My House of European History: Together apart. Mobility in times of COVID-19. Octavian’s Story.


‘Together apart. Mobility in times of COVID-19’ is a collection of testimonies about how people experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and especially how it affected their ability to move freely.

It is a project developed jointly by the European Parliament’s ‘My House of European History’ online platform and the House of European History. The House of European History is a forum for learning, reflection and debate that aims to present European History in a way that raises awareness. Visit their official website to learn more about the interesting upcoming transnational collections, exhibitions and events.  

Fifteen people from Italy, Romania and Sweden, with various occupations (artists, teachers, students, parents, seniors, doctors and supermarket workers), at different stages of their lives, share how the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions changed their daily lives following the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020.

Octavian’s Story

‘We missed the people, we missed the audiences, the interaction with them’, says Octavian Lup, a conductor and cellist from Romania. Octavian is a cellist and conductor at the Bucharest’s National Opera. Unaware of what the future might hold, he had planned to perform live with the orchestra. After the beginning of the pandemic, music and culture were affected since concerts and festivals were cancelled.

At this point, Octavian sensed that he needed to fill the void and he decided with his band to create a new project called ‘’New Hope’’, in order to reconnect with people again. They successfully performed for the Fundeni Institute in Bucharest, which is the largest hospital in the country. They dedicated their performance to the heroes of the pandemic, the patients and the medical staff.

The COVID-19 pandemic taught him that nothing could be taken for granted. He discovered, however, that in difficult times, music has the power to bridge any distance and become a real expression of solidarity with those who need it most. Music and art are perceived as a panacea for human emotional or physical pain. They can treat it, soften it and make a huge impact. Being unable to connect with his audience, made him realise how important other things in life are: Quality family time, meditation, introspection and deeper understanding of ourselves.

Are you curious to learn more? Watch Octavian’s full story in the interview he gave for ‘Together apart’ in June 2021. You can select the subtitles of the language of your preference.

In addition, you can find and watch all the stories of the participants in all 24 EU languages on the ‘My House of European History’ platform.

© Images provided by the interviewee to ‘My House of European History’ – 2022

Ioanna Mavridou

Written by Ioanna Mavridou

Ioanna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation from the Ionian University in Corfu and has also studied her Master’s in Communication at Gothenburg University in Sweden. A digital communications enthusiast, she has completed a professional Social Media & Digital Marketing certification. She speaks Greek, English, Swedish, German and Russian. She is a Communications Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament.