Rescue and Revival of George Enescu House in Mihăileni, Botoșani County
The emergency intervention project for the rescue and rehabilitation of George Enescu House in Mihăileni, Botoşani County started in 2013 at the initiative of pianist Raluca Ştirbăţ, President of the George Enescu International Society in Vienna. Pro Patrimonio Foundation, the Order of Architects in Romania, Bucharest Branch, Remember Enescu Foundation, whose president is violinist Alexandru Tomescu, were responsible solidarity to save a landmark of great importance for national identity European cultural heritage. Through the efforts of Raluca Știrbăț, the parental house of the mother of the composer George Enescu, Maria Cosmovici, was classified as a historical monument (LMI code BT-IV-m-B-21063).
George Enescu (1881-1955) – Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and professor – is one of the most prominent musicians of the late nineteenth century and the first half of the 20th century. The Enescu House in Mihăileni, Botoşani County, is where the composer spent many of his holidays, working and composing parts of his masterpieces. It was his last home before he left the country in autumn 1946. The house belonged to his mother and was built by her parents probably between 1775-1830.
Not only does the clay brick building have memorial value, it is also an expression of the vernacular architecture of the first half of the nineteenth century. Since 2014, Pro Patrimonio has coordinated the conservation and emergency intervention process for rescuing Casa Enescu from collapsing, involving volunteers across the country, central and local community and government (Mihăileni Town Hall, Hîlişeu Town Hall, Botosani County Department of Culture, The Botoşani County Council). In 2016, the repairs to the cob filling in the walls of the house were completed.
The Enescu House will be rehabilitated by the creation of the George Enescu International Academy of Music and Visual Arts in Mihăileni which aims to be a center of excellence in the study of classical music that will promote and support architecture, traditional techniques of construction, visual arts . The academy will involve children in the area, giving them the chance to receive quality education and a cultural environment close to their homes. It will also bring together both the memorial component and musical education. It will be able to host artistic residencies, teachers, while adjacent spaces in the vicinity of the memorial house will house young virtuous students.
The defining moment, which actually started the long process of saving the house, was the example of Dr. Ștefan Botez from Constanța, one of George Enescu’s successors. He is the one who donated to the Pro Patrimonio Foundation, in 2016, a third of the house, thus realizing the foundation of this project. The continuation of the rescue process was done through the emergency intervention carried out by the Order of Architects of Romania and its North-East Branch.
The rescue project of the House George Enescu in Mihăileni village has started and continues as a joint effort in which private entities, individuals and businesses, support financially or in kind every effort of restoration.
We do a debt of honor to acknowledge the support received from the office of lawPopovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații, that managed all legal action necessary to clarify the status of the house. Their work was done pro-bono as a support for our foundation and it has made possible the procedures to run it more quickly. In the spring of 2019 we have restarted the restoration working site.
In this context, we welcome the financial support received from the old Boyar families represented by Mrs. Ileana Kripp, Mr Michael Ghyka, Mr Constantin Serban Cantacuzino, Mrs Irina Cantacuzino Mr. Gregory Ghyka. With their help, we could buy the last third of the house and Pro Patrimonio Foundation became the sole owner of the monument. With their remarkable support, Casa George Enescu in Mihăileni village became the cause of Romanian boyars Ball charity event, 2019 edition.
The initial works were started and carried out with the local craftsman Ovidiu Ionică, and the finishing works of the Enescu house are carried out, starting with April 2019, by DMG House & Building SRL, Led by Mr. Gabriel Drancea coordinating local craftsmen needed for special details. Company Color Magic Sikkens Romania produced and offered us “Enescu paint” for all the carpentry of the house, and Geberit donated bathroom equipment.
From 2014 to August 2020, the Pro Patrimonio Foundation held over 15 events and charity concerts in Vienna, London, Paris, Iasi and Bucharest. On this occasion, we extend our cordial thanks to the two exceptional artists, the pianist Raluca Ştirbăţ and the violinist Alexandru Tomescu, who have constantly supported Casa Enescu in Mihăileni through the charity concerts offered during these years.
The piano in the house now, a Bösendorfer from 1928, is also a donation: it belonged to the philosopher Mircea Vulcănescu. His descendants, Sandra and Măriuca Vulcănescu, through Despina Slătineanu, donated it to Vanda Sturdza, who, in turn, donated it to the George Enescu House.
From the beginning, the rescue project of the Enescu House from Mihăileni enjoyed the support of the “Culture Supplement”, through the texts of Victor Eskenasy, and TVR Iași, through the shows made by Gabriela Baiardi and her team.
La începutul anului 2020 împreună cu UiPath Foundation am lansat printr-un parteneriat programul „Academia de Muzică și Educație pentru Copii“, derulat în Casa George Enescu din Mihăileni. Scopul acestui proiect este acela de a dezvolta potențialul copiilor din comunitățile rurale apropiate și utilizarea casei George Enescu, monument istoric, în scop educațional.
