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Toni Iordache (17 December 1942 – February 1988) was a Romani-Romanian lăutar and one of the most famous cimbalom (Romanian: ţambal) players in the world. He was nicknamed the God of the Cimbalomand Paganini of the cimbalom.
The Romani, colloquially known as Gypsies or Roma, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, traditionally itinerant, living mostly in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern Indian subcontinent, from the Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab regions of modern-day India.
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, and Moldova to the east. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the 12th largest country and also the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having almost 20 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, and other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Craiova, and Brașov.
The Romanian word Lăutar denotes a class of musicians. Most often, and by tradition, lăutari are members of a professional clan of Romani musicians, also called țigani lăutari. The term is derived from lăută, the Romanian word for lute. Lăutari usually perform in bands, called taraf.
Toni was born in Bâldana village, near Bucharest, and began learning the instrument from his father when he was four. Some years later his family would move to Bucharest in the Herăstrău neighborhood, where many famous lăutari lived. There, Toni continued to learn from Mitică Ciuciu, who was a famous cimbalom player in his days.
At 12, he was employed at the National Radio Orchestra of Popular Music. Later he became a member of the Ciocârlia National Ensemble, the primary popular ensemble in the country. With the Ciocârlia Ensemble, Toni Iordache toured the world: many European countries, the USA and also Asian countries. In between tours, he would play at weddings, being the most sought after lăutar of his day. Often, after landing at the airport he would drive directly to a wedding where the other musicians were waiting for him.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.
He won two gold medals: in Vienna(1959) and Sofia (1966) and appeared as guest soloist on Zoltan Kodaly's 'Hary János Suite' performed by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, in Tokyo, in 1973.
Among others, he played with Romica Puceanu, Gabi Luncă, Ion Onoriu, Ionică Minune and also with the well-known pan flute ( nai ) player Gheorghe Zamfir.
Romica Puceanu was a Romanian Gypsy singer and interpreter of urban lăutărească music from Romania.
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In the early seventies Toni Iordache was arrested for possession of foreign currency, which was strictly forbidden in communist Romania. He reportedly wanted to buy a fur coat for his wife with it. Despite his high popularity and interventions in his favor he was sentenced to three years in jail. His imprisonment was kept undisclosed to the press, only his friends knew. During his time in jail he lost greatly in weight, but he recovered fast after his release and was able to resume his musical activity. His time in jail was made easier by both his fellow inmates and guards that were very fond of him.
Toni Iordache became seriously ill with diabetes. The doctors recommended to have his leg amputated, but the operation did not save his life. He died in February 1988. His friend and fellow musician Costel Vasilescu (also known as Costel Trompetistu') took care of the funeral.
Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, and damage to the eyes.
Although he played a lot of the "popular" music that was promoted by the communist regime, Toni Iordache remained known among aficionados especially for his work as a lăutar. His solos were very complex, but also clear and beautiful and his improvisations were full of imagination. He was not only a very virtuoso player (he was measured in Paris to be able to play 25 notes per second),but also a very sophisticated one, with a high emphasis on touch, playing the slow pieces with great sensibility. He was able to play two melodic lines simultaneously at high tempos and knew how to use the full capacities of the cimbalom.
Sergiu Celibidache was a Romanian conductor, composer, musical theorist, and teacher. Educated in his native Romania, and later in Paris and Berlin, Celibidache's career in music spanned over five decades, including tenures as principal conductor for the Munich Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Sicilian Symphony Orchestra and several European orchestras. Later in life, he taught at Mainz University in Germany and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The 1977 Vrancea earthquake occurred on 4 March 1977, at 21:22 local time, and was felt throughout the Balkans. It had a magnitude of 7.2, making it the second most powerful earthquake recorded in Romania in the 20th century, after 10 November 1940 seismic event. The epicenter was situated in the Vrancea Mountains, the most seismically active part of Romania, at a depth of 94 km.
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The cimbalom is a type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top. It is a musical instrument commonly found in the group of Central-Eastern European nations and cultures, namely contemporary Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. It is also popular in Greece and in gypsy music. The cimbalom is (typically) played by striking two beaters against the strings. The steel treble strings are arranged in groups of 4 and are tuned in unison. The bass strings which are over-spun with copper, are arranged in groups of 3 and are also tuned in unison. The Hornbostel–Sachs musical instrument classification system registers the cimbalom with the number 314.122-4,5. Moreover, the instrument name “cimbalom” also denotes earlier, smaller versions of the cimbalom, and folk cimbaloms, of different tone groupings, string arrangements, and box types.
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