Alexandru Anastasiu is a vibraphone virtuoso and one of the most valuable instrumental performers of Romania.
Born in 1979, he is a graduate of the National University of Music in Bucharest, specialised in percussion, and of the Internationale Sommerakademie Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg.
In 1999, he reached the semi-finals in the International Vibraphone Competition of Cermont-Ferrand and two years late, in 2001, he won the Yamaha Scholarship for percussion instruments. Among others, we can mention the career achievement award from the Soros Foundation obtained as part of the GAME percussion ensemble and the “Revelation of the Year” award in the Jazz Gala organised by the Muzza Foundation.
Alexandru Anastasiu participated in numerous festivals, such as the International Jazz Festival in Bucharest (2004, 2005, 2006), the Contemporary Music Festival “International Week of New Music” (1998, 2000, 2008, with the percussion ensemble GAME), George Enescu International Festival (1998, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, as member of the National Radio Orchestra). Moreover, he is the founder of the International Vibraphone Festival (the first edition took place in 2012 in Bucharest).
At present, he is a member of the National Radio Orchestra (since 2003) and a contributor in various jazz groups (Marius Popp Band, Nicolas Simion and the Wild Dogs, Andreea Pauta Band).
Since 2012, he is a mentor within the ICon Arts Academy, in the percussion section.
Described in The Strad as “an uninhibited virtuoso, with soul and fabulous technique”, the Romanian-born violinist Remus Azoitei has been a featured soloist of prestigious European ensembles including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique and Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of London. He has performed concertos under conductors such as Lawrence Foster, Dimitri Kitaenko, Michael Sanderling, and Gabriel Chmura.
His recent engagements have taken him to venues around the world including Carnegie Hall / Weill Recital Hall and Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center in New York, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Salle Cortot Paris, Konzerthaus Berlin, St-Martin-in-the-Fields and Wigmore Hall in London, Auditorio Nacional Madrid, Konzerthaus Vienna, Palais de Beaux Arts and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, and National Concert Hall in Dublin. “Azoitei played with a fluid melodic sensibility and sparkling technique” wrote The Washington Post, commenting on his Washington DC debut at the Terrace Theatre of Kennedy Center, in December 2009. After his London Wigmore Hall debut in 2004, The Sunday Express wrote that “he delivered a memorable programme in front of a packed Wigmore Hall, and had the crowd cheering. He is one fine musician.”
A regular guest of the Enescu Festival in Bucharest, the Bourglinster Festival in Luxemburg and Berlin International Music Festival in Berlin, Remus Azoitei has worked with artists such as cellists David Geringas and Adrian Brendel, violist Gerard Caussé, and pianists Alexandra Dariescu and Konstantin Lifshitz. After his London Wigmore Hall debut in 2004, the Sunday Express wrote that “he delivered a memorable programme in front of a packed Wigmore Hall, and had the crowd cheering. He is one fine musician.” In 2005, he performed Bach’s Double concerto with Nigel Kennedy, a concert broadcast on 19 Radio and TV stations across Europe and North America, including Arte and Mezzo. He has recorded for the Electrecord, Radio Bremen, Hänssler Classic, and Chandos labels. He has received “The Cultural Order”, a decoration offered to him for his achievements by the Romanian President; has has also received the title of “Officer of the Romanian Crown” from King Michael of Romania.
Over the years, Remus Azoitei has developed a successful artistic partnership with pianist Eduard Stan. Apart from a very large number of performances they have given as a duo, the two artists recorded together the first ever entire repertoire for violin and piano by George Enescu. Launched by Hänssler Classics on 2 CDs in 2007, this collection immediately attracted international acclaim, such as: “Azoitei has all the requirements: marked sensitivity, a sweetness of tone (but not over-succulence) and an impressive emotional and dynamic range…” – The Strad, or “…the refined but vibrant performing style of Remus Azoitei… a distinctive player who combines temperament, mastery of idiom and executive elegance in a very special way” – The Gramophone.
Remus Azoitei studied with Dorothy DeLay, Masao Kawasaki and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School in New York, where he was awarded a scholarship to study for his Master’s Degree. He then travelled to London to work with Maurice Hasson at the Royal Academy of Music. His past teachers also included Daniel Podlovsky at the Bucharest Conservatoire as well as Bujor Prelipcean, leader of the Voces string quartet.
In 2001, Remus Azoitei was appointed violin professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, at the time becoming the youngest ever violin professor in the history of this institution. He is the Artistic Director of the Enescu Society in London, also being one of its founding members.
Remus Azoitei plays a Niccolo Gagliano violin made in 1740.