Michael Cretu, The Byzantium Connection
The Byzantium Connection…
Michael Cretu is an internationally recognized musician and composer of The Byzantium Connection, a celebration of his exceptional musical heritage.
Born in Bucharest, Romania, Michael comes from a family of musicians with a long and wonderful performing tradition, dating back to the 17th century. His uncle, Johnny Raducanu (Raducan Cretu) is considered the father of Romanian Jazz, whilst his father Dumitru Cretu was also an accomplished pianist.
Michael began playing the double bass at the age of 12 and by 19 had joined the Romanian National Radio Symphony Orchestra. He studied music at George Enescu Music School in Bucharest and he won a scholarship to complete his postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Michael’s new album ‘The Byzantium Connection’ references some of that rich heritage.
Double bass expert David Heyes explains:
“Michael’s four-movement ‘Sonata for solo double bass’…explores many different soundworlds, with music which is rhythmically charged contrasting passages of a more evocative and atmospheric nature. Contemporary and eastern styles add spice and variety. ‘Homeland’ for violin and double bass is in four movements/sections, and is strident and ‘full-on’ but also mysterious and other-worldly. The final two works mix electronics with double bass, percussion, and voices and bring the CD to a positive and happy conclusion. There is much here to enjoy, whether you like classical, jazz, improvisation, contemporary, or just enjoy hearing really good music. A great CD with much to offer”
In 2019 Michael was commissioned by the Royal Northern College of Music to write for chamber orchestra a 40-minute contemporary suite, to conclude the RNCM new music festival. He was also a finalist and nominated for a prize in the European competition Prix Europa 2013.
Michael has also collaborated with journalist Paul Cutts (The Strad; Gramophone Online) on an important article about the Romanian Double Bass School and its founder Joseph Prunner, which was published by The Double Bassist Magazine.
The Byzantium Connection album has been realized with the generous support of the University of Salford and is available at Amazon.com