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    Lists of Famous Romanians

  • Romanian Personalities
    The Prodan Romanian Cultural Foundation promotes 20th-century Romanian personalities, mainly of the diaspora, who were active in the field of culture. The foundation offers on its Web site compelling introductions to the life and work of many of the Romanian personalities they have an interest in. Among them are famous personalities of Romanian descent and/or born in Romania such as Prince Antoine Bibesco, Princess Marthe Bibesco, Constantin Brancusi, Brassai, Victor Brauner, Sergiu Celibidache, George Enescu, Benjamin Fondane, Clara Haskil, Marcel Janco/Iancu, Eugène Ionesco, Dinu Lipatti, Radu Lupu, Paul Celan, E.M. Cioran, Mircea Eliade, Angela Gheorghiu, Queen Marie, Serge Moscovici, Jean Negulesco, Countess Anna de Noailles, Hermann Oberth, Edward G. Robinson, Mihail Sebastian, Carmen Sylva, Tristan Tzara, Helène Vacaresco (Elena Văcărescu), Johnny Weissmuller, Elie Wiesel. Added: February 5, 2010.

  • Romanian Celebrities -- by Irina and Stefan Gheorghiu
    This is a section on their Discover Romania site. List includes Constantin Brancusi, Emil Cioran, Andrei Codrescu, Mircea Eliade, George Enescu, Eugen Ionesco, Hermann Oberth, Nadia Comaneci, Gheorghe Hagi, Ilie Nastase, Ion Tiriac, Dracula, and Ceausescu.

  • The famous Romanians presented in this section of Your Online Portal to Romania are of Romanian descent and/or born in Romania.

    On this page: Ana Aslan, Alexander Balanescu, Constantin Brancusi, Victor Brauner, Nicolae Ceausescu, Sergiu Celibidache, Emil Cioran, Henri Coanda, Andrei Codrescu, Nadia Comaneci, Ileana Cotrubas, Ioan Petru Culianu, Dracula, Mircea Eliade, George Enescu

    Page 2: Angela Gheorghiu, Eugene Ionesco, Dinu Lipatti, Mihail Manoilescu, Emeric Marcier, Herta Müller, Hermann Oberth, George E. Palade, Andrei Serban, Tristan Tzara, Ion Tiriac, Johnny Weissmuller, Elie Wiesel, Gheorghe Zamfir

BOOKS / CDs / Movies
Ana Aslan

  • Dr. Ana Aslan and Gerovital-H3
    Mircea Dumitru, MD, PhD, who was Prof./Dr. Aslan's personal physician for the last three years of her life, recollects his discussions with Ana Aslan and the latter's dedication to gerontology. Dr. Dumitru also shares his own comments on old age and the process of aging, and explains the scientific basis of Gerovital H3 and its benefits. Included are also testimonials and international confirmations of the efficiency of Gerovital H3 therapy.

    In the article, Prof. Aslan also speaks in her own voice about her own defining encounters -- about her collaboration and with doctors and professors such as C.I. Parhon and Dr. Danielopolu ("Parhon was a pioneer in gerontology. He treated aging patients with extracts of epiphysis, gonads, insulin and vitamin E, in 1909 he [with M. Goldstein] published the first book in the world of endocrinology and in 1955 published the book Biology of Ages, which was translated all over the world").
  • Dr. Ana Aslan and Romanian Rejuvenation -- from Tierra Mega-Nutrients International
    A search on the Internet for "Ana Aslan" will yield hundreds of pages. Ana Aslan (1897-1988) is the most prominent Romanian female scientist, and one of the first scientists worldwide to fight the aging process. Read more scientific facts behind Ana Aslan's findings here, as well as a brief biography. Note however that Ana Aslan was not the first Romanian female physician. That honor belongs to Maria Cutarida (Cutzarida) Crãtuneanu's (1857-1919), who received her medical degree in 1884.

