It’s been more than four decades since the foundation, in 1978, of the MUSIC CRITICS COLLEGE, under the aegis of the Actors and Musicians Association (ATM). On the initiative of its president, renowned actress Dina Cocea, ATM brought together a number of intellectuals, among whom well-known musicologists, music critics, music editors and reporters capable of proposing to the larger audience and to the young and very young generations hundreds of important events introducing rising stars and guiding public taste towards the masterpieces of art music.
For years, in the name of such ideals, the MUSIC CRITICS COLLEGE (Smaranda Oțeanu-Bunea – General Secretary, Grigore Constantinescu, PhD, Dumitru Avakian, Luminița Vartolomei, Ecaterina Stan, Constantin Georgescu and others) ran galas featuring young soloists (instrumentalists and singers), chamber or choral ensembles, festivals highlighting young conductors, competitions promoting talents, anniversary festivals (such as Enescu – Orfeul moldav [Enescu, the Moldavian Orpheus]), workshops in Tescani and in other symbolic places for Romanian music, recitals, orchestral performances, music critics colloques, conferences, symposiums etc.
When, starting with 1990, both audience and interest grew due to the College’s excellent results, on the initiative of Grigore Constantinescu, PhD and co-founder musicologist Smaranda Oțeanu-Bunea the MUSIC CRITICS, EDITORS AND PRODUCERS UNION (UCRRM) was institutionalized. The event was celebrated by releasing new radio and TV programs aiming to contribute as efficiently as possible to the education of young music lovers, and also by establishing one-of-a-kind musical theatres offering high quality shows: CHILDREN’S COMIC OPERA or the AMBASSADORS MUSIC THEATRE (founded by Smaranda Oțeanu-Bunea), top ensembles offering a large educational repertoire, with hundreds of full house performances each season.
Remarkable results were also obtained by setting up a variety of showcases for talented musicians: the Mihail Jora Competition in Bucharest and the Ionel Perlea National Lied Competition in Slobozia (founded by Grigore Constantinescu), music criticism and news magazine MELOS (Smaranda Oțeanu-Bunea, founder, Costin Popa, Editor-in-Chief), music and music journalism master classes.
Throughout its existence, the UCRRM has granted excellence prizes both to support young artists and in recognition of life-long achievements, with Lisette Georgescu, Vera Proca Ciortea, Angela Gheorghiu, Sergiu Celibidache, Ileana Cotrubaș, Radu Lupu, Silvia Marcovici, Marina Krilovici, Viorica Cortez, Erich Bergel among the many prize winners.
Moreover, and significant for the identity of UCRRM, it hosted the ROMANIAN MUSIC FORUM (Smaranda Oțeanu-Bunea, President, Costin Popa, Vice-President), a medium for voicing opinions and taking attitude.
UCRRM is currently managed by Luminița Arvunescu – President, Smaranda Oțeanu-Bunea, Ivona Cristescu and Costin Popa – Vice-Presidents, Monica Isăcescu – General Manager.
English version by Maria Monica Bojin