Mugur Gideon Doroftei
Mugur Doroftei, violinist, composer, arranger, and conductor of the Keene Camerata Orchestra in Texas, was born in Bucharest, Romania. At age sixteen he became principal violinist with the Constantza, Romania, opera orchestra. He subsequently completed a master's degree in music from the Ciprian Porombescu Conservatory of Music and a Ph.D. from the Music Academy of Bucharest.
While living in Romania, Doroftei was a member of several of the country's orchestras, including the Philharmonic Orchestra in Ploiesti, two orchestras in Bucharest, and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Botsani. He also composed musical settings for a number of Romanian folk poems and authored music theory and solfeggio and ear training textbooks. Since being in the States, he has written a book on teaching violin and another on music theory, Music Theory Made Clear (2000).
When Doroftei and his family emigrated to the United Sates in 1980, they could bring only fifty pounds of luggage for each family member. Because of this restriction, he had to leave behind over forty of his Romanian folk poetry musical settings. Although he is fluent in Russian and French, when he arrived in the U.S., he had a very limited knowledge of English.
The Doroftei's initially settled in New York City, where he played with the Queens Symphony Orchestra for a year, before the family moved to Keene, Texas. He was hired as an adjunct faculty member at Southwestern Adventist College, later University, and established the Keene Camerata, a string orchestra, which provides a performance opportunity for string players at Southwestern Adventist University and others in the community. The orchestra has played numerous times in the region and toured in the Caribbean in 1988 and Europe in 2002.
Doroftei performs often and has traveled to Europe as a recitalist. Although not a full-time teacher at SWAU, he is listed as an artist in residence and adjunct teacher in violin and piano.
Sources: Charlotte Henderson, "Great Talents Combine," Southwestern Spirit, SWAU alumni magazine, Fall 2002, 5; The Chronicle of Southwestern Adventist College, Mary Ann Hadley, editor, 1994, 190, 204; U.S. Congressional Record, 2 March 1992 (excerpted in CSWAC, 210). This biography has been used in Keene Camerata printed programs since it was first created for the IAMA biography project in 2007.