Make your own free website on

Iancu Dumitrescu (born 1944) is one of the leading personalities of contemporary music, embracing both composition and interpretation. He studied with Sergiu Celibidache musical phenomenology and conducting.

Dumitrescu received a master's degree in composition in Bucharest; Alfred Mendelssohn was among his teachers. 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.

He began composing his mature works in the early 1970's. In 1976 he founded the Hyperion Ensemble, a group dedicated to experimental music.

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.

His compositions are based on ultraspectralism and acousmatics from a phenomenological point of view, in which sound is subject to analysis and dissociation, processes which confer a genuine force of suggestion and penetration.

His music is edited by Editions Salabert (Paris), Escargot-CBS (Paris), ReR Megacorp (London), Gerig Musikverlage (Koln), Generation Unlimited (New York) etc. Major works: "Alternations", "Movemur et Sumus", "Medium III", "Perspectives au Movemur", "Apogeum", "Aulodie Mioritica", "Reliefs", "Cinq Implosions", "Ursa Major", "Cogito / Trompe l"Oeil", "Mythos", "A Priori", "Zenith", "Harryphonies", "Astrée lointaine", "Soleil explosant", "Oiseaux celestes", "Colossus", "Bolids and contemplations", "Objet sonore mysterieux" ...

He has been commissioned by, among others, "Radio France", "Art ZOYD", the "Kronos Quartet and the French Ministry of Culture, Musiques Nouvelles, London Sinfonietta, etc...

He is considered to be one of the most important contributors to the Spectral Music trend.


* "In the world of Romanian contemporary music, rich and varied as it is, there can surely be no more radical or daringly original a personality than Iancu Dumitrescu. At forty, he has confirmed himself in the triple role of composer, conductor and producer, and finally of writer, as a vital force in new music, not only in Romania but on the international scene. As leader of the Hyperion Ensemble, which he founded in 1976 and has run ever since - a group comprising some of the most  brilliant instrumentalists of Romania - he has expounded throughout Europe not only his own most important works but also those of other representatives of the most forward looking wing of Romanian music. For a music that uncompromisingly addresses the future, opening us to an entirely  new and unheard universe of sound, Iancu Dumitrescu's art is nonetheless grounded in tradition, and nourished on the fertile resources of the Romanian land. He exemplarily embodies a school, unique in the world, which has found in its own ancestral roots the means to go forwards in the spirit of the utmost adventure. Thus has grown a music that is absolutely new, and yet accessible, comprehensible, and far from all abstract speculation and laboratory experiment - a music that draws its new sonorities from fundamentally simple and "natural" means, without recourse to "heavy" IRCAM - type technologies. A bit of electro-acoustics, some amplification, a synthesizer or two, very little surely, alongside the work being done here on the radical renewal of the instrumental sound itself. For all that this emphatically micro-intervallic music is constantly exploding the boundaries of the tempered scale, it never sounds "dissonant"; it simply pursues its search for the most remote harmonics in the spectrum. The new Romanian  school,  with Iancu Dumitrescu at the forefront, is not alone in its search  for a similar spectral approach - hyper-consonant, hyperharmonic, in the real sense of these terms - as we find parallel tendencies in the young French school of the Groupe de l`Itinéraire, amongst  the  young Canadians (the late lamented C. Vivier, M. G. Brégent, J. Rea) or the Italians (C. Ambrosini, A. Brizzi etc.). The Romanians, working for so long in relative isolation, are in right to claim a certain seniority in this approach that lead with Iancu Dumitrescu's to a real spectral analysis of the interior of the sound, equivalent to a kind of nuclear fission. The great predecessor in this direction, whose importance is just beginning to be recognized as he celebrates his eightieth birthday, is the Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi. In such a "spectral" and hyperconsonant music as that of Iancu Dumitrescu, we seem to recognize ceaselessly fragments, echoes of folkloric melodies, songs and ancestral calls of the  Carpatian shepherds. And that because the folk instruments also elude the compromise of the temperate scale in order to render the natural scale of the harmonics. The spectre thus contains thousands of virtual melodies that fleeting embody themselves according to the meeting or the crossing of the harmonic columns. Folk music is thus a sonorous phenomenon both natural and cultural. Starting with the brilliant forerunner George Enescu, the whole Romanian school has used its pure resources, fructifying and transfiguring them. This was the case with Iancu Dumitrescu's masters: Stefan Niculescu and Aurel Stroe, while Alfred Mendelson inculcated him the basic classical craft and Sergiu Celibidache's pre-cious advices helped him to clarify his phenomenological conception of musical composition. Iancu Dumitrescu's works situate themselves far from the traditional concepts, not only regarding sound, but also form and structure. His main works introduce the concept of acousmatic, Socratic term designing the art of hiding the essence of the sound source, of disguising its origin. Based on the intimate exploration of the secret, hidden, parameters of the sonorous phenomenon, his music extracts its formal models out of the inner structure of the sound, in a perfect correspondence of micro- and macrostructure. This phenomenological approach of the compositional proceeding implies both a great confidence in the intuitive dimension of the invention and a permanent, indispensable, intellectual lucidity. Composing becomes thus a surgeon or biologist-like attitude, working directly on the sonorous plasma, on the living and mobile substance. This attitude extends to the several parameters of the sound, especially to a system of duration organization that confers each number a rhythm that bears its own aesthetics, ethics and poignancy. As Time, the only sonorous parameter also existing outside the sound, is equally the one who implies all the rest: pitches, timbres and intensities are evaluated by means of vibrations, periods, and, thus, time. Iancu Dumitrescu's predilection for grave instruments (double bass, bassoon, trombone, tuba etc.) is explained by the fact that they possess the most complete column of harmonics, the richest and most beautiful spectrum. The acoustical principles evoked above otherwise permit rendering almost unrecognizable the instrumental sources. Thus, in "Ursa Mare ", the two bassoons are prepared, by introducing foreign objects in the wholes and clefts. Additionally, the instrumentalists must play with the upper part of the instrument stuck to the membrane of the big drum, which prolongs and modifies the harmonics. The bassoon has thus at its disposal an original scale of micro-intervals. Some of Iancu Dumitrescu's important works exist in several variants which differ by their instrumentation. Finished in 1983, this recorded version of "Ursa Mare", the most complete regarding the instrumental force, uses two prepared bassoons, four double basses, one piano (also prepared), an ensemble of percussion (membranes and metals) and, finally, a magnetic tape.

