George Enescu is probably Romania’s best-known musician.
But few realize that Romania is not only famous for its violinists like Enescu who composed the Romanian rhapsody. It also also has a long tradition of manufacturing violins.
Eurostat figures released Friday show that Romania exported 14,000 violins last year making it the largest EU exporter of violins to the rest of the world.
Denmark comes next with 12,200 violins, followed by Germany which exported 6,400 violins and Britain which sold 5,000 instruments abroad.
Many violins are crafted in Reghin, a town of 30,000 in northwest Romania which is famous worldwide for stringed instruments.
The Hora musical instruments factory manufactures stringed and other instruments since 1951 and local entrepreneur Vasile Gliga started a business in 1991 which now exports thousands of violins to the U.S. and elsewhere. Gliga was a lawmaker for the Social Democratic Party between 2008 and 2016 and received a suspended prison sentence in 2015 for corruption-related charges.
WHERE DO EXPORTS GO?
About half of the EU exports go to the U.S. and South Korea, followed by Japan, Canada and Australia, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
Eurostat said European Union members exported 105,000 violins last year at a value of 23.3 million euros.
About half the exports went to markets in other EU countries, while exports are down 7% since 2013.
EU members imported 234,000 violins last year, worth 15.7 million euros, 82% of which came from outside the bloc, while imports from other member states went up 27% in the last five years.
Great Britain is the bloc’s greater importer, buying 71,300 violins from outside the bloc.
And where do they come from? EU members imported 99 % of the stringed instruments from China.
Figures were published by Eurostat to mark World Violin Day.
MUSIC IN THE DARK
In other violin-related news, organizers said a concert called ‘Bach Unseen’ will be held at the Sibiu State Philharmonic on December. 20.
The concept is the creation of visual artist Cristina Bobe and violinist Valentin Serban, and it will be the first classical music concert in the dark to be held in Romania.