Extraordinary participation at the Classix Festival Iași: Grammy Award-winning artists, a Vienna residency ensemble and the winner of the 2019 Equinor Award

Classix Festival brings to Iași between February 16 and 22, 2020 over 20 international artists in 7 concerts, 3 educational dialogues dedicated to creative industries and 2 panels of entrepreneurship.

The festival, which is in its first edition, will take place in a series of emblematic locations in Iași: Roman Catholic Cathedral “Saint Virgin Mary, Queen”, Palace of Culture, National Theater “Vasile Alecsandri”, Central University Library “Mihai Eminescu”, Balș House – buildings luscious in history and carrying symbols of the cultural and high-profile and elite events of the city.

Under the artistic direction of the pianist Dragoș Andrei Cantea, the festival starts as a contemporary classical adventure. Dedicated to a hybrid generation of enthusiasts of the arts, elites, as well as those open to experiments, the event brings together from a cultural, diplomatic and economic perspective no less than 10 nations.

The seven concerts organised through the festival are: Human and Divine, The Romantic Concert, Nordic Harmonies, Classic or Fantastic?, American Dream at Two Pianos, Jewish Concert, Transfigured Classic

Trondheim – Iași route, via Grammy

Trondheim Soloists (TrondheimSolistene) are winners awarded at the Grammy 2020 ceremony for “best immersive album” work with a Norwegian producer. The Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1988 with the aim of offering more young performers in Trondheim the opportunity to play and attain concert experience. Since then, the ensemble is established next to one of the most distinguished in Norway, gaining international notoriety for its distinct, open and clear “Trondheim sound”, as described by the British publication Classic FM.

Trondheim Soloists have performed on more than 50 albums. Recordings for the orchestra for the 2L record house were highly appreciated, winning three Spellemannpriser (Norwegian Music Awards), and nominated 10 times for the Grammy. The most sold album of the ensemble is represented by Vivaldi’s Seasons, signed at Deutsche Grammophon, being bought in about 700,000 copies.

The ensemble was included on more than 50 albums. The orchestra’s recordings for the ensemble represent a promotion pole for the Norwegian music heritage, as they include in their concert’s repertoire at least a nordic musical work, commissioning throughout the year at least 50 pieces composed for them.  

The public will be able to meet the Norwegian ensemble in Iasi on February 18, during the “Nordic Harmonies” concert and on February 22, at the “Transfigured Classic” gala concert.

Selini Quartet – Vienna residency ensemble

Coming from Russia, Romania and Greece, the four musicians met in Vienna, where they formed the Selini Quartet in 2016. Since then, thanks to the devotion to the score, combined with the strong sound and the wide range of emotions conveyed, they have managed to sustain concerts in many European countries and are awarded with prestigious awards.

Inspired by Greek mythology, the name Selini Quartet comes from the goddess of the moon. The semicircular shape of the string quartet reminds the four members of the ensemble of the image of a quarter of a month, and each member of the quartet symbolically represents one of the four phases of the month.

Nadia Kalmykova (violin), Ljuba Kalmykova (violin), Loredana Apetrei (violin) and Loukia Loulaki (Greece) make up the ensemble that is selected today to represent Austrian music worldwide under the auspices of NASOM – New Austrian Sound of Music for the season 2020 – 2022.

Selini Quartet are winners in 2018 with the second prize at the Szymanowski quartet competition in Katowice, Poland and distinguished winners of the Artis Prize in the ISA competition in Vienna. The quartet was named ensemble in residence of the Aix in Provence Festival in France in 2019. They also honored invitations to important projects such as ECMA (European Chamber Music Academy), Le Dimore del Quartetto, Musethica and the Quatuor Diotima Academy.

The four artists will perform at the Classix festival on February 19, at 19:00, “Classic or Fantastic?” and on February 22, at the “Transfigured Classic” gala concert, these two concerts also marking their concert debut in Romania. Their presence on the festival scene is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest.

Cello – between virtuosity and heroism

Sandra Lied-Haga started studying cello at the age of 3, becoming the youngest student in the program of the Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo. Later, she was admitted to the prestigious Razumovsky Academy in London, where she later studied for six years with the renowned cellist Truls Mørk.