The work is dedicated to Harry Halbreich. From the beginning of his career, Iancu Dumitrescu made himself known through orchestral pages of amazing novelty, where most of his nowadays achievements were more than prefigured. "Apogeum" (for winds and percussion), "Reliefs" (for two orchestras and piano) count among the major pages of the new Romanian orchestral music. Invigorated by the experiences acquired in the long years of practicing with his musicians in the Hyperion Ensemble and with the great Italian double bass player Fernando Grillo, Iancu Dumitrescu composed "Aulodie Mioritica", first for clarinet and orchestra, and then for other soloists. The double bass solo and orchestra version ("Aulodie Mioritica" Gamma), dedicated to and created by Fernando Grillo, was finished in June 1984 and performed for the first time soon after its ending, at Radio France, by the latter, accompanied by the Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique conducted by Yves Prin. The orchestra is a relatively limited one (couples of winds, strings in Mozart formula), but with an important percussion section. Due to the composer's acousmatic conceptions, this so familiar and traditional ensemble is renoveled through a total denaturation of timbres and sonorities, whose strangeness rivals with the double bass solo. The latter gathers the technical and sonorous conquests of the performer and of the composer in effects of extraordinary  novelty.  But, faithful to the chosen title (the term of aulodie, gene-  rally reserved to the wind instruments, is justified by the very pregnant use of harmonics and of flautando sounds on the double bass!), the composer offers us a trans-figured, highly stylized vision of the ancestral Carpathian shepherds, in the spirit of the most beautiful and most moving Romanian  folk ballad: " Miorita " ."


Press fragments :

*... " The music of Iancu DUMITRESCU explores the ultimate sense of sound guiding the listener through new spheres of sonic adventure, a kind of cryptical music. Based on the idea of "acousmatique" a socratic term meaning the intimate exploratioon of sonic phenomenon, his music takes its formal models from the very structure of sound, with a perfect relationship between micro - and macro-structure, this phenomenological approach to the act of composing implies at the same time a very good confidence in the intuitive dimention of discovery. The young generation of romanian composers headed by Iancu Dumitrescu ave a unique position through their development of the "spectral sound" music, using almost only acousmatical instruments. Dumitrescu and his colleague Horatio Radulescu have awaked new attention to this until now almost unknown Romanian music. Similar tendences are to be found in the music of the Italan composers - Giacinto Scelsi, Mario Bertoncini and the late Francesco Evangelisti ( Gruppo di Improvizazione Nuova Consonanza), also in the music of the late Greec composer, Jani Christou..."

Robert ZANK "Edition RZ", 1988, Berlin

*" IANCU DUMITRESCU. In the realms of the avant-garde ( red: serious, weird and innovative clasical music ) the countries of Eastern Europe have been notorious as burgeoners of the most experimental and creative talents. Probably best known of all is György Ligeti, along with innumerable other Hungarian and Czechoslovakian talents in the realms of electronic music.

The composer under discussion here however, hails from Romania and is the creator of some of the most radical and inventive music.

