More than 50 students and community members attended a performance at the National Music Museum Friday for a night of music.
USD music education professor Ioana Galu performed at the NMM as part of the fall 2017 NMM Live!, a series of various performances throughout the year.
Hannah Grantham, a graduate assistant working towards a master’s in music with a specialization in history, said she enjoyed the performance.
“It’s always great to hear the museum’s instruments being played, and I love to hear the romantic literature Galu played,” Grantham said.
Galu started playing the violin when she was eight years old at the Sigismund Todutá music school in Bistríta, Romania. She moved to the United States in 2001 and received her doctorate in contemporary music.
“We had to do regular academics in the morning, and then music on top of that,” Galu said. “I practiced four to eight hours a day. It was very intensive, and many people didn’t make it through the program.”
Galu said her grandmother got her involved with the violin.
“When I was four or five, we were at the opera Don Pasquale. I wanted to contribute and conduct at the opera and was standing on the chair conducting during the performance and my family was petrified,” she said. “My grandmother said I should get involved in music, since I was so enthusiastic.”
Galu said her start with the violin had a “rocky beginning.”
“Other instruments would be more rewarding at the beginning. The violin took a long time to learn, so I fell in love with it a little later,” she said. “For two weeks of spring break, I finally started practicing and I advanced very quickly. I fell in love with it and I owe so much to my violin teacher.”
This is Galu’s second year as a professor at USD. She teaches 11 students in violin and viola and teaches a strings methods course in the fall. She’s also the co-coordinator of the chamber orchestra.
Galu said she has loved her time here at USD.
“USD has some of the most dedicated and respectful students I have ever encountered,” she said. “I have not had a single bad experience here.”
Galu also performs in the Rawlins Trio. She said that performing in the trio is what first got her interested in teaching at USD.
“I wake up excited to make music with them,” Galu said. “It got my attention because it was a combination of teaching and performing. It is a dream job. I was ecstatic to be offered the position. The faculty is very warm and down to earth, and the administration is always truly helpful.”
A unique part of this performance was the Ceruti violin Galu played on from the NMM’s private collection.
Arian Sheets, the curator of string instruments for the NMM, said it’s rare to play on a historic violin.
“Most historic instruments are not playable,” Sheets said. “It is a sustainable amount of work and money to be able to make them playable again. This instrument has been in great condition and has been modernized to be played.”
Ioana Galu, accompanied by Susan Gray, played a variety of music from Bach, Beethoven, Elgar, Kriesler, Schumann and more.
Galu said she’s extremely grateful to be working at USD.
“I start every day here feeling blessed, Galu said. “I work with amazing people and I feel like a mother hen to my students. I learn from them every day.”