Maestro Sergiu Comissiona’s biography reveals facts about his happy childhood in a Jewish petit bourgeois family in Bucharest – then, “the little Paris of Eastern Europe”, his adolescence under the Nazi specter, and his youth in repressive communist times behind the Iron Curtain. His life changes from the closed horizons of communist Romania to the broad ones of the Western world when he immigrates to Israel, later settling in England, then Sweden and, finally, the United States. His career path, from an ensemble violinist to an internationally-renowned conductor, is followed chronologically and analytically, based on his own accounts, extended research, and revealing testimonials. The Maestro’s rationale of having his biography written was, in his own words, “for the Westerners to understand my deep attachment to my Romanian roots, for the Romanians to know about my struggle for artistic affirmation in the Western world, and mostly for young conductors to realize that through passion, patience and persistence – and by not committing suicide after the first failure – the dedicated commitment to the profession bears fruit.”
About the Author
Cecilia Burcescu has translated poetry (Letters of John Keats, Ed. Univers: Bucharest, Romania) confronting the difficulty of transferring poems from a Germanic into a Romance language, while striving to be a translator, not a “traitor” (thus counteracting the Latin saying: “Tradutore, traditore.”) She has published poetry in several American anthologies (A Ray of Hope, Friends I’ve Never Met, The Richness of Night, Who’s Who in Poetry, The Best Poems and Poets of 2003) Yet once approached by Maestro Sergiu Comissiona with the request of writing his biography, she has turned from poetry to prose, accepting the challenge of honoring the trust and privilege of his choice, based on: in his own words, “My intuition.” The biographer and her subject share a Romanian upbringing and the challenges of immigration as adults.
Cecilia Burcescu – a Romanian by birth, a Canadian by choice – teaches university level literature in Vancouver, British Columbia.