Join us for our Season Opening concert for our spectacular 70th Season!

Program:

Victor Romanul, violin and viola (BSO)

Alexander Romanul, violin

  • Mendelssohn - Hebrides Overture
  • Bruch - Double Concerto for Violin and Viola
  • Lumbye - Concert Polka for 2 Violins
  • Dvorak - Symphony no. 9, op.95 in E minor, “From the New World”

Pre-concert talk by Leslie Holmes, begins at 2:15 p.m.

Soloist- Victor Romanul

This year, Victor Romanul is performing multiple times, including the complete 24 Paganini caprices, the Paganini violin concerto, the complete Ysaye sonatas, the complete Bach sonatas and partitas for violin solo and,also, the complete Bach suites on the viola.

Over his career, Victor has performed all over the world, and has a concerto repertoire of over 100 concerti. A student of Jascha Heifetz, Mr. Romanul has also studied with Ivan Galamian, Joseph Silverstein, and Alfred Krips. He has recently written 4 compositions, which each derive their substance from a compilation of the complete works of some of the great violinists of history, Wieniawski, Vieuxtemps, Sauret, and Alard. The father of 5 grown children, he has recently expanded his solo concert engagements. Named in the “Best of Boston” by the Boston Globe as a solo concerto artist, he has given master classes all over the country at major universities, and most recently, gave the master classes at Tanglewood on the 24 Paganini caprices and the Ysaye solo sonatas. The famed composer, John Williams, wrote a violin and viola duo for Victor Romanul and his friend, Michael Zaretsky, which they have recorded. Strings Magazine asked Victor to write an article for their February, 2016 issue about the story of his career.

Soloist- Alexander Romanul

At age twelve, Alexander Romanul made his debut playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Gunther Schuller conducting the New England Conservatory Orchestra. At thirteen, Alexander performed the Bach Double Concerto with Harry Ellis Dickson leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and was invited by Arthur Fiedler to play the Sarasate Spanish Dances with the Boston Pops. Concurrently, Alexander formed the Romanul Quartet with his brothers. They were coached by the legendary pianist Artur Balsam, as well as Josef Gingold, Eugene Lehner and members of the Guarnieri String Quartet. The Romanul Quartet performed at the Goethe Institute, the Gardner Museum, Boston University, Brooklyn College, Harvard and Brandeis Universities, and in live performance on WGBH Morning Pro-Musica and WCVB TV Boston, as well as in Avery Fischer Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall. The Romanul Quartet subsequently won the Jeunesse Musicales International Chamber Music Competition in Belgrade in 1980.

Alexander's teachers include Ivan Galamian, Joseph Silverstein and Josef Gingold, Denes Zsigmondy, Sandor Vegh and Nathan Milstein. He has performed as a solo recitalist at the Los Angeles County Museum, the Washington National Gallery, in Carnegie Recital Hall, the Salzburg Mozarteum and the London Royal College of Music as part of, 'Music from Prussia Cove'. He has performed concertos with the Orchestra Teatro San Carlo on tour throughout Italy, and also toured throughout Poland appearing with various orchestras. He has appeared as soloist with the Boston Classical Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and with the National Symphony of Ecuador, where the music critic in Quito dubbed him, '…a poet of the violin.' Alexander was awarded 5th prize and the Szymanowski Prize in the Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poznan, Poland.

Alexander has also appeared as guest concertmaster with the Boise Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Opera Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, as a member of the Camerata Academica Salzburg, and as an adjunct violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is active as a solo recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and is on the faculty of the Conductor Retreat at Medomak.

In Memorarium- Flaviu Romanul

Dr. Flaviu Romanul was a longtime Brookline resident who overcame persecution in communist Romania to become an admired neurologist and professor at Harvard and Boston University. He passed away on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at the age of 91. Flaviu Cornel Alexandru Romanul was born on Christmas Day 1925 in Cluj, Romania, to the opera star Stella Roman and Aurel Romanul. When Flaviu was a child, his mother left Romania to pursue her singing career, leaving young Flaviu in a military boarding school. When Romania was liberated from German occupation in 1944, Flaviu left the military and entered medical school at the University of Cluj. Students took to the streets waving Romanian flags to celebrate the armistice. For this, Flaviu was arrested by Soviet soldiers, charged with "anti-communist activities," and sentenced to death. He was imprisoned - first for 1 month in a group cell so crowded he had to crouch when he slept, and then in solitary confinement where he was questioned at gunpoint every day for 6 months. Eventually, with the help of his mother's connections and a family friend who was a judge, he was able to escape communist prison and, subsequently, the country. Flaviu arrived in the United States in 1947 as an emaciated 22-year-old who knew only three words in English - yes, no, and O.K. Within two years, he was granted permanent American residence under the Displaced Persons Act, learned English and was accepted into Harvard Medical School. Graduating in 1953, he did his residency at Johns Hopkins University with a specialty in Neurology. He served two years in the US Navy at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In 1959, Dr. Romanul moved to Boston, where he practiced and taught neurology and neuropathology for 41 years - at Boston Medical Center, the VA hospital, Boston City Hospital, Harvard and Boston University Medical Schools. Each year, from 1983 until 1993, he was the recipient of B.U.'s Best Teacher Award. As a result, in 1993 the Flaviu C. A. Romanul Teaching Award was established by the graduating class of residents to be awarded every year to the best teacher in the Department of Neurology. He authored 35 major papers. In 1994, Dr. Romanul was listed in Best Doctors in America. He retired in 2000 at the age of 74. Flaviu leaves behind a legacy of incredibly hard work, dedication, ethics, kindness, and generosity. He spoke 6 languages and shared with his family his love of the arts, a well-placed pun, and The New Yorker cartoons. In particular, he passed on his and his mother's love of music. His four sons traveled and performed extensively together as the Romanul Quartet and continue to perform today - Myron as a conductor in Germany, Victor as a violinist in the Boston Symphony, and Alexander as a violinist.

Highlight- The Romanul Brothers

Ever since Myron, the oldest brother, correctly identified a tuning fork pitch at the age of 5, the Romanul brothers’ future was set. Myron won an opportunity to play as soloist with members of the Boston Symphony at the age of 11, soon followed by Michael, at age15, Victor at 13, and Alexander at 15.

They appeared throughout the 1970s as the “Romanul Chamber Players” in many television shows and at embassies around the world on behalf of the State Department.

Each having their own last teachers, Alexander with Nathan Milstein, Victor with Jascha Heifetz, Michael with Leslie Parnas, and Myron with Adele Marcus, they performed hundreds of concerts during the 1970s, including one at David Geffen Hall (then Avery Fisher) in New York. In 1980, they won the only major piano quartet competition in the world in Belgrade, Serbia, the “Jeunesse Musicale.” Soon after, the group disbanded.

Myron is now an international conductor based in Europe. Victor is a violinist with the Boston Symphony. Alexander is a violinist living in Vermont, and Michael is a scholar.

This concert represents the reunification of the brothers, on stage, on the first anniversary of their father’s death.