    Tierra Mega-Nutrients International is the TMI in US vs. Rodger Sless/TMI. Here's a bit about Rodger Sless and here are a few articles related to his legal battle with the FDA in 1994..
  • Gerovital-H3: Its Prophylactic and Regenerative Effects
    Article by Mircea Dumitru, MD, PhD about the benefits of Gerovital (regeneration, protection against infection, and more) and its mechanisms. This article is accompanied by several others: The anti-depressant effects of Gerovital-H3 treatment and Gerovital-H3 treatment in Osteoarthritis. The author relies on various sources, but draws heavily on Ana Aslan's research to underscore benefits of GH3 such as "diminished depression and anxiety, increased physical and intellectual capacities, diminished extrapyramidal rigidity, better skin, hair and nail trophicity, less senile spots and keratosis, growth and regimentation of the hair color, increased muscular strength and joint mobility and faster knitting of accidental fractures."
  • Gerovital, is it a fraud? -- on Life Extension Foundation Forum
    Members debate the validity of the claims made for Gerovital H3, a drug (or nutrient) reportedly used by famous personalities such as Charlie Chaplin, Salvador Dalí, Mao Tse-Tung and John F. Kennedy. Read this together with the negative review of Gerovital on Wikipedia (last modified on September 24, 2005) which labels Gerovital "quackery." According to these sources, the 1982 FDA import ban on Gerovital is still in effect despite a Federal Court ruling of 1994 (US vs Roger Sless/TMI) which classified Gerovital H3 as a dietary supplement. (Read here about the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and the implications of the 1994 definition of "dietary supplements.")

    The Wikipedia article mentions in passing that "in the 1970s and 1980s Gerovital H3 received some investigation as a treatment for clinical depression" and states that "[GH3] was never accepted as useful." The author refers to the results of a clinical trial from 1978 skipping the particulars of "the Rom-Amer story", for instance (briefly told on the TMI Web site). According to the info on the TMI Web site, in the 1960s and 1970s Alfred Sapse, M.D. and Manfred Mosk, Ph.D. tried to market GH3 in the US as an anti-depressant, based on studies such as that of Dr. William W.K. Zung and associates at Duke University Medical Center, which concluded that GH3 was more effective than placebo or imipramine in elderly patients. (A quick browsing of "Gerovital H3" in books on Amazon shows that these studies have had a certain impact: one such study, for instance, is referred to in Howard Gruetzner's Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's Guide and Sourcebook, 3rd Edition, Wiley, 2001.) According to TMI, there are documents suggesting that through its decision not to approve GH3 for sale in the US, the FDA rejected GH3 "because of its notoriety as an anti-aging drug, not because it was unsafe or ineffective as an anti-depressant."

    See also a few other sources which might be worth exploring, among them the article Gerovital by Ron Kennedy, MD (Santa Monica, California) and Abram Hoffer and Morton Walker's 1980 book Nutrients to Age Without Senility.
  • GH3 - Will It Keep You Young Longer? By Herbert Bailey, author of Vitamin E: For a Healthy Heart and a Longer Life (Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1993). Bailey's GH3 book was originally published in 1974.

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Alexander Balanescu

  • Short Intro from TravelRomania
    Since 1979, classically trained violonist and composer Alexander Balanescu has created "music that could communicate with an [a larger] audience." In 1987 he formed the Balanescu Quartet, with Claire Connors (violin), Bill Hawkes (viola) and Nick Price (cellist). In the 1990s, among other projects, they adapted Kraftwerk sounds for strings and reinterpreted traditional Romanian music in the 1994 album Luminitza. Alexander Balanescu also wrote the scores for Philip Haas' Angels and Insects and, more recently, Renny Bartlett's Eisenstein. Added: January 2, 2002.
  • Where Worlds Meet. An Interview with Alexander Balanescu
    This interview with Alexander Balanescu was taken before his concert at the Academy of Music in Budapest. It discusses Balanescu's successful marriage of techno, pop, jazz and folk music to classical techniques, his training as a classical musician, his building audience in Transylvania and Hungary, feelings about Romania and Eastern Europe, and his future projects. By By Heather Hermant, on LIVE Budapest, May 2000. Added January 2, 2002.
  • Balanescu Quartet
    More about the original compositions of Balanescu Quartet and the sources which have inspired them. Added: January 2, 2002.

This "music that has no label" (Alexander Balanescu) is a happy marriage of folk, pop, avant-garde and classical.

