Constantin Sandu in concert at the GLRP

22Dez07

Constantin Sandu

Constantin Sandu, in concert at the  GLRP.

Constantin Sandu, in concert at the GLRP.

Constantin Sandu, 1 January 1964, was born in Bucharest, Romania, and also has portuguese nationality. He is a pianist and teacher. He is living in Portugal since 1991 and currently teaches piano at the Porto Higher School of Music and the Performing Arts.

// Early life

He started studying the piano at the age of 7, with Sonia Ratescu, and he then continued his studies with Constantin Nitu at the “G. Enescu” Arts High School. In 1982, he entered the “C. Porumbescu” National Music Academy of Bucharest, where he studied under the guidance of Constantin Ionescu-Vovu, reputed professor and pianist. He concluded his academic studies in 1986, having graduated with the First Prize. In 2006, he received the title of Ph. D. in music at the National Music University of Bucharest, with the thesis “Portuguese Piano Music”. He had masterclasses with and received advice from personalities such as Helena Sá e Costa, Sequeira Costa, Dimitri Bashkirov and Tania Achot.

At the age of 14, he started his career as a soloist with orchestra. Since then, he has been involved in an intense musical activity – recitals, chamber music and concerts with orchestra – in several European and Asian countries, having had favourable appreciation from both the critics and the public.

Performances

Constantin Sandu em Concerto

Constantin Sandu em Concerto

He has participated in important Festivals, namely: “Enescu” – Bucharest, “Chopin” – Paris, Santander, “Primavera de Sevilla”, “Ciudad de Ayamonte”.

He is a regular guest soloist of the most significant Romanian orchestras, such as: “George Enescu” – Bucharest, “Transilvania” – Cluj, “Oltenia” – Craiova Philharmonics, and the Symphonic Orchestra of the Romanian Broadcasting. He has also played with noteworthy European orchestras, as for instance: “Arthur Rubinstein” – Lodz, Halle Philharmonic, Bodensee Orchestra – Konstanz, National Orchestra of Belarus, Symphonic Orchestra of Radio-television of Kiev, National Philharmonic of Moldavia, National Orchestra of Porto.

He has played with renowned conductors, such as: Cristian Mandeal, Horia Andreescu, Ludovic Bacs, Emanuel Elenescu, Ilya Stupel, Thomas Koncz, Victor Dubrovski, Emil Hatchaturian, Elena Herrera, Meir Minsky, Mark Stephenson, Heribert Beissel, Johen Wehner, Robert E. Luther and Didier Benetti.

He has given several master classes, among which the ones within the “Porto International Music Courses” 1998 and the “Celebrating the great pianists” festival in Aveiro 2001 are to be noted.

He was a member of the jury of the following International Competitions: “Vianna da Motta” — Lisbon, Portugal 2001, “Cidade do Porto” — Porto, Portugal 1996, 1998 and 2003, “Viotti-Valsesia” — Italy 1995, “Pinerollo-Cittá della cavalleria” — Italy 1994 and 1996, “Helena Sá e Costa” — Aveiro, Portugal 2004, “Florinda Santos” — São João de Madeira, Portugal 2004 and “Cuidad de Toledo” – Spain 2007.

He has made numerous recordings for the radio and television as well as on CD. In 2001, a CD was published with the live recording of a Beethoven recital, which had been held in November 2000 at the Arabian Hall of the Porto Stock Exchange. The renowned British magazine “Piano Journal” paid tribute to his performance by saying: “Constantin Sandu’s approach is serious, respectful and objective, yet his sensitive personality helps him give a very personal though valid account of three of Beethoven’s best-known opuses: 53, 57 and 129.”

Within “Porto 2001 — European Capital of Culture”, he performed Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Porto National Orchestra, under the direction of Mark Tardue. This performance was integrated in an all-Rachmaninov-Concertos programme, in which he participated together with Vladimir Viardo, Sequeira Costa e Artur Pizarro. The echoes of the press sounded: “Showing the technical security and the maturity of a consummate pianist, Constantin Sandu gave us a concerto full of expression and emotion. His personalized interpretation, to which an unusual intelligence in conducting the great expressive lines of the opus is no stranger, combined the right amount of temperament and lyricism.”

The recital he held in the 13th Spring Festival of Seville, in June 2002, was favourably reviewed in “Diario de Sevilla” under the title “Romanticism and the sense of colour” in which he was considered “a musician of an undoubted personality, (…) a magnificent sense of colour and rhythm, together with undeniable virtuosity …”

He recorded two more CDs, one with works of Albeniz and Gershwin (2002) and the other with Portuguese and Romanian piano music (2005).

In 2005 he performed once more in the Spring Festival of Seville, having been praised by the critics of the daily paper ABC: “a superb pianist, dominating the legato, the pedal, the balance and the form (…) a masterful hue and delicacy (…) irreproachable mastery. Overwhelming”.

