Bogdan Ota, the Romanian pianist, caught my attention after a member of the Bucharest Lounge Facebook page sent me a link, to listen to one of Mr Ota’s performances. It moved me on a profound level to read about his life-story and to listen to his music. His music spoke the language of the history of the Romanians, the struggle – and their beauty ! I became curious about this man and asked him if I could ask him some questions.
Bogdan Ota was born in a small town in North-Eastern Romania on May 10 th, 1978.
How did you start with music ? What inspired you ?
I remember when I was about 3-4 years old and I found my father’s guitar in the house. He is a doctor but he had a guitar as a hobby. Since then I was trying to play and to create music. I was fascinated , and I still am, about anything that can produce beautiful sounds, in just one word: MUSIC.
My first contact with the piano sound was in a concert. My father used to go to classical music concerts. I was not so impressed back then, but later, when I was about 7 years old, and I was in my first year of school, I remember that a former student of my teacher came in our class room and start playing piano. I was completely fascinated. Since then the piano was forever in my heart.
My parents bought me one that year and that became my toy, my holiday, my lover, my everything. I was well and professionally trained during the years and I was trying to be one of the best. One can never succeed to be the best pianist. There is no such thing.
After graduating ‘Stefan Luchian’ Music Highschool of Botosani, at age 18 he was admitted first to ‘George Enescu’ Music University of Iasi- Department of Instrumental Interpretation. In 2003 he graduated from ‘George Enescu’ Music University and took a degree in Instrumental Interpretation – Piano Major.
What is your drive when composing music?
The music comes to me by inspiration. It’s like a dream, I can not explain it. It is like a person who goes to sleep and a dream occurs. This is inspiration. You can not demand to be inspired in a certain day, same way you can not demand to have a certain dream in a certain night. This is how I compose music. If I am not inspired I’m not writing. Sometimes my ideas come when I’m sleeping, sometimes when I’m driving, sometimes when I just sit down and do nothing….It’s not a phenomenon I can control.
( From webpage) “In the summer of 2010, amid the burst of the financial crisis that has shaken the Romanian economy, Bogdan left the country, heading Norway. There, after a few months, working in a heavy-duty job, he was secretly listed by his boss in a television contest –’Norway’s got Talent’– thus, his talent was discovered by Sony Music Norway.
Due to the Tv appearances, he was noticed by Rino Hemstad Eliasen, a young film producer and director, who offered him the opportunity to compose the soundtrack for his movie, ‘Sirenen.’
Another huge success was ‘The Extraordinary Concert Bogdan Ota ‘.The concert took place on September 17th in Constitution Square in Bucharest and it was his first performance with the National Orchestra and Radio Choir conducted by the famous Tiberiu Soare. On that night, in front of the House of Parliament,over 30.000 people gathered to enjoy Bogdan’s music. “
Tell me about your emotions when you were playing in front of the House of Parliament with approx. 30 000 people coming there to see you !
Most of my dreams came true but the most important one became reality in Bucharest on 17th of September 2011. My concert at the Parliament Building was the first one in my career after Norske Talenter, a real success and the best reason to be proud of. I was playing along with one of the best Romanian Orchestra’s, with a famous conductor and the audience was overwhelming in number and as how they were reacting on my music. My parents were there as well. That was the moment when I became absolutely sure that I’m doing what’s right. My emotions were huge of course, I would lie to say something different from that, but between the songs I was watching all those people gathered there for me and then the sky and I remember I kept thanking God for everything in my life.
What does Romania mean to you ?
Romania is the best thing ever happened to me. I was born here, trained and educated here, I fell in love and got married here, I felt joy and sorrow here therefore Romania is a part of me that can not be denied. Of course there are many beautiful countries, some of them they have a very good economy, very good social protection systems but like I’m always saying: There are no coincidences, only paths to follow! There’s no coincidence that I was born here. Maybe in a different country, with everything coming to me without efforts I would not be where I am today!
What is the beauty and meaning coming from Romania ?
I love Romania and it’s values: cultural, social and religious. Of course it’s not heaven on earth but to be honest I have not found yet the perfect country. I’ve been everywhere, now I just came back from Australia, but every time when I land in Bucharest I feel joy and happiness. I know people outside my country are making huge confusions between Romanians and the gypsies, I know that Romanian economy is not in its’ best shape, etc, but I was educated here, amongst the Romanian people and I know exactly our academic level of culture, I know the hearts of my people, I feel them in my concerts, that’s Romania for me: a huge part of my soul
Thank you very much Bogdan Ota for taking your time answering the questions !