Constantin Brancusi/Constantin Brâncuşi

By Margit Rowell, Ann Temkin, Friedrich Teja Bach, September 2000.

Victor Brauner

  • Victor Brauner -- Biographical References
    One-minute intro to Victor Brauner: Surrealist, premonitions of the loss of his left eye, own mythology, love of mystery and the esoteric. Traveled and lived alternatively in Bucharest in Paris. Also read this brief introduction to Victor Brauner from the Hermitage Foundation in Switzerland. Added: September 30, 2001.
  • Victor Brauner or the Surrealist Enchantment
    Delve into Victor Brauner's world with images and notes documenting the exhibit of the artist's works at the Hermitage Foundation in Lausanne in 1999. The organizers of the exhibit picked themes, such as Dream-like Visions, An Identikit picture of Tyranny, Talismans, The Victory of Matter, Childhoods, Primitive Thinking, Bestiary, The Wedding of the Double, The Spirit of the Line. Added: September 30, 2001.
  • More about Victor Brauner from TravelRomania: Introduced to the avant-garde movement by poet Ilarie Voronca in Bucharest in 1924, Victor Brauner became later closely associated with the French Surrealists gathered around André Breton. In fact, it was the latter who introduced Brauner's first one-man exhibit in Paris in 1934. Living alternately in Bucharest and Paris, Victor Brauner came to be a motive force to the Romanian avant-garde movement. The artist not only contributed to Romanian avant-garde magazines and books, but inspired poets, such as Gellu Naum, to travel the Surrealist road. In 1935 in Bucharest he put on the first Surrealist show, and Gellu Naum, his protégé, founded with Gherasim Luca the Romanian Surrealist Group in 1940. Added: September 30, 2001.

    Please note: The Museum of Modern Art in St Etienne, France has over 3,600 of Victor Brauner's drawings!

Nicolae Ceausescu/Nicolae Ceauşescu

Sergiu Celibidache

  • Sergiu Celibidache -- Site Built by Paul H. Smith
    Sergiu Celibidache's students and admirers talk about the Maestro. Follow Markand Thakar in his account of the self-discovery arisen after rehearsing with Celibidache: "Music is nothing. Sound could become music." Get transported to 1980s Munich at several of Celibidache's rehearsals. Don't miss the discussions in the forum.
  • Celibidache and Bruckner
    Important dates and a host of quotations about Maestro Celibidache, occasioned by the EMI release of Celi's Bruckner's symphonies. Joerg Eggebrecht, first Cello at the Munich Philharmonic orchestra, and recall rehearsals and the personality of their teacher.
  • Conductor Read Bruckner Like No Other
    "Like Bernstein and Mahler, Celibidache and Bruckner seem to be soulmates."
    A telling account of what it means to experience Celibidache's Bruckner. Richard Nilssen recommends the Fourth and the Eighth, but that shouldn't mean that you can afford to miss Symphony no 7, Te Deum.
  • Celibidache: The Last of the Mad Genius Conductors?
    An essay by David Hurwitz on
    "All in all, like most of the "mad genius" conductors (Stokowski, for example), Celibidache's work ranges erratically from the stunning to the grotesque. But at his best -- in Brahms, and especially Bruckner -- he's very special indeed."
  • Sergiu Celibidache (1912-1996) -- An Ink-troduction by Soo Kian Hing
    The Maestro and Zen teachings.
  • Sergiu Celibidache -- from
    Brief biography, in the vein of a timeline.
  • Sergiu Celibidache and Bach
    An essay by George Murnu -- seemingly not too appreciated by the owner of the site: it's pasted three times and ends with a comma. Do read it.

Bruckner: Symphony no 7, Te Deum

Celibidache conducting the Munich Philharmonic. You can listen to samples online.

Celibidache performs Brahms: Symphony No3

"It truly is music that breathes." Celibidache with the Munich Philharmonic.