Sandra made her debut at Wigmore Hall in London at the age of 12. She has been invited to numerous festivals such as Salzburg, Gstaad, Fjord Classics, chamber festivals in Oslo and Valdres, as well as at the Academy of the Verbier Festival, after which she was invited to attend her own recital at the Verbier Festival at just 17 years old.

Among the international prizes of Sandra, we mention the First Prize and the Virtuoso Prize from the Talinn Young Musician Competition, the First Prize and the Grand Prize at the Heran International Cello Competition in the Czech Republic and the First Prize at the Padova Competition. In addition, she was awarded the Bärenreiter and EMCY awards.

Sandra is constantly performing chamber concerts with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Mutter Virtuosi ensemble. In 2019 he made his debut album, recording the Dvorak Cello Concerto and the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations for Simax Classics. Among the important names with which he had the chance to collaborate on chamber music, we mention Truls Mørk, Yo-Yo Ma, Leif Ove Andsnes, Paul Lewis, Piers Lane, Kathryn Stott, Lars Anders Tomter or Christian Ihle Hadland.

Sandra is currently playing a 1730 Bolognese cello Joannes Florenus Guidantus from 1730, under the tutelage of the Norwegian Dextra Musica Foundation.

Sandra Lied-Haga is a soloist in the “Romantic Concert” on February 17, at 19:00, at the Henri Coandă Hall of the Palace of Culture Iasi.

Victor a vincere 

South Korean pianist Victor Lim will be present on the Classic festival stage at the February 17 Romantic Concert.

He has performed at prestigious British institutions such as Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Colston Hall or St. Martin-in-the-Fields. His recitals were broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In 2012, Victor was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.

Recent awards include the Second Prize at the Beethoven Inter-University Competition and the first prize at the Schubert and Beethoven competitions held at the North Royal College in Manchester.

Victor began studying piano at the age of six, graduating from Wells Cathedral School in the classes of John Byrne and Richard Ormrod, and later Manchester North Royal College in the Graham Scott, Jeremy Young and Murray McLachlan classes, where he also obtained prestigious ABRSM scholarship.

He also obtained a professional diploma in accompaniment from the Royal Academy of Music in London to the Michael Dussek class, being also awarded the Christian Carpenter Award for the best graduation recital. From 2018, Victor is studying at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in Kathryn Stott’s class, being enrolled in the Diploma Artist program.

At the chamber music level, Victor is a founding member of the Louko piano trio, along with winning the Hirsch, Nossek and Christopher Rowland awards at the Manchester Conservatory. In 2015, the trio won first prize in the European Chamber Music Competition in London, offered by the Beethoven Pianist Society.

Victor is a Leverhulme Fellow of the Pro Corda Foundation, the largest chamber music educational organization in the United Kingdom, and is also the coordinator of the chamber music course at the Millfield Summer School.

Polish violinist bravure

Patrycja Błaszak is a graduate of the Bydgoszcz Academy of Music in 2015 and the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in 2018, in the class of renowned professor Detlef Hahn. She was awarded the second prize at the Barletta Competition in 2012.


In the 2016-2018 seasons of the Oslo Philharmonic, Patrycja held a full scholarship position, having the opportunity to work with conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, Herbert Blomsted and Manfred Honeck.

Among many commitments, Patrycja is engaged in numerous chamber ensembles, giving private concerts even to the master Kryzstof Penderecki in 2015, and then in the piano trio formula at the Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio in Warsaw, where he recorded the two trios with Șostakovici piano for the Polish Broadcasting.

In 2017, he was awarded a scholarship to NYU’s summer academy in New York and an invitation to the European Chamber Music Academy in Vienna. He was a resident artist of the 9 Hills Festival in 2018 and a triple beneficiary of the Chelmno municipality scholarship from Poland for young talents.

Patrycja Błaszak will perform on the stage of the “Jewish Concert” from February 21, 2020, in the “Mihai Eminescu” University Library Hall in Iași.

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