As a composer, Richard Wagner once said: Joy is not in things, it is in us. And when it comes to finding this joy within, music and travel can both unearth the best parts in us.
Music is a journey in itself, but journeys can also be made to meet music.
Visit Romania in September and you can meet music in the resplendent sounds of the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest.
Wasn’t this event on your go-to list of Romanian places yet?
Well, we’re pretty convinced it’ll be once you get to learn more about it. Brimming with a history of its own and conveying a rich vibe of culture-meets-city, this classical music festival is one of the top events on the European music stage.
Even if you’re not necessarily a classical music lover who wants to attend the festival, we’re disclosing a secret: September is the best month to visit Bucharest during the second half of the year. So why not have a look at this article, learn more about the star-studded event and plan accordingly? We’re more than happy to share some information.
Three years after George Enescu – Romania’s most acclaimed composer – died in 1955, a festival dedicated to him appeared on the European stage. That was the beginning of the most prestigious international music festival ever to be hosted by Romania.
Since its inauguration in 1958, the event brought together prestigious musicians and conductors, such as Yehudi Menuhin, Herbert von Karajan or Arthur Rubinstein.
Although taking off in great fashion within its first years, the festival was affected by the communist regime policy. From 1979 to 1989, it was scarcely funded and brought artists mainly from the Soviet Bloc.
Once the revolution in 1989 overthrew the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the festival resumed with a 12th edition in 1991 and continuous efforts are being put into restoring its prestige.
George Enescu – The Romanian Prodigy Composer
Born in 1881, George Enescu showed signs of his musical genius since early childhood. Upon getting a violin from his parents, he started to learn the craft by himself, but it wasn’t long until his exceptional talent was detected by composer Eduard Caudella.
As a result, George Enescu – aged 7 at the time – started his musical studies at the Vienna Conservatory. The Paris Conservatory was the next institution wherein he cultivated his affinity for both composition and playing the violin and his career took off with significant accomplishments like:
- interpretation awards
- the foundation of two instrumental music troupes in Paris
- establishing the National Award for Composition in 2013 (which would reward talented Romanian composers)
- To this day, he remained the most prestigious Romanian composer, as well as an influential contributor to the development of musical arts in his native country.
European Classical Music Excellence
With a rich cultural life and Bucharest – Romania’s capital – has established itself as the prime location for the festival, but there are other Romanian cities hosting concerts within the festival: Iași, Oradea, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Ploiești, Timișoara, Bacău.
The main locations where festival music can be heard are:
- The Romanian Athenaeum
- The Grand Palace Hall
- The Cantacuzino Palace
- The Radio Hall
- The National Music University of Bucharest (hosting the events within the International Forum of Composers).
As a premiere, this year’s edition brings forth a captivating element: multimedia projections accompanying the concerts, in an attempt to elevate and present classical masterpieces in a new light.
Spanning over the whole month of September (2 – 24) and features a promising edition offering:
- over 3,000 artists
- 37 works by Enescu
- over 80 musical events.
Among the orchestras to perform this edition, you’ll notice resonant names like:
- The London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Scala di Milano
- Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam
- Münchner Philharmoniker
- Orchestre Nationale de France
If you don’t have yet a ticket or a festival pass, head over to the festival Enescu website and check the seats available.
A festival pass ranges from ~€45 to ~€600 depending on its type, while tickets sell for ~€6.5 to ~€40 depending on the type of concert you want to attend.
P.S.: Tickets are selling fast, so make sure you secure one in case you plan on attending.
Visit Romania in September
If you’ll be in Romania during this part of the year, why not take advantage and make the most out of your journey?
After you enjoy the exquisite music at the Enescu Festival, you can round up this experience by exploring more of what Romania has to offer. From castles to UNESCO sites or scenic landscapes of all kinds, there’s a bit of everything for anyone.
To be sure, summer is a busy time in terms of holidays. Everyone seems to take their time off during this season, but you don’t necessarily have to do the same.
September sets the offseason in motion with some tempting options and Romania is among the best European countries to visit. The Enescu Festival is just the icing on the cake alongside other arguments which will make you want to visit Romania during fall:
- ideal weather conditions (more details below)
- reduced lodging expenses
- convenient airfare deals
- avoiding the fatigue caused by high temperatures
- avoiding overcrowding at open-air cafes and terraces.
Ideal Weather Conditions
Romania registers among the most diverse weather conditions within Europe. And September is an ideal choice for traveling, with average temperature values of 24°C (75.2°F).
It’s one of the most balanced times of the year since it allows tourists to enjoy sunny weather without the excessive heat of the summer.
As a bonus, September is the month when the natural landscapes of Romania start to change color due to the onset of autumn. A trip to the mountaineering regions not far away from Bucharest would be the perfect city break.
Tours and Destinations
Since the weather creates the perfect conditions, you can take your time to explore more of the places surrounding Bucharest.
You can go the short or the long route, depending on the amount of free time available. Either way, TravelMaker Romania has plenty of tours for you to try out.
First, there’s our Half-Day Tour of Bucharest which is a must-have if you want to get familiar with the city of Bucharest before getting to the festival locations.
This tour is especially recommendable for those who enjoy discovering the city and not waste very much time.
If you want to be more specific with your schedule while in Bucharest, here’s a list of tours you can opt for:
- Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner
- Full-Day Bucharest Sightseeing Tour
- The Last Days of Communism Tour
- Mogosoaia Palace, Snagov and Caldarusani Monasteries
Outside of Bucharest, there are other tours we recommend as a perfect addition to the George Enescu Festival experience:
Enjoy the Sound – and Look – of a Tranquil Autumn Holiday
Music is in itself a delight – and, to some, a remedy. However, when you add to it the travel element, you get a well-rounded experience.
If you were not already convinced to visit Romania in September, we hope this is changed now.
We’re really excited about the Enescu music festival and want to help you experience a truly invigorating autumn time in our country, so we’re eagerly waiting for you to contact us!