"Romantic to the bones"
THE NEW LISTENER INTERVIEW
Composer Calin Huma in conversation with René Brinkmann, The New Listener, Germany
German version: HERE
When did you start composing your own works, and how did it come about?
I had started then to 'articulate' small tunes, emotionally driven, until a point when I became self-aware of my genesis. It was if the music was shaping me deeply, dematerialising the particles of my existence and rearranging them into an evolving human being aspiring to a better self.
Let's not forget that I grew up in a communist Romania under the dictatorship of Ceausescu, which surely deluged its vile stench into the melting reservoir of thoughts, sensations, and conflicting ideas that were the primordial 'substances' of my formation as an adult. It was a definite conflict with part of me, forming in the shadow of illuminate classicism being literature, painting, theatre, music, or other forms of artistic manifestation. Luckily and not only, altruism prevailed, and through a few bars of music, I found that I was able to express which I could not in a thousand words. And so I continued. Read more...
MUSICIAN OF THE MONTH
Awarded by D MAJOR - Space for Classic - on February 28, 2020.
#LivePremiere - 31 March 2020 on D Major TV Facebook page!
Alida Altemburg will take you to the Carpathian Mountains with our amazing associate Composer Calin Huma with this great interview!
CLASSICAL SOURCE REVIEW
by Robert Matthew-Walker
Romanian Cultural Institute in London live, 21 April 2020
“I soul a t i o n” with composer Calin Huma
Professor at Conservatorio di Musica di Adria and Composer
"Your music tells about your life, your personal experience, the idea of modulations make me think about a long travel. A lot of music today doesn't sound like this, it's too built or tries to wink at stylistic or cliche customs, yours is very original, in a re-evaluation of tradition and tonality."
I never know what surprises a package from Command Central is going to bring; and truth be told, after listening to the new arrivals, not a few of them go right back to where they came from. As readers and colleagues know, music of Modernist tendencies—I’m talking about the real hardcore stuff—is not my thing, and I’m generally wary of composers born after World War II, though there have been quite a few exceptions.
Călin Humă, whom I had never heard of before, as I suspect not many others have either, is one of those exceptions. He was born in 1965 in the region of Romania known as Moldavia. Quoting from Guild’s album note, “Humă was able to follow a commercial career alongside his musical studies before being appointed Romanian Honorary Consul to the United Kingdom.
He has lived and worked in Britain for over twenty years, his diplomatic duties running alongside his development as a composer. Humă is not a prolific composer. He has been a slow developer in arriving at his mature work, which has been mostly concerned in recent years with larger symphonic forms, at the head of which stand two symphonies (2015 and 2019) and the Symphony-Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2018).”
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine, USA
For Călin Humă, music is a central pillar, but it is not the only aspect in the life of the Romanian. After studying music, his life journey took him to Great Britain, where he became Honorary Consul of his home country. The compositional work is therefore free from the pressure of existence, reflects personal passion without having to prove himself or anyone else.
Complex sentence structure
Free of current fashions and far from the hustle and bustle of London, he rethinks in the 21st century a late or maybe even a Neo-romantic diction very imaginatively - with Nordic colouring and not without trace elements from his Eastern European homeland. The first major work on this CD recording is titled „Symphony Concerto“.
Călin Humă recently made his breakthrough with his First Symphony, ,Carpaticaʼ, which is now recorded on this CD. On this matter we are listening to the symphony concerto for piano and orchestra, performed by pianist Sergiu Tuhuțiu. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales is in charge of performing it, conducted by Christopher Petrie.
Călin Humă is a special case in recent music history: as a Romanian Consul General in Great Britain, he does not earn his livelihood as a composer, but, despite his professional training and rather as a hobby, he can approach his compositions and develop himself, regardless of any influence from the outside. This music does not have to prove anything to anyone, it does not have to appeal to anyone, it was born purely out of love for the beauty of sounds.
Humă's catalog of works is correspondingly narrow, and yet the composer ventures into extensive large forms headed by his two symphonies and the symphony concert. According to his CV, he is currently working on a violin concerto.
His style reveals deep roots in the tradition of tonality, which is never breached. There are quite a few daring twists, possibly not even intended, which, however, are barely noticeable and immediately fit into the overall picture, thus even adding some flavour to it. A closeness to the Russian tradition of the 19th century can still be distinguishable, Humă himself mentioning Sibelius particularly as a great role model. In the symphonic works he creates a width and grandeur, maintains a continuous softness and outstandingly appreciates the delicate expressions without acridness or protruding contrasts.
