Romanian Me - Nigerian Me
I was born in Romania to a Nigerian Igbo father and a Romanian mother. Growing up in a mixed background, I had the greatest advantage of an upbringing influenced by two different cultures and I developed a profound understanding of both worlds. Nevertheless, I still reached a point in my life where I started to search for my own identity and I wanted to discover which side I related to most. The answer was not too hard to find. In Nigeria, they say you claim your father's country. I claim BOTH. Despite the differences of language and culture, both countries have one thing in common - Music.
Romanian classical music - has a long, deep-rooted tradition developed by great musicians such as composer George Enescu who was also a distinguished pianist, conductor and teacher (Yehudi Menuhin and Dinu Lipatti were among his pupils), the conductor and composer Constantin Silvestri and Sergiu Celibidache, one of the greatest conductors in history. Romania has produced many great classical interpreters, from the pianists Clara Haskil, Dinu Lipatti and Radu Lupu to the singers Haricleea Darclee (Puccini’s first Tosca) and Angela Gheorghiu.
Nigeria has been named “the heart of African music” because of its role in the development of the Western African popular music. Nigerian classical music known as Nigerian Art Music has achieved international acclaim through composers such as Fela Sowande - considered the father of Nigerian classical music, Akin Euba – pianist and composer, founder and editor of Nigerian Music Review and established a series called Ife Music Editions to publish music composed by Africans, Fred Onovewerosuke - multi award winner and founder of the African and African American Music Festival in St Louis, USA among others.