Emil Cioran

  • Emile Cioran -- on
    Somebody took the time to read books by and about Cioran. See what he has to share about Cioran's bio, work, and social life. A poignant portrait of Cioran.
  • E.M. Cioran: To Infinity and Beyond
    A well-written essay by Stephen Mitchelmore. A note on the name: Stephen uses Emile Cioran -- the French spelling of his name. Emile is Emil in Romanian. Cioran himself authored most of his books as E.M. Cioran.
  • The E. M. Cioran Web Site
    Lists selective bibliography and quotations.
  • "Dreaming, by abolishing time, does away with death as well. The dead then take advantage of it to disquiet us. Last night, there's my father. . . . I woke up telling myself that you can only come back to life as an intruder, as one who ruins others' dreams, and that this nagging immortality is the only one that exists." My translation, from EM Cioran, Anathemas and Admirations

As many have noted, the author's dourness is superseded by an empowering deft exercise in wit. One of his best-loved books. Read reviews on Amazon.

One of Cioran's early books, first published in Bucharest in 1937.

Henri Coanda/Henri Coandă

Andrei Codrescu

  • Andrei Codrescu -- from
    Meet Andrei Codrescu, National Public Radio commentator, deft and unweary book writer and columnist, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, winner of a host of coveted awards -- did I say editor of the Exquisite Corpse (over 500,000 readers)? Take a walk inside his cafe, read his message du jour, see what others have to say about Andrei Codrescu, and more.
  • Andrei Codrescu's Mioritic Space
    Learn about the Romanian Miorita ballad, see how Mircea Eliade, Lucian Blaga and Andrei Codrescu interpret and retell "Romania's most enduring cultural text," and how it paralleled Codrescu's own story as a poet in exile, where Andrei Perlmutter became Andrei Codrescu. ". . . when Codrescu left Romania in 1966, just four years after Blaga [after whom Codrescu named his own son] was allowed to publish again briefly before his death, one piece of the cultural patrimony that he smuggled into America was Blaga's notion of 'mioritic space.' " From Richard Collins, fall 1998 issue of Melus. Sixteen pages -- don't overlook the notes.
  • Andrei Codrescu is making all sorts of literature. Here's the spoken word: No Tacos for Saddam (Audio Literature, 1997).

    Some of Andrei Codrescu's latest:
  • The Posthuman Dada Guide: tzara and lenin play chess (The Public Square)
  • (Princeton University Press, February 2009)
  • New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City (Algonquin Books, 2006)
  • Wakefield (Algonquin Books, January 2004)
  • Casanova in Bohemia: A Novel (Free Press, March 2002). The beginning is available on Amazon,

Road Scholar: Coast to Coast Late in the Century

(Hyperion Books, October 1994)

Thus Spake the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader 1988-1998: Volume 1, Poetry & Essays

Nadia Comaneci/Nadia Comăneci

  • Nadia Comaneci -- from
    Site dedicated to Nadia. Everything you wanted to know about Nadia Comaneci. Follow her through the years with pictures, advertisements, articles, and more. Don't miss the Webmaster's retrospective of 25 years (1975-2000) in Nadia's life and career.

Ileana Cotrubas/Ileana Cotrubaş

  • Ileana Cotrubas
    A biography of the opera singer Ileana Cotrubas. Also includes pictures, discography, and sound clips. A small site, but so far (as of October 3, 2001) the only fan site dedicated to Ileana Cotrubas. When this site is unavailable you can read her biography here. Apparently it's a copy of the notes accompanying one of the singer's CDs.
  • Ileana Cotrubas -- Discography on
    Recordings include Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, and Brahms. Added: October 3, 2001.
  • Favorite Sopranos
    Opera lover lists Ileana Cotrubas among his other favorite sopranos of this century, such as Mirella Freni, Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Cheryl Studer, Renata Scotto, and Kiri Te Kanawa. Added: October 3, 2001.
  • Ileana Cotrubas Stars in Traviata at the Met
    A memorable performance, with Placido Domingo as Alfredo and James Levine at his first Metropolitan Traviata. According to this author's 1981 account, "it is unlikely that there is a better Violetta now on the world's stages than Ileana Cotrubas." By Donal Henahan, The New York Times, March 18, 1981. Added: October 3, 2001.

Alongside Renata Scotto and Kiri Te Kanawa, Cotrubas interprets parts which made her famous, such as Mimi in La Bohème, or Gilda in Rigoletto. Sony Classics, 1991.

