EXPIRED: 07/06/10 – Simion Stanciu, 60, aka Syrinx, was born in Bucharest, Romania. His dad played the cello and his brothers all took up an instrument of equal prestige. He was surrounded by music so he – of course – studied as well, first playing the piano and then taking on the violin. Then, as most teenage kids start rebelling and doing something against the norm, so did Stanciu. At the age 14, he took up the panpipe!
And he stuck with it for 46 years.
His natural abilities at mastering the classics allowed him to play transcriptions of famous works on a panpipe with utter conviction. Usually only used in folk music, people thought panpipes were a joke, but Stanciu made people sit up and take notice! Over the years, he has performed with such renowned ensembles as I Solisti Veneti, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Mozarteum Salzburg and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
He chose his stage name, which not only signifies the nymph Syrinx in ancient Greek mythology, but also the Pan flute itself.
He made a few records in his home country of Romania, something the government hardly allowed, and then blossomed after he defected to Western Europe.
Not only did Stanciu play baroque and Classical instrumental concerts from Vivaldi, Bach, and Mozart, he also collaborated with The Moody Blues and YES, and performed the soundtrack for the film Quest for Fire.
Later in life he settled in Geneva, Switzerland and founded the Pan flute school Akademie Syrinx.
So next time you see a set of panpipes in a flea market or garage sale – remember, you coulda had a career!