She is known to you as ‘Alexandra Dariescu’, the five-star solo pianist who put a spell on the public of Carnegie Hall.
To BBC Music Magazine audience she is the ‘Rising Star’, while Forbes readers might know her from the famous ranking ’30 under 30′,
For her people, she is known also as Alexandra Dariescu, Romania’s first ever female solo pianist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall.
For her family, she’s just Oana (I just found out!), one of the two talented Dariescu sisters.
For me, she’s Alex, that I diagnosed two years ago as ‘bipolar’, after doing an interview with her before her first concert in Romania. Yes, bipolar.
At that time, I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears – how come she can be so damn talented without the ‘I don’t have time for you‘ attitude. After the 15 minute interview, in my mindless world of dragon and Tyrannausor artists, I was still expecting her to say ‘oh, sorry I need to powder my nose’.
Instead, as if she had read my mind, Alex totally won my heart and pen and mic and camera with a joke: ‘A men grabs a taxi and asks the driver: ‘Sorry, how do I get to Carnegie Hall?’ At this point I was still a bit confused. Alexandra continues the story, ‘And the driver says: ‘Practice, practice, pratice!’ A folklor joke of the New York Hall.
At that point, in 2011, Alexandra Dariescu wasn’t a name to find on the programme of Carnegie Hall, in Seventh Street. It was just a goal. A few months later, after the ‘practice, pratice, pratice’ part, she made it in the USA. She actually made it for 61 concerts during that year.
‘You can be poor and be famous, so fame is not about the money. It’s hard work. And determination. And passion.’ explained to me Alexandra in some ‘Wagamagamfsakkajfad’ fusion restaurant while taking a bite of her curry dish. We met after a two-year break, while we only spoke on the telephone in live transmissions or just ‘like’-ing each other on Facebook.
I found her in South London, next Moorgate. She was telling me stories with ‘oleaca’ of overything. ‘Oleaca’ means ‘a bit’ in Romanian, it’s a traditional word in our Northern-Eastern part of the country. Usually in Romania, this word reveals your whole identity and place of birth. So, ‘oleaca’ links its users in any part of the world, also in London, the place of re-birth, As it happened to us.
But this time I had no ‘bipolar’ diagnosis to put, I knew that Alex or Oana or Alexandra Dariescu can be in the same sentence talented and kind. Oh, and funny, And humble. And… She’s getting married in August, next year, so no, it’s not a marital advertisment. When she speaks about The Andreas, Alexandra is not using words. It’s the eyes and smile that tell the story.
When it’s not Andreas, it’s piano, this white and black invader that keeps her awake, alive and restless. ‘I’ll be in South Africa next week and I also have some other concerts coming. Although it is said that you get used to it, before going on stage I am hugely nervous.’ told me Alexandra in between making some plans of the two of us in London.
For Alex, when it’s not piano, it’s cupcakes or macarons. As she would say ‘ce bun, ce bun, ce bun’, which in Romanian means ‘what a gooooodie!’. Also when you have the world’s eyes on you ‘Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes’ .
In the next few days, Alexandra will need to double her order for sweets. She is on the shortlist of the Women of the Future Awards in the UK. The only pianist. The first Romanian.
We’ll just have keep calm and have our cupcakes with Alexandra. Oh, also maybe we should try to ‘practice, practice, practice’ a role-model. You never know how this could get you to your Carnegie Hall dream.
ps. World, I’ll keep you posted with the Women of the Future results. Meanwhile, I am busy practicing my admiration skills.