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World Mag > WM Winter 2017 edition > Interview with Petru Calinescu

Interview with Petru Calinescu

Petru graduated from AISB in 2005 and pursued a musical degree at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in the UK. He later returned to Romania to follow his artistic career.
Petru Calinescu
Petru Calinescu

WM: Tell us about your career as an artist.

PC: I am a singer/songwriter currently living in Bucharest, Romania. Since graduating in 2011 with a BA in Music (Performing Arts) from Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, I have returned to my home country to pursue a career as a musician. Between the years 2011-2014 I was a founding member of the pop-rock band Green Tea, with which I performed both original songs and covers at various venues in Bucharest and around the country. Highlights of this period include my two guest appearances with Loredana at Sala Palatului (2012 and 2013). Also, in 2013, my original song “Broken Heart”, performed by Maximilian Muntean, made it to the National Eurovision Semifinals. Another of my compositions, “E Soare Si Pe Strada Ta” was selected as the o cial anthem of Europa FM’s charity fundraising campaign “Nu Esti Singur Pe Lume”. For this project, I had the pleasure of working with a veritable “who’s who” of the Romanian music scene including Loredana, Andra, Smiley, Monica Anghel, Cornel Ilie, Alex Velea, Puya, Gabriel Cotabita, Connect-R and many others.

WM: What are some of the musical projects you are currently involved in and what is your long term goal?

PC: I’m currently performing all around the country with the jazz/swing two-man act “New Vegas Show”, which I have created together
with my old pal Maximilian Muntean (of Vocea Romaniei fame). We’re slowly, but surely, making a name for ourselves on the Romanian music scene, appearing on TV and on the radio, and performing at various events, both private and public, to greater and greater success. Our Facebook page is also a great way for us to reach our fanbase (www.facebook. com/newvegasshow). We’ve also become somewhat
of a household name at AISB’s yearly Auction Gala, something which obviously means a lot to me, as an AISB alumnus.

As a solo performer, my most recent achievement was my performance as a guest star on “Romania’s Got Talent” this May, which received fantastic reviews. For anyone interested, you can follow my solo music career here ( petrucalinescumusic).

My long term goal is to keep doing the music that I’m doing and to continue to expand my niche and to perform with an orchestra or a big-band someday! I have found that there’s a loyal audience for my kind of music here in Romania. Most of all, I love the fact that my music makes people happier. That’s my main motivation for doing this job.

WM: How do you see your future in this industry?

PC: I want to continue doing what I’m doing, instead of conforming to current trends. To take what I’m doing to even greater heights, because the audience is there, waiting for quality music to come along. I’m not interested in making music belonging to any current trend. Trends are temporary, whereas the artists I myself look up to, people like Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn or John Lennon, can best be described as “timeless”. This is what I also wish to aspire to. And, luckily for me, there has been an increase in quality on the Romanian music scene in the last few years. So if the feedback I’m constantly getting from my fans is anything to go by, there’s great potential these days to do the kind of music that I want to do.

WM: Music as a profession is certainly not easy, what was your educational pathway and what advice would you give to current AISB students who would like to pursue such a career?

PC: My advice to every current AISB student who is passionate about music is to not waste a single second thinking about it and to go out and do it! You may choose to pursue it at university level like I have (between 2007-2011 I was a music and theatre student at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts), but it’s not a requirement to do that, by any means! Unlike other lines of work, you absolutely don’t need to study music in order to pursue it as a career. The Beatles barely knew which chords they were playing, and that didn’t stop them from becoming the most successful band of all time. Pavarotti couldn’t even read musical notation! The main way of becoming a better musician and artist is by working with (and learning from) other artists. And by working through your fears and doubts and going out there and making it happen!

WM: In what ways did AISB prepare you to reach the point you are at now?

PC: In the most important way! By o ering me the opportunity to perform, in an environment which enabled me to do that to a very high level. It was during my time at AISB that I discovered my passion for music and theatre, and decided to take it seriously. The opportunities I had to express myself as an artist while at AISB, the state-of-the-art facilities, the wonderful teachers and fellow performers - all of these were instrumental in me choosing this career path. I’m very lucky to have been an AISB student, and I will always be grateful to Mr. Greg Jemison and Ms. Terry Ham for believing in me and getting me to believe in myself as an artist.

WM: Changing the topic a bit, could you please tell us about your new events venue “La Teatru. La Calinescu”?

PC: “La Teatru. La Calinescu” is a brand new events venue located in Piata Presei Libere, right at the entrance to Herastrau Park. We are situated in a superb location, nestled by trees (literally!). This offers our location both the convenience of being situated in downtown Bucharest, and the feeling that you’ve just left town for the weekend. As its name eloquently implies, we are able to organize the entire gamut of events, ranging from public, private and corporate events (weddings, christenings, company parties, presentations, product launches, seminars, conferences etc.) to cultural evenings (music, theatrical performances, stand-up comedy etc.).

Our kitchen is expertly led by Chef Petrisor Tanase (Romania’s rst celebrity Chef) and we will de nitely please even the most exquisite tastes!

WM: What was the inspiration for this project? What was the development process like? 

PC: Our aim was to create a venue that places the client centre-stage. Everything at “La Teatru. La Calinescu” is geared towards helping each client create the event of their dreams. We never impose anything onto the client, we don’t have any set menus or standard o ers. Everything is tailored from the ground up to ensure a personalized, successful event. Many of these events are once-in-a- lifetime for those concerned, and these are the memories that guests will carry away with them for their entire lives.

We take this responsibility very seriously and we wish for these memories to be of outstanding table service, of great-tasting food and of a friendly, picturesque, green location in Herastrau Park.

WM: To whom do you cater and what is the atmosphere you aim to create?

PC: We are not a traditional events venue in the sense that we also aim to become a cultural hub in Herastrau Park. A place where people can go out and have a good time. Our concept is best described as “dinner and a show”. You come out for a good meal, and a good time. This is something which a lot of members from the AISB community have been asking me about for months now.

Well, the wait is nearly over! “La Teatru. La Calinescu” will soon stage theatrical plays, live music performances, stand-up comedy and other engaging shows. And, in true “dinner theatre” fashion, Chef Petrisor’s famous dishes will ensure that all 5 senses will be stimulated. We hope these soirees will become staples of the AISB and expat community. Stay tuned!

WM: What services do you offer?

PC: “La Teatru. La Calinescu” consists of two events halls (one 150-seater and the other, a 200-seater). These can potentially host two simultaneous events in the same location, or the entire building can be opened up for larger events up to 350 guests. We cordially invite the AISB and expat communities to visit us and keep us in mind for any event they might organize. In the meantime, please visit us online (www. Our location is ideal for nearly every type of event, public, private or corporate.

Our location, accessibility, attention to detail and personalized customer service are the guarantees of a great event. And, who knows, you might even spot my father or I on the stage there in the near future! Interview with Petru Calinescu

Petru graduated from AISB in 2005 and pursued a musical degree at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in the UK. He later returned to Romania to follow his artistic career. 

Read the entire WORLD Magazine Winter 2017 editon here.

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