Oliver Fraenzke, The New Listener, Germany
a brilliant and melodious piano part
Born in the part of Romania known as Moldova, the composer Calin Huma, born in 1965, did not pursue a “normal” career, but lived a double life: sent to Britain as a honorary consul, he developed his creation only slowly, which culminated in large works for the past five years, two of which were recorded here on CD. The “Symphony Concerto” for piano and orchestra dates from 2018 (the 1st symphony on this CD from 2015).
Pianist Sergiu Tuhutiu, who is also from Romania and trained there as in Germany, has taken on the difficult task of this concert as the soloist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under the direction of Christopher Petrie. Why difficult? When the orchestra takes up the themes presented by the pianist, the piano is completely submerged in the tutti sound. But there are enough solo passages that also have a perfectly tonal language. This concert sounds almost late romantic, with influences from English and Russian composers of the late 20th century.
31 July 2020
Humă: Symphony-Concerto for Pno & Orch, Sym 1a "Carpatica"; Tuhuţiu/Petrie/BBCWalNa O [Guild]
Here's a businessman-diplomat who's a part-time composer, and on the evidence of this recent Guild release, a very good one! Born in Iaşi (pronounced "Yashee"), Romania, some 200 miles north-northeast of Bucharest, Călin Humă (pronounced "Culin Hoomah"; b. 1965) has written a small number of works, the most recent of which fall into the large, symphonic category. Two of the latter are included here, these being the only recordings of them currently available on disc.
Humă received his early musical training at home, but in the late 1990s, he was appointed Honorary Council to the United Kingdom, where he's since lived. Consequently, this man's music is a fascinating mixture of Eastern as well as Northern European influences.
Călin Humă was born in Iasi, Romania, and has lived in Britain for over two decades. Following high school, and periods of compulsory military service, he began a career in sales before joining Rank Xerox in 1992 as Country Manager for the Republic of Moldova. During this period of creating connections between east and west, he strengthened ties between County Councils under the auspices of the Assembly of the European Regions, a platform that first introduced him to Hampshire.
In 1998 he enrolled at the University of Southampton studying political science at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Throughout his studies, he continued to advise British companies on entering the Romanian and Moldovan markets, also working for a time as a research assistant in the House of Commons.
Married since 1986, his wife, Claudia, and daughter, Ruxandra moved to the UK in 2000. Since joining Calin, Claudia has worked in the NHS where she is now a senior operating theatre nurse. She also completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science and Clinical Practice at the University of Southampton. Ruxandra is similarly accomplished having a Master's degree in pianoforte from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Greenwich. She managed the PCOL, Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of London, also working full-time for an international humanitarian relief charity.
Honorary Consul for Romania
Calin was appointed Romanian Government as an Honorary Consul covering the SE of the UK promoting Romania’s political and economic goals at local government level, political leaders, and media.
Being a citizen of two worlds, constitute an abundant reservoir from which Călin extracts his inspiration, such as the Symphony No.1 after the Carpathian Mountains and the Symphony No.2 after Hampshire.
Călin's compositions have been described as Neo-Romantic in style, seeking the new within the tonal tradition.
Călin made his debut in Wales over twelve years ago with a short orchestral piece called Joc performed by the Monmouth Festival Orchestra which was soon followed by his Miorita Ballade performed by the Oltenia Philharmonic Orchestra in Romania. Following these experiences, Călin continued to develop more complex forms resulting in his Symphony No.1 “Carpatica”. His first symphony has since received many performances in Germany, Romania and the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of London in Cadogan Hall and The Anvil in Basingstoke.
Călin's Symphony No.1 was recently recorded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales alongside his Symphony-Concerto with pianist Sergiu Tuhutziu. Călin's latest work - Symphony No.2 “Hampshire” - was recently premiered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Winchester Cathedral under the baton of long-time collaborator Christopher Petrie.
Călin is currently working on his violin concerto and is looking forward to his forthcoming performances - please check the news section on the homepage to keep updated.
Current Business Activities
Calin is the Chief Executive Officer of INDES, a group of companies operating in the aviation, defence and infrastructure sectors across Central and Eastern Europe, with Romania as a hub and core market. In this capacity he works with companies like Rolls-Royce and Bell Helicopter.
He is also the founder of BRIDGE, a collaborative enterprise bringing together local government, business and universities in Britain and Romania. Its first formal partnership was concluded between Hampshire County Council and Dolj County in South West Romania in 2013. He has since extended that initiative via agreements between Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and several regional equivalents in Romania.