Conductors of the future: Andrei Stănculescu

Andrei Stănculescu is one of the most talented and high-performing conductors in Romania. At only 26 years old, Andrei Stănculescu already has a vast conducting experience, having attained a series of musical achievements, such as his activities as a conductor of the “Preludiu” National Chamber Choir, guest conductor of two national youth orchestras: the National Youth Orchestra and the Junior Orchestra, as well as conductor and founder of the Rubato Choir, with which he has toured both nationally and abroad (Switzerland, 2018) and also guest conductor in Romanian philharmonics such as the “George Enescu” Philharmonic, the Philharmonic in Pitești, the “Ion Dumitrescu” Philharmonic, the Sibiu State Philharmonic, the Philharmonic in Brașov and the “Banatul” Philharmonic in Timișoara. In 2018, he became artistic consultant and coordinating conductor for Romania of the Playing for Philharmonie project, initiated by BRD – Groupe Société Générale and, alongside the BRD Choir, he performed a series of concerts on the stages of The Philharmonie de Paris, of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic Hall, the Philharmonic in Pitești and the “Ion Dumitrescu” Philharmonic Hall. He has recently undertaken some vocational training courses organized by the Royaumont Foundation in France, as well as receiving a scholarship from the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana, where he studies Renaissance music. Besides being a MA student in Switzerland, he is also a PhD. student at the National University of Music in Bucharest. Over the years, he has collaborated with personalities such as Cristian Mandeal, Cristian Măcelaru, Tiberiu Soare, Voicu Enăchescu, Leo Warynski or François Xavier-Roth. Since 2018, he has been conducting the Choir of the Saint Joseph Cathedral. He has also had the honor of conducting the choir during the Papal Mass on the occasion of the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Romania, being awarded the Archbishop’s Cross. On December 8th, 2021, he made his artistic debut on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum Hall, by conducting the Romanian Youth Orchestra and the Preludiu Chamber Choir, thus becoming one of the youngest conductors to have ever performed on this renowned stage.

Dear Andrei, welcome back! I must say I am so thrilled to have you here. The last time you were featured in our Magazine this rubric was designed as an article rubric and now, with this interview rubric, I am glad to be the one interviewing you, given our entire history together. For our dear readers, I must confess – as a soprano – Andrei is the conductor I sang the most with, and is definitely one of the greatest musicians I ever met and worked with so far. Funny thing, as I am writing this interview I am on the road to another concert with him. Hopefully I will be able to capture at least 1% of his artistry here in the interview for you to discover what an amazing person and musician he is. Thank you for accepting my invitation!

Thank you very much for the invitation, dear Cristina! The pleasure is mine to be back here.

What are the main skills that a Conductor of the future should possess in your opinion & also, what do you think a young aspiring conductor should know before approaching this path of conducting? If you were to give any advice to your younger colleagues, what would that be?

This question gives me chills because not very long ago I didn’t have younger colleagues, I was the youngest, at least in Romania. Anyways, I embrace with joy and gratitude every phase of my journey and this already answers your question, the joy, the happiness that music brings in our lives, this is the “secret”, this is the main skill, to love what you do. If you don’t do this vocation selflessly and with the only purpose of making others and yourself happy, you are doomed to an extremely painful life. Any conductor must know that this life, the life of a conductor, is lonely and suits a person who accepts himself and who does not find it difficult to spend time with himself. In reality, you will spend the most time of your life with dead folks – the composers – and you do need to understand that loving and being so much time with people that don’t answer back can be frustrating. Also, don’t try to please others, you are the one who has to believe that you can do what you are meant to do. I would also tell them not to hurt people in the process of constructing a career, and I mean especially those closest to you, family, and friends. Unfortunately, we tend to hurt them the most and take care of them the least, while with orchestras, choirs, soloists, and stage partners we wear the silkiest gloves. That’s about it, otherwise, every destiny is very different and every character, conductor or not, is formed in the chisel of pain and joy.

Do you believe in the power & the actual need of social media in order to maintain the connection between you, the artist, and the public? Is it helpful having a connection with your audience off stage?

In our times it is essential. It is crystal clear that we are going in that direction, and only a dull person would ignore the age of technology, especially in the field of art. The only aspect that bothers me, having grown up with my grandparents, is this rush to form a new audience, the idyllic young audience, and almost to ignore the already existing one. I think it is our responsibility to educate the elders in the field of technology and to have a hybrid type of communication through social media, but also keeping the classic concert poster. We should do what classical music always did, to preserve the history in the context of new.

Read the entire interview here, in the 9th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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