Last night, classical guitarist Dragoș Ilie performed at the Romanian Atheneaum. Ilie is considered “one of the most charismatic and expressive young guitarists of his generation”. His recital was conducted in an intimate setting, inside Small Hall, with a masked audience of about 75. Dragoș played beautifully and connected with an audience that clearly loves him. It was a special performance in a warm, engaging atmosphere!
Impressive Ilie began studying guitar at the age of eight, learning chords from his father. He attended Octav Băncilă National College of Art and George Enescu University of Arts in Iași Romania. His teachers include guitar masters and professors Marius Țimpău and Daniel Dragomirescu.
Schwob School of Music US
In 2015, Dragoș received a Woodruff Scholarship. He completed his undergraduate studies in Music Performance at Columbus Ohio State Schwob School of Music. He studied with classical guitarist and composer Professor Andrew Zohn and later obtained his Master’s Degree at the University of Austin Texas. Ilie is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Austin, led by Adam Holzman, Professor of Guitar.
“Dragos is a narrator who uses the guitar to tell a story from his captivating, thoughtful perspective.” Guitarist Lorenzo Micheli
Awards, Concerts, and Competitions
The Romanian guitarist has conducted master classes and seminars and performed throughout Europe and the US. Ilie’s “dedication to his art has led him to receive scholarships and grants for competing at national and international festivals and competitions”. His talent is recognized worldwide, and he’s won numerous prestigious awards.
Dragoș is represented by Augustine Strings, a classical guitar string company. Augustine Strings was established by “Danish immigrant and guitar enthusiast” Albert Augustine. Augustine helped found The New York Society for Classic Guitar.
“Beautiful tone, sensitivity, and great musicianship, Dragos has a wonderful command of our instrument! A bright present and even brighter future.” Guitarist Rene Izquierdo
“After recovering from a long-term music-related injury, Dragos has been studying Body Mapping, a technique that focuses on body awareness and injury prevention for musicians. He’s training to become a licensed body mapping practitioner.”
In 2020, Dragos joined Ex-Aequo, a nonprofit for classical guitarists. Ex-Aequo is “committed to strengthening the bond shared by classical guitarists around the world at festivals, on the road, and over the Internet”.
The organization is a valuable “resource for lessons, interviews, and recordings aimed at helping beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitar players”. Their special projects illustrate the history of the guitar and highlight talented musicians and composers. A recent commission features nine pieces written by eminent Black American Composers.
The program last night included works by some of Ilie’s favorite Romanian, Serbian, Hungarian, American, and Italian composers. He gave a thoughtful preface to each piece, and I was able to understand a few words from his Romanian introductions:
- Ciprian Porumbescu Romanian Composer – Ballad (guitar arrangement by Ilie)
- Béla Bartók Hungarian Composer – Sonatina
- Gabriel Almaşi Romanian Composer – Suspin (“Sigh” in English)
- Adrian Andrei Romanian Guitarist and Composer – Three Concert Studies
- Miroslav Tadić Serbian Guitarist and Composer – Three Balkan Pieces
- Nicola Jappelli Italian Composer and Guitarist – East Horizon
- Andrew Zohn American Guitarist, Professor, Composer – Ballade
Brașov Day Trip
It was another evening of exceptional music at the Bucharest Atheneaum! Later this week, I’m taking a train to Brașov, and will post about it afterwards. Brașov will be my last blog post before returning to the US in late January. I learned so much during this trip and cherish the time spent in each country visited – Serbia, Turkey, Greece, Czech Republic, Romania. Every experience was valuable! It takes a while to learn and appreciate a foreign country. An extended stay in Bucharest helped me gain a better understanding of Romania and its people. Music and art are an invaluable part of any country’s culture. Romania has plenty of both!