Grigore Leșe – Romanian Folklore Musician

© , Grigore Lese

Born on 20th of February 1954 in Stoiceni village (Țara Lăpușului area, Maramureș county), Grigore Leșe was raised in a family of Romanian peasants where traditions  were respected as the orthodoxism rules. He studied at the Academy of Music from Cluj-Napoca  and received a Doctor “Summa cum Laudae” Title in 2003, followed by a Doctor “Honoris Causa” Title in 2011.

In a perpetual search for discovering the pure spirit of Romania and sharing the authentic Romanian folklore since his youth, Grigore Leșe has started an endless activity as a folklore musician, ethnomusicologist and ethno-anthropologist: “one man show” performances abroad and at different celebrations in Romania, numerous congresses, radio or on stage performances in USA, France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan etc., celebrations inside churches (St. Peter’s Church in Strasbourg, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bucharest, Gethsemanekirche Church, Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Spain) or educational institutions (Romanian Academy Rome, Universities of Lexington, Rochester, Romanian Athenaeum, Music Museum in Stockholm, National Theatre of Bucharest etc.). He also gave concerts at Halls of Mirrors in Brussels, Belgium (2006), in Germany (concert tour in 2002), in Japan at Shanghai World Expo (2010) and in many other countries.

His portfolio “has grown” with activities like: teaching ethnomusicology at Faculty of Letters (University of Bucharest), editing music CDs (“Cântec pastoral” in 1996 – Laussane, Switzerland, “Cântece de cătănie” in 1998 and ”Hori” in 2002- Bistriţa, Romania, ”Horile vieţii” in 2004 – Bucharest, Romania), producing the movie “Obârşii” at Romanian Television (TVR) and publishing “La Obârşii” book. Leşe’s songs were included on soundtrack lists of 2 movies: “The Pharaon” (directed by Sinişa Dragin) and ”Gunpowder, Treason and Plot” (BBC production).  He presented some TV shows: “Drmurile lui Leşe ” (Leşe’s Journeys) and “Lumea şi muzica tradiţională” (The Traditional World and Music), but the most important is “La porţile cerului” (At the Gates of Heaven) which brought him the Big Prize of the Association of Television Professionals in Romania (APTR). Through his folkloric shows, he represented Romania at Smithsonian Folklife Festival (Washington), “Romanian Cultural Days” (Madrid), Cultural Olympiad in Athens and at Cultural Days of European Central Bank (Frankfurt).

Radio France edited him a CD for the international market, but Grigore Leşe will not cease to promote Romanian folklore through his personal projects and shows. First of all, he is the icon of the Romanian spirit, singing the unique “Doina” and “Hora”, exponents of the traditional culture. Illustrating transition phases during life: birth,  “cătănia” (transition into becoming an adult), wedding, old age and death, and accompanied by traditional instruments as fluier, caval, tilincă and toacă, the latest Grigore Leşe’s show took place at Sala Radio, 60-64 Gen. H. M. Berthelot, Bucharest.

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