, George Enescu was a mastermind of his period. Born in 1881, George Enescu quickly became a composer, violinist, teacher, and conductor. By the age of seven, he was the youngest person ever to be granted entry into the Vienna Conservatory. Considered a child prodigy, his talents were quickly detected. He went on to continue his studies at the conservatory in Paris.

Picture © Credit to: Marius Petrescu

Back in Romania, George Enescu started teaching music and was often invited by Queen Elisabeth of Romania to perform at the Peleş Castle. Over the time, he composed countless symphonies and sonnets, piano music and quartets. The Romanians consider George Enescu to be the most important Romanian musician of all time. 

The style of the building

The George Enescu Museum was built by Ion Berindey and has a French Baroque style. The palace has four levels, each room more sumptuous than the next. The marble is predominant at the entrance of the building, where two lions made out of stone guard it. Shaped like a shell, the awning of the palace easily attracts the eye of those who walk on the busy street, that the building is situated on. 

The central hall on the ground floor has impressive murals made by Nicolae Vermont and George Demetrescu Mirea. The pink marble was used for the columns of this great hall, where the acoustics are spectacular. Everything in this palace takes the visitor back to a time when the balls and banquets for the elite used to be held here. This luxurious construction welcomed the artists, businessmen, and stars alike. 

Picture © Credit to: florin1961

George Enescu and his museum

The George Enescu Museum is also called the Cantacuzino Palace. The property belonged to the woman he wed. His wife, Maruca was married to a wealthy member of the Cantacuzino family and inherited the property after Grigore Cantacuzino's passing. At the moment of their wedding, George Enescu was 56 and his wife 58 years old. Even though they married so late in their lives, they were in love long before that.

Picture © Credit to: radub85

Even though this great musician was renowned in the entire world, he didn't spend much time in this exquisite building. He was a modest man and mostly lived in the administrative building in the back of the palace. There he chose the smallest room and lived happily until communist Romania forced him out of the country.

George Enescu put this beautiful palace to good use. He established the Union of Composers in this building and invited into his home all those who wanted to excel as musicians and composers. This was the place to be for all the artists that admired Enescu and sought guidance. To this day, the museum houses art exhibitions and orchestral concerts periodically. The famous Guarnieri violin that Enescu used in his concerts resides in these halls and attracts tourists every year.

Hundreds of musicians gather in Bucharest to take part in the annual George Enescu Festival. In 2019, this festival takes place at the end of August. The competition brings the tribute to Enescu and his talent that brought people together.

Picture © Credit to: florin1961

Even though George Enescu has long passed away, he couldn't be more present in Romania that still appreciates him as a true artist he was. During his life and after, George Enescu continuously supported musicians and art. The George Enescu Museum in Bucharest is to this day the home of musicians. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, this museum will surely be one you will forever remember.

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