Photo: Ionuț Macri

GABRIEL BEBEȘELEA

Chief Conductor, "Transylvania" State Philharmonic Orchestra

Chief Conductor, Philharmonic of North Macedonia

Artistic Director, Musica Ricercata

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Gabriel Bebeşelea is the Principal Conductor of the "Transylvania" State Philharmonic Orchestra of Cluj-Napoca, a possition he assumed at the beginning of the 2016/17 season. The 2020/21 season marks the start of Bebeşelea’s tenure as Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic of North Macedonia.

 

Admired for his enthusiasm and musicality, Gabriel Bebeşelea enjoys a vibrant career leading internationally acclaimed ensembles including the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov".

 

Highlights of the 2020/21 season include his debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille and the Orchestre National de Lille as well as returns to the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the Bochumer Symphoniker, Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava and the Ulster Orchestra.

 

With the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, he recorded a CD featuring George Enescu's rediscovered oratorio "Strigoii" (The Ghosts) and his “Pastorale - Fantaisie pour petite orchestre” (edition curated by Gabriel Bebeşelea). The CD was released under the label Capriccio in September 2018.

 

Born in 1987, Gabriel Bebeşelea is recognized as “one of the most gifted conductors born in the last decades in Romania” (George Enescu Festival Journal, September 7th 2011) and is winner of the first prize of the "Lovro von Matačić" Conducting Competition (Zagreb 2015) and the first prize in the “Jeunesses Musicales" Conducting Competition (Bucharest 2011). Gabriel Bebeşelea was semifinalist of the “Donatella Flick” Conducting Competition of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2014 and semifinalist of the Gustav Mahler Competition of the Bamberg Symphony in 2016.

 

A notable opera conductor, Bebeşelea was named Principal Conductor of the Romanian National Opera of Iaşi in 2011, becoming the youngest ever Principal Conductor in Romania. In 2015 he was named Principal Conductor of the National Romanian Opera House of Cluj-Napoca. In 2014 he was presented with the “Best Conductor” award at the Romanian National Opera Houses Awards.

 

Gabriel Bebeșelea is known to devote himself to researching and rediscovering music and he is responsible for uncovering several long forgotten or neglected musical masterpieces. In 2017, to bring such music to light, he founded the ensemble Musica Ricercata - an international artistic collective dedicated to the historically informed performance of music spanning from the baroque to modern eras, with an emphasis on early music.

 

In 2015, Gabriel Bebeşelea studied with two of the world's most appreciated conductors: Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Festival at Easter and with Kurt Masur at the Aurora Classical Festival.

 

Furthermore, in 2011 he was awarded a scholarship consisting of an internship at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, where he had the possibility to assist at the rehearsals and concerts of some of the most representative conductors nowadays: Mariss Jansons, Bernard Haitink, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Philippe Herreweghe, David Zinman and Eliahu Inbal.

 

​In 2010 he graduated with "summa cum laude" from the Cluj-Napoca Music Academy with a Bachelor’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting as a pupil of Petre Sbarcea. Two years later he graduated the Master’s Degree Program of the National University of Music Bucharest as a student of Horia Andreescu’s Orchestra Conducting Class.

 

In 2018, Gabriel Bebeşelea obtained his PhD with "summa cum laude" at the National University of Music Bucharest for his Doctoral thesis "The Research of the Compositional Manuscripts, Premise and Stake of the Conducting Interpretation" under the guidance of Prof. Dan Dediu.

 

He currently resides in Vienna where he graduated the Postgraduate Studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, at the class of Prof. Mark Stringer.

 
 

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Reviews

 

Chang Tou Liang Bachtrack

"The orchestra, conducted by rising young Romanian conductor Gabriel Bebeșelea, began the concert’s second half with the Asian premiere of George Enescu’s Pastorale-Fantaisie for small orchestra. First performed in 1899, this ten-minute long gem was “lost” until rediscovered by Bebeșelea, who gave its first modern reading in 2017. Opening with low strings in a drone, the bucolic and likely folk-inspired music unfolded beautifully in F major. Then came a short but tempestuous central section with a hint of a fugue taking place, filled with stock-in-trade orchestral stormy effects, rising to a climactic high before ending in quiet bliss. Sounds familiar?

