National Youth Orchestra of Romania

© MUTESOUVENIR | Kai Bienert

It is only eleven years old, but many experts have declared it one of the best orchestras in Romania – possibly even the best. Young Euro Classic visitors already had a chance to convince themselves of the outstanding qualities of the National Youth Orchestra of Romania in 2012, 2014 and 2018. These are due mainly to the brilliant work of the experienced conductor Cristian Mandeal, who conveys not only technical know-how, but also the enthusiasm that great music requires to the young musicians aged 18 to 28. The orchestra’s high level of playing is also demonstrated by several invitations to perform at the renowned George Enescu Festival in Bucharest. Furthermore, the National Youth Orchestra of Romania has already appeared in Rome, Paris, Brussels, Vienna and Istanbul, as well as the festivals in Ravello and Aix-en-Provence. This summer, it is also scheduled to make its debut at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. While the first CD production of the National Youth Orchestra of Romania was dedicated to Romanian composers, the second one, entitled Trans-Europa Express, featured works ranging from Grieg to Fauré, Tchaikovsky and Khachaturian.

July 22, 2019 20:00

Konzerthaus, Berlin

Patricia Schlesinger

Intendant, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb)


As a journalist, Patricia Schlesinger was a reporter, editor and moderator of the ARD show Panorama at the North German Radio (NDR). She headed the ARD Studio for Southeast Asia in Singapore and was its correspondent for the USA in Washington. After returning to Germany, she became the head of the programming areas Culture and Documentaries for NRD Television. Since 2016 she has been the Intendant (General Director) of the Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb).

Patricia Schlesinger’s productions have won numerous awards – including the German Film Prize, the Grimme Prize and the Television Prize, an Emmy Award and an Oscar. Patricia Schlesinger is a board member of the Free University Berlin, a member of the board of the Acting Academy “Ernst Busch” and a member of the German Committee for UNICEF. She is married and has one daughter. 

Patron of the Evening

Cristian Mandeal

© Virgil Oprina

The Romanian conductor Cristian Mandeal, born in 1946, studied at the Music Academy in Bucharest before completing his training with Herbert von Karajan in Berlin and with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich. From 1987 to 2009, he was the Chief Conductor and General Music Director of the Bucharest Philharmonic, guiding its rise to an orchestra of international rank. Apart from Romanian orchestras, he has conducted renowned orchestras throughout Europe and was Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester until 2009 and the Copenhagen Philharmonic until 2013. In 2001 and 2003, Cristian Mandeal was the Artistic Director of the George Enescu International Festival. He has conducted more than 60 world premieres of Romanian and other composers and has recorded George Enescu’s complete symphonic works for CD. During recent years, the 72-year-old has been active in building up the National Romanian Youth Orchestra, with which he last appeared at Young Euro Classic in 2012, 2014 and 2018, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Romania.


Ştefan Cazacu

Ştefan Cazacu received his first cello lessons at the age of six from his father, Marin Cazacu. At nine, he won the first national competition; many further awards in Romania and abroad followed. The 24-year-old graduated from the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, where he studied with Reinhard Latzko. He has since taken up a prolific solo career, having performed with all the professional orchestras in Romania, including the Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest and the National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Romania. He has also been invited to give recitals in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary and Israel, China and Vietnam. Cazacu’s repertoire includes all the great solo concerti, from Haydn via Saint-Saëns and Dvořák to Shostakovich, as well as Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and the Cello Concerto by Friedrich Gulda.



Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major Op. 60 (1806)


Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra Op. 33 (1877/78)


Piano Quartet in G Minor Op. 25 (orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg, 1861/1937)

7 pm: Pre-Concert Talk with Dieter Rexroth at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission with concert ticket


Three times, the National Youth Orchestra of Romania has enthralled the audience at Young Euro Classic under the baton of the charismatic conductor Cristian Mandeal! And this summer, the programme once again allows the young Romanian musicians to prove their outstanding qualities. As part of the festival’s complete cycle of all Beethoven symphonies, they rise to the challenge of performing the challenging Fourth, which may often be overshadowed by the more popular Third, the “Eroica”, and by the C Minor symphony, the Fifth – but unfairly! The soloist for Tchaikovsky’s highly virtuosic Rococo Variations is also Romanian, the 24-year-old cellist Stefan Cazacu. And another symphonic highlight graces this programme: Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1, in the brilliant orchestral arrangement of his great admirer Arnold Schoenberg.


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