Main International Awards

  • Second Prize at the Senigallia Competition, Italy – 1980.
  • First Prize at the “Viotti-Valsesia” Competition, Italy – 1981.
  • Honourable mention at the “Paloma O’Shea” Competition in Santander, Spain – 1984.
  • Second Prize at the Epinal Competition, France – 1985.
  • Third Prize and Special “Alberto Mozzatti” Award, at the “Maria Canals” Competition in Barcelona, Spain – 1985.

Critical and Concert reviews

  • “A new star has appeared on the horizon of music: Constantin Sandu.”
  • Maria Golia, President of the Jury at the “Viotti-Valsesia” Competiton, Italy, September 81.
  • “The Romanian pianist, Constantin Sandu, was the absolute leading figure at the Laureates’ Gala; with his vibrating, intimate and passionate performance, he proved to possess an obvious talent as concert performer.”
  • Corriere Valsesiano – Italy, September 81.
  • Constantin Sandu has excelled himself, particularly through his firm mastering technique, together with a distinguished artistic sensitivity and an admirable sense of musical architecture, as well as an equally important dominating polychromy of ‘nuance’, close to a delicate pictorial sense and musical poetics.”
  • Informatia – Romania, October 14th, 1981.
  • “Constantin Sandu has revealed unique performing qualities for someone under 18: incisive and firm technique, vigorous and effective performance, as well as a doubtless refined taste.”
  • Il monte rosa – Italy, April 82.
  • “Perfect mastery of the technical means of expression, intelligence, persuasive power, discernment of the musical passages, as well as a perfectly unique sensitivity. One has witnessed an artistic performance of real excellence.”
  • Muzica – Romania, February 85.
  • “Constantin Sandu has left the image of a pianist of previously confirmed exceptional and powerful resources. In Rachmaninov’s concerto he dominated the Steinway as if it were a ‘4×4’, working sonority with master’s hands.”
  • L’ Est Républicain – France, March 85.
  • “A General leading his troops, the Bodensee Symphonic Orchestra.”
  • L´Est Républicain – France, March 85.
  • “Constantin Sandu – the pianist with a crystal timbre.”
  • Informatia – Romania, December 85.
  • “Constantin Sandu ravished the public with his performance at the Rojas Theatre (…) The Romanian pianist has shown that his hands are worth being exposed at an exhibition.”
  • El dia de Toledo – Spain, November 90.
  • “With the rigour of those who know, the passion of those who feel and the simplicity of the truly great.”
  • Toural – Portugal, July 19th, 1991.
  • “Artistic maturity which is remarkable at all levels and which derives from the fact that, when sitting at the Piano, he does so with all the means within his reach, his whole intelligence and his whole heart at the service of the Work of Art and of the Author, which he proposes to unveil, overcoming himself and his circumstance.”
  • Notícias de Guimarães – Portugal, July 19th, 1991
  • “Fantastic harmonies (…) sincerity, impulse and energy (…) surrender to the performance of the opus, perfect interpretation of the score.”
  • Huelva Informacion – Spain, August 26th, 95.
  • “We felt like the privileged guests of the famous ‘schubertiades’. The delicate and deep playing, the almost immaterial sound carried the audience into a dimension of dream.”
  • Corriere Valsesiano – Italy, September 22nd, 95.
  • “The pianist knew how to give the piano the symphonic dimension demanded by the situation (Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1), displaying technical resources which were in accordance with the virtuosity of the piece (…)
  • Constantin Sandu has revealed once more, what he has shown before in his remarkable concert activity: security, musicality, lyricism, experience. Maturity.”
  • Público – Portugal, July 29th, 1997.
  • “The Romanian pianist, Constantin Sandu, (…) developing the different supreme variations of pianistic art, (…) with a repertoire only at the reach of the greatest virtuosi.”
  • Jornal de Notícias – Portugal, 14th October 2000.
  • “In this recital it was possible to experience the music through the hands of a master, (…) in a resolute attitude of someone who wants to reach the essence of music itself.”
  • Voz de Lamego – Portugal, 27th September 2001.
  • “Showing the technical security and the maturity of a consummate pianist, Constantin Sandu gave us a concerto (Rachmaninov No. 2) full of expression and emotion. His personalized interpretation, to which an unusual intelligence in conducting the great expressive lines of the opus is no stranger, combined the right amount of temperament and lyricism (…).” Público – Portugal, November 4th, 2001.
  • “Constantin Sandu’s approach is serious, respectful and objective, yet his sensitive personality helps him give a very personal though valid account of three of Beethoven’s best-known opuses: 53, 57 and 129.” Piano Journal – United Kingdom, Spring 2002.

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