Iancu Dumitrescu

From Unearthing The Music

Iancu Dumitrescu in his home (2019). Still from "Sound Archive Iancu Dumitrescu: 70's - 80's"

Iancu Dumitrescu (born 15 July 1944) is a Romanian avant-garde composer.

Life and works

Dumitrescu was born in Sibiu, Romania. He received a master's degree in composition in Bucharest; Alfred Mendelssohn was among his teachers, and the one who introduced him to the music — then forbidden in Romania — of Schoenberg and Webern. Later, he studied conducting and philosophy with Sergiu Celibidache; Celibidache led Dumitrescu to an engagement with the philosophy of Edmund Husserl and an effort to apply the principles of phenomenology to music.[1]

He began composing his mature works in the early 1970s. In 1976 he founded the Hyperion Ensemble, which he describes as "a multimedia group dedicated to experimental music". Several of Dumitrescu's early works for solo contrabass were recorded by the noted avant-garde bassist Fernando Grillo.

Dumitrescu has composed a large body of works for acoustic instruments and ensembles as well as works combining acoustic and electronic sounds and works composed entirely using tape or computer. In its emphasis on long tones that undergo transformations of timbre, Dumitrescu's music can be loosely grouped with that of Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi and with the spectral music of fellow Romanian Horațiu Rădulescu and the French composers of the spectral school.

Iancu Dumitrescu with a poster for a 1989 performance at the Grand Auditorium of the Maison de la Radio France. Still from "Sound Archive Iancu Dumitrescu: 70's - 80's"

Dumitrescu describes his music as "acousmatic" but disclaims a relationship with the Acousmatic music of French musique concrete pioneer Pierre Schaeffer. He accepts the "spectralist" label, though he distinguishes his work from some others in the spectral school in that it is not serial. "I think of myself as a spectralist, but in completely a different way from the French".[2]

Dumitrescu is also the founder and artistic director of the International Music Festivals of Computer Assisted Music, Acousmania, Musica Nova, Musica Viva, the International Spectral Music Festival, and Spectrum XXI, held annually in three European capitals. Edition Modern, a contemporary music recording label run by Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram in partnership with ReR MegaCorp, has released more than 40 CDs since its founding in 1990. [4]

Dumitrescu was married to fellow composer Ana-Maria Avram (1961-2017); they have more than 20 joint CD releases on their Edition Modern label. Recordings of Dumitrescu's works have also been released by Edition RZ, ReR Megacorp, Generations Unlimited, and other record labels. He is represented by Editions Salabert.

Selected works

Dumitrescu's oeuvre includes over 400 pieces[3], in all musical genres: music for soloists, chamber music, symphonic music, electronic, computer-assisted or mixed music. Some important pieces include:

  • "Apogeum" (I) - (II), for orchestra
  • “Alternate] (I) - (II)”, string quartet
  • “Diachronies (I) - (II)”, for piano solo
  • "Le Jeu de la Genese" for two pianos
  • “Multiple (I-VII)” (new rhythmic project), for various percussion groups
  • “Orion (I) - (II)”, for 3 percussion groups
  • “Movemur et sumus”, for string instruments
  • "Perspectives at Movemur", string quartet
  • "Zenith" for percussion
  • "Nimbus", for trombones (horns), chamber ensemble and electronic tape
  • "Cogito / Trompe l'Oeil", music
  • "Great Bear", for the whole room and electronic sources
  • "Aulodie mioritică", music for double bass and orchestra
  • "Hozwege", Heideger's homage to solo rape
  • “Reliefuri”, for piano soloist and two orchestras
  • "Symphonic bas-reliefs" for the orchestra
  • "Galaxy", music for harryphono, metal plates and microprocessor
  • "Monade" (I) - (II), for handmade monochords
  • "Gnosis" for solo bass
  • "Orbit of Uranus", for the whole
  • "A Priori", music for the ensemble
  • "Mythos", music for the ensemble
  • "Mnemosine", for octobas flute, bass saxophone, percussion, prepared piano, amplified drums
  • “Profondis”, for clarinet, bass clarinet and orchestra
  • "Origo", for cello soloist
  • "Pierres sacrées", music for prepared pianos and metal objects
  • "Meteors and Pulsars", computer-assisted music
  • "Puls and Universe Reborn", computer-assisted music
  • "Eon (II) - Dance an absolute disorder", for instruments and computer
  • “Temps condensés” (I), (II), (III) chamber music
  • "Soleil explosant" computer music
  • "New Meteors", computer music
  • "Oiseaux céléstes", computer music
  • "Colossus", for computer instruments and sounds.
  • "Numérologie Secrète", mixed music for ensemble and computer sounds,
  • "Remote Pulsar" mixed music for ensemble and computer sounds,
  • "Le Silence d'Or" (I) computer music
  • "Le Silence d'Or" (II) mixed music for all instruments and computer sounds,
  • "Spectrum" (I) string quartet,
  • "Spectrum" (II) for solo cello,
  • "Focus" (I) for solo cello and percussion



  1. Cosma, Octavian. "Iancu Dumitrescu". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.
  2. dumitrescu.english.html Archived 3 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Sound Archive Iancu Dumitrescu: 70's - 80's.
  4. Miller Theatre Bio

External links

Partially adapted from the Romanian Wikipedia.