The initiative is under the umbrella of the George Enescu Academy of Music and Sound Study program, initiated by Pro Patrimonio, which made possible the integration of the George Enescu House in Mihăileni in the cultural and educational circuit, thus transforming it into a center of excellence in the study of music. .
Between August 14-22, 2020, at the Enescu House, the Heritage Education Workshops within the project took place “The Days of Casa Enescu – cultural-musical explorations and exercises”. During 10 days, children from the local community had thematic workshops, films and education in the courtyard of the recently restored house.
On August 19, 2020, 139 years after the birth of George Enescu, the inauguration of the House from Mihăileni took place, on which occasion Raluca Știrbăț gave a piano recital for a small audience, located in the courtyard and inside the building.
This is the moment to move into the second phase of the house, that of active use and transformation into a landmark of music education and research and more.
Details about the joint organizations involved in the rescue of the Enescu House can be found here:
List rescue activities and fundraising for Casa Enescu Mihaileni carried out during 2014-2016 is available here:
Thanks to all donors and sponsors
Revista „Timpul”, donații în cadrul Galei „Oamenii Timpului”-13.12.2014, Fundația Culturală Secolul 21, Delureanu Victoria și Ștefan, Albu Mihaela Marilena, Masca Dan Sorin, Promax Engineering S.R.L., Enache Florin Nicolae, Vlad Group S.R.L., Creaton and Eternit S.R.L., Ionescu Heroiu Marcel, Mona și Dan Schor, Ileana Tonca, Valerian Simirică, Cristian Daniel Nenescu, Remus Azoiței, Raluca Știrbăț, Viorel Munteanu, episcop Petru Gherghel, Gerold Gruber, Vasile Lutai, Eleonora Haidu, Rodica Tălmaciu, Victor Eskenasy, Marina Sturdza, donații în cadrul concertului caritabil de la ICR Viena 2014, Tanja Maria von Breda Vries, Let’s SEE Filmfestival, Kosak Ladislaus, Simonica Oprita Codin, Micheline Schechter, Filipescu Florin, Gabriela Baiardi, Liliana Vasile, Liliana Meran, Gerhard Püschl, Mihaela Georgescu, Lucia Mandache, Aura Twarowska, Simina Ivan, Sarah Bryans, Endre Guran, Lubica Gracova, MAC Exim S.R.L., Ingeborg și Vlad Schorscher-Petcu, Mihaela Martin-Helmerson, Ioana Rațiu, Nicolae Scarlat, Ioan Rațiu, Ștefan Dominic Bortnowski, Niculina Buturugă, Ioana, Ruxanda și Alexandru Beldiman, Sandra Jitianu, Vanda Sturdza, Iulia și Florian Stanciu, Alina Gabriela Stroe, Monica Raicu Eskenasy, Lavinia Dragoș, Șerban Sturdza, Eurocom S.A., Viorel-Ciprian Chirac, Iquest Technologies, Răzvan Dan Andrei, Cristian Orășanu, Mariana Celac, Emil Ivănescu, Fundația Națională „Satul Românesc”, S.C. Construcții Unu S.A. Iași, Ana Simon, Sandra Grădinaru și Fundația „Sandra oferă o șansă“, Alin Constantin Anastasiu, Cristina Isabela Andone, Lucian Mihai Stănescu, Mike și Adriana Bennett, Magda Vieru, Octavian Hrebenciuc, Bălulescu Mădălina-Elena, Alice Maria Dimofte, Andra Eliza Poenaru, Alexandru Miron, Răzvan Stanciu, Elena Rucsandra Maior, Andrei Natasa-Lee, Vlad-Alexandru Voicu, donații cu ocazia concertului caritabil susținut de membri ai Festivalului SoNoRo – 29.05.2015, Marina Manigutiu, Sandu Anton, Ștefan Odobescu, Alexandra Ioana Jitianu, Carmen Dulgheriu, Ovidiu Portariuc, Carmen Gurzu, Tamara Corina Ciofu, Olga Szel, Constantin Asandei, Societatea de avocatură Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații, donații în cadrul ediției 2015 a Turneului Stradivarius Enescu Experience, The Prince of Wales’s Foundation Romania, Color Magic Sikkens Romania, Geberit România, biroul de avocatură Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații, donații în cadrul concertului și Balului Boierilor București 2019, Ileana Kripp, Mihai Ghyka, Constantin Şerban Cantacuzino, Irina Cantacuzino, Grigore Ghyka, Radu Miclescu şi “Fundaţia Radu Miclescu”, Laura Paraschiv, Hubertus Nesselrode, UiPath Foundation.