Named after one of Romania’s most famous composers, the George Enescu festival is a month-long celebration of classical music.
American organ player, Cameron Carpenter – the first organist to be nominated for a Grammy award – attended opening night.
He said: “It seems to me that one of the magic things about a festival is that it brings together all of these diverse social elements that are not just in this case musical but, in fact, a reflection of many cultures and places around the world that we bring together in one place.”
More than 150 concerts will be held over the coming weeks, in Bucharest and other cities.
Festival director Ioan Holender said: “This is a meeting point on our Romanian land for what is the best in world music. Aside from the festivals in Salzburg, Edinburgh, Aix-en-Provence, it is the place where the highest level of international musicians, together with our national ones gather.”
The prestigious Staatskapelle orchestra from Berlin, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, gave the opening concert.
The festival aims to offer a unique cultural mix: great orchestras and artists who interpret Enescu plus pieces by other famous composers like Wagner, Verdi and Britten.