Who Is Valentin Gheorghiu?
Valentin Gheorghiu was an incredible pianist who dedicated his entire life to music. Beginning his studies under Constanta Erbiceanu at Bucharest Academy of Music before studying further under Lazare Levy at Conservatoire National de Musique Paris he perfected an exquisite piano technique that cemented his reputation as one of Romania’s premier pianists in this century.
The Romanian Trio and the George Enescu International Competition
As part of the Romanian Trio, Gheorghiu displayed his extraordinary talent. Alongside his brother, violinist Ştefan Gheorghiu, and Radu Aldulescu, he wowed audiences with their rendition of George Enescu’s third sonata, which led them to claim the first prize at the inaugural George Enescu International Competition in 1958. This early recognition marked the beginning of Gheorghiu’s illustrious international career.
Accolades and Recognition
Gheorghiu’s brilliance as a composer was widely recognized. His Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was awarded the prestigious “George Enescu” Prize by the Romanian Academy. He was also the recipient of the 2020 UCMR Grand Prize, acknowledging his significant contributions to music throughout his career.
George Enescu himself admired Gheorghiu’s prodigious talent. He once described him as “a talent to be closely watched,” acknowledging his potential and virtuosity.
End of an Era: The Passing of Valentin Gheorghiu
On July 19, 2023, Valentin Gheorghiu passed away at the remarkable age of 95. His passing elicited mournful expressions both internationally and domestically from musicians across all genres and generations of Romanians alike, who will surely continue to remember and celebrate him long into the future. His legacy as a pianist, composer and musical icon will surely live on for decades to come.
His funeral will take place at Chapel of Bellu Orthodox Cemetery and a tribute will be paid him at Romanian Athenaeum – two venues which hosted many of his performances – while mourners seek solace from timeless beauty of music that was created.
A Prodigy from Galati
Valentin Gheorghiu was born in Galati, Romania to parents with an appreciation of music. At an early age he showed exceptional ability, soon becoming known as a child prodigy and soon being taught at both Bucharest’s Royal Academy of Music & Dramatic Art as well as Paris’ National Conservatory of Music & Dance by respected teachers. His talent flourished under their tutelage.
A Memorable Debut
Gheorghiu began his solo performance career as a soloist at the Romanian Athenaeum, thrilling audiences with his astounding rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1 in C major. Gheorghiu became widely respected throughout his career; among his prestigious positions included organist at St Joseph Catholic Cathedral of Bucharest and concert soloist with George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Enescu Sonata: A Landmark Performance
Gheorghiu’s interpretation of George Enescu’s Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 3 in A minor, performed alongside his brother, violinist Stefan Gheorghiu, became a landmark moment in his career. The duo’s performance in 1958 at the “George Enescu” International Festival and Competition was so spectacular that they were awarded the first prize, propelling Gheorghiu to the forefront of the international music scene.
Mourning and Tributes
News of Gheorghiu’s passing has sent shockwaves throughout the music world. Fellow musicians, admirers, and music lovers have been expressing their condolences and sharing their memories of the beloved artist. Among them, violinist Gabriel Croitoru penned a heartfelt tribute to the departed maestro on Facebook, encapsulating the shared sentiment of loss and the heartfelt appreciation for Gheorghiu’s contributions to music.
Valentin Gheorghiu: An Enduring Legacy
Valentin Gheorghiu will always remain part of music history; his timeless compositions and masterful performances continue to provide inspiration and pleasure for generations of classical music enthusiasts and performers. We remember him fondly with fond memories of his passion, dedication, and beautiful legacy which will continue on long after he is gone. The music of Valentin Gheorghiu will forever echo in concert halls, enriching the world of classical music for eternity.