In January, he gave a recital in London, "a few days after they executed the dictator (Nicolae Ceausescu).
"We donated all the proceeds to a newly formed committee for the (Romanian) people who had suffered and who needed immediate help. I was very glad to do it. All the ex-Romanian artists in Europe are doing the same. . . .
"I don't have many good things to say about the state where I was born. I only would add, I don't have resentments. I don't take it personally. There were many other people suffering, and everyone was suffering in silence. . . .
"(But) I would like very much to go back and remind the people there that we haven't forgotten them, that they have a better future and that things will get better.
"Obviously, they are still suffering the consequences of the upheaval. It is not easy for them to (transform) a totalitarian system to a democratic one. They've never known the meaning of freedom. It will take time."
Sergiu Schwartz will be soloist with music director Ami Porat and the Mozart Camerata in Bruch's First Violin Concerto at 8 p.m. on Saturday at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Road, in Newport Beach. Tickets: $18. Information: (714) 634-8276.