Boston Symphony Orchestra violinist Victor Romanul will perform classical numbers on electric violin in a fundraiser for the Mass Music & Arts Society on Friday, September 24, at 7 p.m. at MMAS Arts Center, 888 South Main St., Mansfield, across from the Xfinity Center.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, if space permits.
Ever since he was seven years old, Romanul has been interested in the possibilities on the violin.
With a current repertoire of over 100 concerti and having given multiple performances of the complete Paganini caprices, Ysaÿe sonatas, or Bach sonatas and partitas in one concert, he aspires to new challenges on the violin. Having delved deeply into the obscure great works of the historic virtuoso violinists, he delights in bringing them to the concert stage.
This past year he has been featured by the Boston Symphony performing several major solo works both at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood. He has also started also performing this year on the electric violin in large outdoor venues.
“I flew to North Carolina two years ago to spend two full days, morning to evening, trying electric violins at the only store in the country dedicated to just electric bowed instruments,” Romanul said. “I choose the one which really sang out the virtuoso and beautiful music which I often perform the best. It is amazing to stand outside and to fill many acres with a warm and beautiful sound. The sound is extremely vibrant. It really sounds to me like an excellent acoustic violin. The technology involved in creating it is astounding.”
With recent performances of the Paganini, Glazunov, Brahms Double, and other concertos, he regularly performs solo repertoire recitals, as well as chamber music. Also, he enjoys helping violinists of all ages through Masterclasses, either in person or online.
“I will be playing music by Paganini, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, Sauret, Ysaÿe, Bach, and others [at MMAS],” Romanul said. “Some of the music which I will play is some of the most beautiful and obscure music written for the violin.”
Born in Boston, his main teachers were Jascha Heifetz, Joseph Silverstein, Ivan Galamian, and Alfred Krips.
“When I was young, watching Joe Venuti once and Stephane Grappelli twice at clubs perform just 10 feet away from me with microphones, and also speaking with them afterwards first made an impression on me as to the possibility of amplified playing,” Romanul said. “It wasn’t until a colleague lent me his English-made electric that I saw an old dream become an excellent reality.”
Romanul has served as associate concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh opera, Eastern Music Festival, and the Peninsula Music Festival.
Having given Masterclasses at Columbia, Oberlin, Northwestern, and SUNY Stonybrook, he served for three years as concertmaster of a National Chamber Orchestra, made up of musicians from America’s top five orchestras.
John Williams wrote Romanul and Michael Zaretsky a violin-viola duo which they premiered at Tanglewood and recorded at Symphony Hall.
Romanul has been featured in Strings Magazine, and Mel Magazine featured him this year in an article about classical music, comparing his performance to Eddie Van Halen.
The 2021-22 season promises to be a busy one with Romanul booked for many solo concerto performances and recitals, including rarely heard performances of concerti by José White, and Joseph Bologne, whose life is going to be portrayed in a upcoming new film release by Spotlight Pictures.
“This instrument takes to this music like a duck to water,” Romanul said. “I have tried in every way to use the best equipment for creating a wonderful violin sound including the best amplifiers. It will be a lot of fun to present this music in this way.”