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Paris of the East

To mark the celebration of Francophone week the Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation, in partnership with the Embassy of Romania and the Romanian Cultural Institute, is delighted to invite you to a wonderful evening of French and Romanian songs in the setting of the Institute’s beautiful building in the heart of Belgravia.

The Romanian capital, Bucharest, is famously known as the Paris of the East or Little Paris. Cultural connections between France and Romania stretch back hundreds of years and modern Paris has welcomed some of the greatest Romanian authors, composers and artists, including the playwright Ionescu, the sculptor Brancusi, and the writer and poet Celan. Nowhere are these links more apparent than in the musical world of the twentieth-century, with composers and musicians such as George Enescu and Dinu Lipatti coming to live and work in France.

This fascinating event will offer a delightful mix of French and Romanian songs in the beautiful setting of 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH, an 18th century palazzo. The programme will include a selection of settings from Enescu’s rarely heard Sept Chansons de Clément Marot, described by one eminent commentator as a ‘masterpiece of the French song repertoire’.

The recital will be given by the brilliant young Romanian soprano Eliana Pretorian and prize-winning pianist Diana Ionescu. Eliana was the youngest finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier competition at the Wigmore Hall in 2005 and completed her studies at the Royal College of Music and National Opera Studio in London. Regularly singing in operas at Glyndebourne, Garsington and at the Royal Opera House, she also gives frequent recital and concert performances throughout the UK and Europe. Diana won first prize at the prestigious George Enescu International Piano Competition in 2001 and performs regularly on radio and on concert platforms throughout Europe.

The event will start with opening remarks by His Excellency Dr Ion Jinga, the Ambassador of Romania to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The event is free of charge but booking is essential. Please go to