King Michael I of Romania - 100 years since his birth (talk, photo exhibition & concert)

10/05/2021 @ online | Website, Facebook page and YouTube channel

To mark 100 years since the birth of Michael I of Romania (1921-2017), the Romanian Cultural Institute in London is hosting an homage event dedicated to King Michael's extraordinary personality and legacy.

On 10 May, celebrating the Royalty Day in Romania, HE Andrew Popper, Master of the Romanian Royal Household, will be delivering a talk recollecting important moments from the King's life, inextricably intertwined with Romania's recent history. Starting with King Michael's first reign, under regency, followed by a decade of challenges during the tumultuous 1930s and his second reign, to the exile of the King during the dark and turbulent years of the communist regime, the history of King Michael is juxtaposed with Romania's unfolding history; his resilience, dignity and unwavering commitment to democratic values and to his country are to be always acclaimed.

In a heartfelt tribute to King Michael's legacy, Andrew Popper is giving a complete portrait of King Michael, with all the trials that destiny had in store for him but also with rare and emotional elements of biography that show his profound humanity: “I was fortunate to have had the privilege of being in the service of King Michael and being given the opportunity to know him. The King was not only a great role model but also my hero. He was modest and courteous, and always treated everyone with kindness and respect regardless of rank and social position, and was genuinely interested in the wellbeing of those who worked for him”.

In perfect complementarity with the remarkable exposé, RCI London will be presenting an exhibition with rare images of King Michael, kindly curated by the National Archives of Romania.

From 19.00, acclaimed musicians Nelly Miricioiu, Alexandra Dariescu and Remus Azoiței, all recipients of the "Officer of the Romanian Crown" title, will give an extraordinary concert with works by King Michael, Enescu, Bach and Massenet, among others.
Special introduction by HM Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown, head of the Royal House of Romania.


King Michael of Romania: Elegie (piano)
J. S. Bach: Gavotte en Rondeau from Violin Partita No. 3 in E major (violin)
G. Puccini: Vissi d’arte, from Tosca (soprano)
F. Chopin: Prelude Op. 28, No. 15 “Raindrop” (piano)
G. Enescu: The Fiddler (Lăutarul) from Impressions d'enfance, Op. 28 (violin)
A. Lara: Granada (soprano)
V. Filip: Caprice No. 3 (violin)
J. Massenet: Méditation from Thaïs (soprano, violin, piano)

Pianist (for Puccini & Lara): Hanna-Liisa Kirchin

Nelly Miricioiu is one of the few complete artists of today, highly appreciated for her vocal qualities and for her acting talent. Her vast repertoire ranges from Mozart and bel canto to Verdi, Puccini or modern Italian opera, passing through Russian and French composers. After her outstanding debut at Covent Garden as Nedda in Clowns in 1982, and her equally glaring appearance at La Scala as Lucia de Lammermoor, Nelly Miricioiu performed in all of the world's great operas, working with renowned conductors and directors. Her performance in Tosca remains unforgettable, along with Jose Carreras, Jose Cura, Neil Schicoff, Mimi, with Placido Domingo, and Violetta, with Franco Bonisolli and Roberto Alagna. Nelly continues to enjoy a thriving performance schedule, as well as a flourishing reputation as one of the most respected and sought-after teachers, both in the UK and internationally.

Romanian British pianist, creator and producer of “The Nutcracker and I”, Alexandra Dariescu is in demand as a soloist worldwide, having performed to critical acclaim with orchestras around the globe, including the BBC, Orchestre National de France, Sydney, Melbourne, Detroit, Houston, Sichuan Symphony Orchestras, Moscow Philharmonic, London and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras amongst many others. Alexandra Dariescu is the first female Romanian pianist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the presence of the Royal Family of Romania. From Carnegie Hall New York to Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Festival Hall to Konzerthaus Vienna, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Dariescu has released 8 CDs to critical acclaim, her latest release with Angela Gheorghiu on Decca. Alexandra Dariescu is Honorary Associated Artist and Associated Member of the Royal Northern College of Music, Young European Leader of Friends of Europe, Patron of Music in Lyddington and was awarded the Order “Cultural Merit” in the rank of Knight from the President of Romania.

Remus Azoiţei is hailed in the international press as “a subtle and sensitive violinist” - The Strad with a “sparkling technique” - The Washington Post. Based in London, he has performed in internationally-recognised venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Konzerthaus Berlin, Bozar in Bruxelles, Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, Salle Gaveau in Paris and Wigmore Hall in London. His recordings of the entire repertoire for violin and piano by George Enescu are widely acknowledged to have set the new standard for this composer. He completed his studies at the Juilliard School in New York and Royal Academy of Music in London, where he also teaches since 2001, he was then the youngest violin professor in the history of the Academy. Remus Azoiței is a regular juror in such prestigious international violin contests as the George Enescu, Louis Spohr or Marktneukirchen and travels around the world performing concerts and giving violin masterclasses. Remus is the artistic director of the Enescu Society in Great Britain.

Andrew Popper is an economist, private-wealth manager and global strategist. He was born in Bucharest and is a graduate of Academia de Ştiințe Economice (ASE). After relocating to New York, he continued his studies in economics at New York University (NYU). Early in his career, Mr Popper functioned as a research economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Subsequently he held management positions with several major US and international banks in New York and London. From 2001 to 2011 he was Group Chief Investment Officer for SG Hambros Bank in London. Mr Popper represented HM King Michael in the negotiations with the Romanian government for the restitution of the Peleș Royal Domain. In 2006, HM King Michael appointed him Master of the Royal Household, a position he continues to hold today under HM Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania. 

The event is organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute, with the kind support of the Embassy of Romania in London and the Romanian Royal Family.

When: 10 May, 18.00 (talk), 18.30 (photo exhibition), 19.00 (concert)
Where: RCI London’s online channels: Facebook page, YouTube channel & later recorded on the website