Ioan Petru Culianu

  • The Killing of Professor Culianu -- by Ted Anton
    An erudite with a special interest in the occult, parallel universes and the contruction of the real, Professor Ioan Culianu shared with his mentor Mircea Eliade the capacity for overarching works in the history of religions. Unlike Eliade however, Culianu's love of academia combined with unrestrained political views about Romanians and their 20th century history. "He castigated not only Securitate but the Iron Guard, cultist nationalism, the Orthodox Church, and Romanian culture. He called for investigation of Romania's genocide of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Any one of these could provoke reprisal in a country that has never confronted its recent past. "

    In his book Eros, Magic, and the Murder of Professor Culianu Ted Anton also places due emphasis on the loss scholarship has suffered at Culianu's death. " 'Losing him was like the burning of the Library at Alexandria. There's so much he knew, it'll take years to sift what he could tell you in a second,' says Greg Spinner [one of Culianu's graduate students]." Added: October 3, 2001.

  • Eros, Magic, and the Murder of Professor Culianu -- by Ted Anton
    Chapter one of Ted Anton's book (Northwestern University Press, 1996), on
    Added: October 3, 2001.

Eros and Magic in the Renaissance

By Ioan P. Culianu, University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Eros, Magic, & the Murder of Professor Culianu

By Ted Anton, Northwestern University Press, 1996. $21.00


  • Dracula, Between Legend and Reality
    From, the Romanian History section.
  • Romania to Take the Teeth out of Dracula
    To avoid paying royalties to Universal Studios, the creators of the future Dracula Theme Park in Romania will opt for a softer image of the famous vampire. The Times of India, October 29, 2001. Added: November 1, 2001. Also, inhabitants of Sighisoara fear Satanists will imbue their place with negative energies; a still very spiritual concern is that the projected one million visitors per year will be too much to bear for the small town Sighisoara. (Sighisoara is listed among UNESCO treasures as one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe.)
  • Dracula -- The Bloody Truth
    The eighth page of this Electronic Business article deals with Dracula. Note that in medieval times Bran Castle used to be a fortress used for military expeditions as well as for controlling a major trade route. In the early 20th century, it became residence of the Royal Family.
  • Online Literature Library -- Bram Stoker -- Dracula -- Chapter 1
    Vlad Tepes became famous as Dracula with Bram Stoker's novel at the end of 19th century. You can read Bram Stoker's fiction Dracula here!
  • Dracula's Castle -- now on
    Here's your chance to read about Dracula's Castle, including a few construction details, and see a few pictures if you haven't already. You can also order a book on Dracula and Bran Castle, or buy the souvenirs if you missed your chance in Romania. May 09, 2002. The site is being revamped. I will have to mention the good introduction on the historical figure of Prince Vlad Tepes. Also, keep checking the souvernirs boutique for interesting offers and deals.
  • Dracula's Homepage -- Fact and Fiction
    Elizabeth Miller's guide to Dracula. Links to her books and their reviews, to Dracula societies, research, Web sites dedicated to Dracula and/or vampires, books, and more. Added: September 26, 2001.

Dracula: Prince of Many Faces

Discover the man behind the myth. Read about Vlad the Impaler, his times and contemporaries. By Radu R. Florescu and Raymond T. McNally (contributor), 1990. Companion book to In Search of Dracula. Back Bay Books, 1990.

In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires

Learn about Vlad the Impaler and the folklore, myths and obsessions his story engendered. By Raymond T. McNally and Radu R. Florescu (contributor). Revised edition of the 1972 study. Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

Mircea Eliade

  • Mircea Eliade -- from McGill, Canada
    Biography of Mircea Eliade, the distinguished historian of comparative religions. Feature by Joseph M. Kitagawa, posted by the Romanian Organization of Student Society of McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion

A book about recuperating sacred time and partaking of the mystery of nature and the meanings of built spaces through appeal to archetypes and to rituals that reenact mythical events.
Harvest Books, 1968.

