July 20, 2017
Ovidiu Marinescu, associate professor of cello in the Department of Applied Music, is featured on two tracks of The Sea Knows, which debuted at #1 on this week’s Billboard Traditional Classical CD chart.
He is the featured soloist on composer Michael Kurek’s title track and shares the spotlight with harpist Rita Costanzi on the opening track, “Serenade for Violoncello and Harp,” which Kurek produced and engineered last November in WCU’s Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre.
“I have been collaborating with composer Michael Kurek for close to 10 years,” he notes. “That includes performances with the Nashville Ballet and his visit to West Chester University several years ago, with the WCU orchestra performing one of his signature pieces.”
The genesis of “The Sea Knows” may have occurred not far from campus about two years ago, Marinescu recalls. “I asked Michael to write a piece for cello and organ, and during one of our walks by the Delaware Bay he [may have] received the inspiration for ‘The Sea Knows.’ The first version actually turned out to be a piece for cello and orchestra, premiered in Brazil in June 2016.” Marinescu was in Nashville, TN, this February for the recording of this title track with Kurek and The Vanderbilt Strings.
Marinescu, who has been on the WCU faculty since 2003, called his spring 2017 sabbatical the beginning of “a very fruitful and busy year, which opened with four days in Moscow conducting the “New Russia” State Orchestra.” From Montana to L.A. to China to Romania, he has given master classes, conducted, performed, and recorded this spring, as well as premiered (at West Chester University and Delaware County Community College) a new piece he composed for sitar and cello. This month, he has been in “recording sessions for Parma Recordings for a new CD to be released next spring in conjunction with a performance at Carnegie Hall slated for April 19, 2018.”
Kurek is on the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Among other awards and recognitions, he has received an Academy Award in Music for lifetime achievement in composition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.