Calin Lupanu, Concertmaster
What was your musical upbringing like?
I started at a neighborhood Music School, then graduated from the Music HS and the Music Conservatory, all in Bucharest, Romania. I grew up surrounded by classical music, my mom being the Principal Harpist of the Philharmonic in Bucharest and my grandfather was Music Director of one of the main Opera Houses in Romania. Basically, following the family tradition.
What are the challenges and opportunities unique to your instrument?
Violin is known to be a very difficult instrument to play. Creating a good, clean and beautiful sound on the violin is very challenging, as any beginning student will tell you. Also, playing in tune is unusually difficult, because the margin of error is extremely small. And to top it off, the amount of repertoire, since all major composers have written for violin.
Do you teach?
I love to teach, I have been on the Faculty of the Music Conservatory in Bucharest, and I am currently teaching at Gardner Webb University. I am also one of the coaches for the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra.
How were you inspired to be a professional musician?
At the beginning, I was just following the family tradition, but I really started to love it when I have entered the Music HS after an extremely difficult exam. I am very competitive by nature, and being surrounded by some of the best violinists in the country, challenged me to become even better. The playing improved as a result of numerous hours of practice and I really started enjoying it.
Outside of your work with the Charlotte Symphony, where else do you perform?
I tend to play a lot of chamber music. Alongside my wife Monica Boboc, also a violinist with the CSO, we have started a chamber music series, Chamber Music for All (CM4A) and we perform a lot around Charlotte. Our concerts are usually at Sedgefield United Methodist. I also serve as Concertmaster and Chamber Music Coordinator with the Colorado Music Festival.
Could you describe your job within the Symphony?
Being Concertmaster of the CSO is not only a full time job, but a very complex profession. From being the leader of the orchestra, the first violinist, playing all the violin solos within the orchestra, but also as a soloist every season, attending fundraising events, marking parts, collaborating closely with the conductors and soloists, it is a highly complex, competitive, pressurized position.
What’s the most memorable thing that’s happened on stage?
I would love to say something like a certain performance of the Brahms Symphony no. 4, or a Beethoven Symphony, but I must go with an Opera Carolina performance during which the Tenor fell in the pit, on top of some of my Cello colleagues. Difficult to forget that one!
What music would you choose to program for a classics concert?
I would love to expose our audience to more Shostakovich or Mahler Symphonies, absolute masterworks. Also, Strauss Tone Poems would be nice.
What are some of your non-musical interests, or passions?
Love to spend time with my family, and watch all the European Soccer Leagues with my 11 year old son. He is also a soccer fanatic, and we both love Barcelona FC and of course our favorite player is Leo Messi.
How do you give back to our community?
By teaching as much as possible. I am a strong believer in arts and particularly music education. I believe that it enriches one’s life, and opens up our minds and hearts.