George Enescu

  • George Enescu (1881-1955). His Life and Music
    Site dedicated to George Enescu, internationally acclaimed composer, conductor, violinist, pianist, and teacher.
  • George Enescu -- on
    Short bio and listing of Olympia's CDs of the complete orchestral works series and chamber works series.
  • Enescu's Suite No. 3 -- on American Symphony Orchestra's Dialogues & Extensions
    Besides discussing of Enescu's Suite No. 3, Bernard Jacobson offers an informed and sensitive introduction to Enescu the composer. Another article on Enescu from Dialogues & Extensions is Polishing the Jewel: The Genius of George Enescu by Leon Botstein. Added: May 18, 2002.

    Enescu: Romanian Rhapsodies Op. 11
    Enescu's Suites No. 2 and No. 3 and the first Romanian Rhapsody with Cristian Mandeal (Arte Nova Records, 1998)
    Here's bio of Cristian Mandeal. One other note on Mandeal from The Guardian.

  • George Enescu International Festival 2005
    The 17th edition of the Enescu Festival galvanized the city of Bucharest between September 4 and September 20. From one concert hall to another, from performances by most highly regarded musicians to young talents performing outdoors on a stage near the Atheneum, from symposia to movie projections, this event was graced by some of the most highly regarded musicians in the world. It was a celebration for us all, complete with TV transmissions and interviews and traffic disruptions at the "Festival Square." On the dedicated Web site you can read about the ensembles, conductors, and soloists who have participated in this edition of the Enescu Festival. You can also find a brief review of the 2005 edition on the ISTC Web site, where you can also find out more about ISIC discounts in Romania. Added: October 11, 2005.
  • George Enescu International Festival 1998
    The 1998 edition was organized under the patronage of the former President Emil Constantinescu, with Lord Yehudi Menuhin as honorary president and Lawrence Foster as artistic director. If you want to see the program for the 2001 Enescu Festival, read this page in French.
  • Enescu's Oedipe premiered in Paris in 1936. Rarely staged and recorded, it benefits, however, from an illustrous cast and direction in a 1989 EMI recording (van Dam, Hendricks, Lipovsek / Foster) which rightly receives 5 stars and glowing reviews from most of its reviewers on Amazon:

    "Wrongfully neglected masterpiece!"
    "Truly a masterpiece!"
    "Yes, it's true: The greatest opera of the 20th century"
    "An undiscovered masterpiece"

    "What an incredible score this is! Such a powerful musical drama. . . . Enesco's musical language throughout Oedipe is wildly chromatic, and modal. Parts of the opera sound ancient and even mysteriously "Greek" in nature, while others recall Schoenberg's Gurrelieder. Dramatically, I love this work as well, as Enesco's librettist Edmond Fleg, incorporates more of the legend of Oedipus into this story than we usually get, as well as altering much of it. (For instance, the entire final scene)"

    "Listen for the hair-raising Sphynx scene -- Lipovsek is amazing in this small part -- one of the scariest things you'll hear in an opera recording anywhere. In fact -- just look at all the big names in the cast list -- somebody must have really called some favors in." See/Listen for yourself: Enesco - Oedipe / van Dam · Hendricks · Lipovsek · Bacquier · Gedda · Courtis · Hauptmann · Quilico · Aler · Vanaud · Albert · Taillon · Foster

  • November 9, 2005. Bernard Gavoty's 1955 book Les Souvenirs de Georges Enesco was published this year by Curtea Veche, in a new bilingual edition, French-Romanian, under the care of Elena Bulai and Doina Jela.

George Enescu: His Life and Music

A book by Noel Malcolm. Toccata Press, 1990.

With José van Dam, Barbara Hendricks, Brigitte Fassbaender, Marjana Lipovsek et al. A 1989 EMI recording with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte Carlo directed by Lawrence Foster. If you truly love classical and modern music, this opera will be a revelation.

Antal Dorati (and Harold Lawrence) conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Mercury Classics, 1991. $11.97

Page 2: Angela Gheorghiu, Eugène Ionesco, Mihail Manoilescu, Emeric Marcier, Hermann Oberth, George E. Palade, Andrei Serban, Tristan Tzara, Ion Tiriac, Johnny Weissmuller, Elie Wiesel, Gheorghe Zamfir
Copyright © 2001-2010 Raluca Preotu. All rights reserved.