Then the penny dropped, as this was the young Romanian polymath’s tribute to the greatest symphonist of all, Ludwig van Beethoven, whose “Pastoral” Symphony was to follow. This stroke of programming nous was not initially apparent on paper, but totally succeeded in the concert hall. The performance of the symphony was just as good. Conducting from memory, Bebeșelea kept the narrative taut and the music breathing. The litheness and goodly pace resembled period instrument performances but without the wheeziness and thinness of textures."

about Gabriel Bebeşelea’s

debut concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Dominic Lowe Bachtrack

"Full marks to Gabriel Bebeşelea and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for originality in the programming of this concert, entitled rather grandly “A Voyage of Invention”. Using Mozart’s popular Symphony no. 41 in C major as the crowd-pleaser, they filled the rest of the space with interesting and comparatively rarely performed works: George Enescu’s Orchestral Suite no. 2 in C major, Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto no. 3 in B Minor and Ciprian Porumbescu’s Ballade for Violin and Orchestra. Bebeşelea, making his debut with the RPO, is currently Principal Conductor of the "Transylvania" State Philharmonic Orchestra and his facility with the music of his country is clear to see.

The Enescu is a piece full of life and it is to be regretted that it does not receive more outings...Bebeşelea brought a warm bustle to the opening Overture and real colour to the gypsy-like Sarabande. The rather ponderous Menuet grave was given heft by the brass, underlain by rather glitzy strings. The great virtue of Bebeşelea’s interpretation was the care with which the folksy elements of the work were brought out and gently textured."

about the  "Strigoii / Ghosts / Geister" CD

Dr. Ingobert Waltenberger Onlinemerker.com

“The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, under the impressive musical direction of Gabriel Bebeşelea (since 2016/17 Chief Conductor of the "Transylvania" State Philharmonic Orchestra), thrilled from the first moment with an atmospherically dense orchestral performance that captivated the listener. Bebeşelea, who also attracted attention in Pesaro as the conductor of Rossini's "Il Viaggio à Reims" [...], gives "Strigoii" another calling card for his outstanding musical and dramatic talent.”

about Gabriel Bebeșelea's

concert with the Würth Philharmonic and Sarah Chang

Leonore Welzin Heilbronner Stimme

"A wonderful give and take between conductor, soloist and orchestra": the audience is full of praise during the break. From the selection of the pieces, to the performers, to the program, everything was right at the Würth Philharmonic's latest concert with star violinist Sarah Chang and up-and-coming conductor Gabriel Bebeșelea…The kick-off is done by Aldemaro Romero’s “Fuga con Pajarillo”, showpiece of the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra, Gabriel Bebeșelea (1987) presents the powerful piece of rhythm, passion and melancholy, though with youthful verve, but more soulful tasting the soft tones than the much acclaimed Gustavo Dudamel (1981)."

about Gabriel Bebeșelea's

concert with the Ulster Orchestra

Leighton Jones  Bachtrack

"Describing the work as a “confession of the soul” by the composer, Sibelius’ Symphony no. 2 in D major is a full of extremes of emotion, which Bebeşelea clearly understood...Bebeşelea was consistently clear in his direction and the highly articulate playing featured prominent brass and woodwind lines. The second movement was perhaps one of the darkest renditions I’ve encountered. Although acknowledged as being based around Don Juan, the poetry of Walt Whitman came to mind, such as "On the Beach at Night Alone",  as what appeared was a moody and atmospheric nightscape. The range of expression here was remarkable as each phrase was shaped like raising and crashing waves, each one different and unpredictable. Whether or not it was Bebeşelea’s intention to create such a picture in the mind’s eye, it was musically captivating and emotionally driven with effective rubato.

 

The Ulster Orchestra’s playing was first rate and the players followed Bebeşelea’s every direction….What Bebeşelea has done is made me re-examine overly familiar repertoire and listen with fresh ears and renewed interest, which is no bad thing."

 

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