EUROPAfest is an annual international music festival held every spring in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. It is one of the few European music festivals that feature four music genres in a single event: classical music, jazz, blues, and pop.

The inaugural festival was held in 1994 under the name Jeunesses Musicales International. It focused exclusively on classical music. The festival concept was changed in 2002. The event was renamed EUROPAfest and its program was expanded to include three more music genres: pop, jazz and blues.

In 2005, Princess Margareta of Romania and her husband Prince Radu of Romania became official patrons of the festival. Although Romania is a republic and the Princess’s status as heir presumptive to the throne is not recognized by the Romanian Parliament, Margareta actively participates in the public life and supports various charitable and cultural initiatives.

According to the festival’s slogan, EUROPAfest is all about quality live music. Every year, it features 300 musicians from several dozen countries, including Romania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, France, Greece, Italy, Georgia, the Netherlands, Turkey, Poland, Canada, and others. Its program includes live concerts, musical workshops and seminars, jam sessions, contests, and other events and activities for musicians and music lovers alike.

EUROPAfest opens with a big concert dedicated to Europe Day (May 9). The Opening Gala features jazz, pop, blues and classical music performances by international artists, speeches by diplomats and public personalities, and a presentation of the festival program. Over the next nine days, several dozen concerts take place both in traditional and unconventional venues throughout Bucharest, including theatres, concert halls, cafes and coffee houses, pubs, clubs, and terraces. Concerts in unconventional venues are part of the so-called Caffee Festival.

EUROPAfest hosts two prestigious international competitions. The Bucharest International Jazz Competition is open to musicians and vocalists aged 35 or younger from all over the world. The Jeunesses International Music Competition features only classical musicians who compete in three age categories (10–14 years, 14–18 years, 18–30 years) and several disciplines (piano, violin, clarinet, flute, and composition).

The closing event of the festival is the EUROPAfest Gala featuring the best artists who’ve performed during the festival and an award ceremony honoring the winners of the two contests.


Photo: Camelia Şirli




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