No matter how many hours one spends and how much discipline is required in order to learn the violin, the beauty of being a musician makes one forget how difficult it is to get to the top.
Concert violinist Remus Azoitei is the youngest violin teacher in the history of the Royal Academy of Music in London.
The British magazine Strad referred to him as "an incurable virtuoso with a fabulous soul and technique".
Remus Azoitei played for the first time at the age of eight with the Symphony Orchestra of Galati, the Romanian city where he was born. At the moment, he teaches violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2007 he became one of the founding members of The George Enescu Society in London, acting as artistic director. He plays a Niccolo Gagliano violin that was made in 1753.
Read this interview in Romanian: Remus Azoiței, o viață dedicată muzicii
Remus Azoitei. A name that says a lot to some but not that much to others. How would you define yourself?
”I define myself as a Romanian living in London. I am a concert violinist and violin teacher at the Royal Academy of Music and very passionate about what I do. No matter how many hours one spends and how much discipline is required in order to learn the violin, the beauty of being a musician makes one forget how difficult it is to get to the top. I've been frequently asked if I see myself working in an office…Never! I am not cut out for that, I can't even imagine being in an office from 9 to 5.”
When did you start being successful abroad?
”Playing it fast-forward, I'll say that after graduating from High school and The National University of Music Bucharest, I was granted a scholarship at Juilliard School in New York, which is the equivalent of Harvard for musicians. There I had very many renowned teachers such as Dorothy DeLay and the violinist Itzhak Perlman and although I was travelling a lot in Europe with various concerts, I would always come back to New York with great joy. After living for three years in New York I came to London where I was offered a teaching position at the Royal Academy of Music, a very flattering offer I have to say. I am proud to be Romanian, and it is not only an honour for myself but also for my country, the place where it all began.”
Remus Azoitei admits that of all the concerts in his repertoire, there are some performances he holds dearly, such as those from Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Teatro la Fenice in Venice, and all the concerts held at the Bucharest Athenaeum where he played with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra.
“Everytime I perform in Bucharest, the tickets sell-out. I have my public there and I try not to disappoint them!”, says Remus Azoitei. In 2001 he moved to London, a city that he has always been fond of.
“London is such a vivid city with such a rich musical heritage. And then, there's something about the British, about the way they can make you feel as if you're one of them, making you feel at home. At least that's what I felt. I live with my family in London. I have an extraordinary wife, Antonia and two amazing sons, Gabriel who is two and a half and Lucian, who is seven months old. And we also speak Romanian in our house!“
The country of the ballad. What song would you choose to define Romania?
“There are so many pieces of traditional music that define the wonderful spirit of this people, but I've always thought that Porumbescu's Ballad impeccably epitomizes this spirit.”
What are your future plans?
“I want to continue my work at the Academy and go on with my concerts. And, of course, I want to watch my children grow up enjoying life and music!”
For more details see www.remusazoitei.com
by Florin Bratescu, Ziarul Romanesc