Romanian symphony brings classical program to Clovis

By Jesse Wolfersberger

The Romanian Symphony Orchestra of Arad is coming to Clovis and they won’t be alone.

The touring orchestra will be joined by celebrated Japanese pianist Makiko Hirata for a performance as part of the Cultural Arts Series presented by the Clovis Community College and Plains Regional Medical Center at 7 p.m. on March 9 at Marshall Auditorium.

In its century of existence, The Romanian Symphony Orchestra of Arad had never toured the United States. They are in the middle of their first tour and making good impressions.

Dale Bowers a cultural arts supporter from Williamsport, Pa. gave the performance stunning reviews.

“The Arad Orchestra was excellent,” Bowers said in a press release. “Their strings were velvet. It was a true European type classical program and people are still talking about it. If they tour USA again, be sure to let us know.”

Clovis Community College cultural arts director Christy Mendoza said the college presented the Polish Symphony Orchestra last year and based on the positive response wanted to put on a similar event this year.

“We got a lot of support from the high school,” Mendoza said. “They helped us set everything up and they were thrilled with the performance and the performers were too. They were excited to be in New Mexico — the wild, wild west.”

Hirata is the featured soloist with the orchestra for this season of touring. Hirata has performed in North and South America, Europe, and her native Japan. She has toured with the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia, was a regular guest soloist with the Jupiter Symphony Orchestra in New York City, and received a standing ovation in Carnegie Hall in New York. In addition to performing, she teaches music theory at New York University.

The Romanian Symphony Orchestra of Arad is under the direction of Dorin Frande, its permanent conductor since 1987.

Frande is from Cluj, Romania. He was the permanent conductor of the State Philharmonic of Sibiu before leading the Romanian Orchestra.

The program will include pieces by Beethoven, Mozart, and Shostakovic.