Born in 1944, it"s obvious that the political and social climate in Romania had profound influence on his perception of music, and later after studies with one Sergiu Celibidache, he began to experiment with aesthetics of sound creation, manipulation, and harmonic mutilation. In 1976 he formed the HYPERION ENSEMBLE to realise his works(...) .

These early orchestrated works are quite reminiscent of Ligeti"s similar dissonant ensemble pieces, often sounding as electronic as orchestral. Intriguing, but only hinting at the radical work to come.

A major step forward in his realisation of truly bombastic sonic disintegration was realised by the co-operation of the experimental bassist Fernando Grillo ( also known for an album on the Cramps label ), who seems capable of coaxing the most impossible sounds out of his instrument. The work Cogito / Trompe l"Oeil is an excellent example of this in a more atmospheric Stockhausen - like manner, whereas MEDIUM III features same of the most awesome brain-numbing sonic effects I"ve heard. Many of the works from this era came to light via releases on the German Edition RZ label , revealing to the world a sonic creator of unique talent.

As a creator of radical music that breaks convention, riding on the edge of the classical avant-garde onto realms more closely associated with the likes of Nurse With Wound or The Halfer Trio, IANCU DUMITRESCU has the talent to lure you in, mystify and startle with unnerving furiousity..."

Alan FREEMAN "AUDION" , Leicester March 1993


Ana-Maria Avram

Composer, pianist and conductor, was born in Bucharest in 1961. After graduating from the National Conservatory of Music in Bucharest, she obtained a degree from Paris Sorbonne in 1992. In 1994 she was awarded the Grand Prize in Composition from the Romanian Academy.

Since 1988, Ana-Maria Avram has mentained a close collaboration with Iancu Dumitrescu, but she has also continued to forge her own direction in music. She is considered to be one of the most important Romanian composers of her generation.

Her music is affiliated with the spectral music trend. She represents with Iancu Dumitrescu the Hyper-Spectral trend in contemporary avant-garde music. Conductor with Dumitrescu of the Hyperion Ensemble

Her music is spectral, acousmatic, heterophonic and transformational. She composed since now around 130 works, music for soloists, chamber music, music for orchestra, electronic music and computer assisted music Main works:

"Quatre Etudes d'Ombre" for bass flûte (1992)

"Axe" for cello (1993)

"Métaboles" for bass clarinet (1985)

"Quatre Etudes orphiques" for female voice, electronics and ensemble (2006)

"Nouvelle Axe" for strings (1997)

"In Nomine Lucis" for orchestra (1992)

"Telesma" for clarinet, percussion and computer sounds (2002)

"Chaosmos" for orchestra (1996)

"Lux Animae" for ensemble and computer assisted sounds (2004)

"Voices of the Desert" for ensemble and computer assisted sounds (2005)

" The Endless Burning Fire" for ensemble and computer sounds (2007)

"Un raggio Ardente e di si chiara luce" for strings (2000)

Contribution in musicology:

”Ana Maria Avram and Iancu Dumitrescu” - Musicworks Nr 71, “Being composer” - MusicWorks nr.76 ( 2000);

“Ana-Maria Avram: an adventure in experimental music” an interview with Costin Cazaban, Bananafish, Los Angeles no 15 ( 2001)

Jean-Noël Von Der Weid: “La Musique du XX Siècle” - Paris, Hachette, 2004

Her musics are published by Edition Modern, Electrecord, Artgallery, Radio France

She was performed in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Standford, in Vienna ( in the Wien Modern Festival in 1992 and 1994 ) at Paris ( several times at Radio France and Theatre de la Ville ) in London ( several times at Royal Festival Hall ) Nancy, Allicante, Lisbon, Baden-Baden, Darmstadt, Moscow, Belgarde, Istanbul etc.

Her works has been commissioned by prestigious ensembles such as Kronos Quartet ( San Francisco ) « 20 Jahrhundert » from Vienna, soloists from l'Orchestre National de France, orchestras as Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, Romanian National Orchestra, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, L'Orchestre de Chambre de Roumanie, etc.

« On the Abolition of the Soul » - a Radio France commission was released on a double CD- Radio France, an anthology of Prix Italia since 1949.

PRESS Fragments

Romanian composer IANCU DUMITRESCU and his associate, ANA-MARIA AVRAM, leading figures in the Eastern European school of modern classical music have issued many stunning works through the years, but this is the first to be issued in America.

Los Angeles, sept.1999

« Of the three CD's issued thus far, one also contains three excellent works by a pupil of his: ANA MARIA AVRAM, whose compositional style is every bit as fascinating and innovative, and is certainly a talent to look out for. .. »

Alan FREEMAN "AUDION" , Leicester , March 1993

ANA-MARIA AVRAM recently composed a quartet for Kronos, and followed it up with "Nouvelle Axe", peformed here by the strings of Romania's Hyperion Ensemble, who also work with DUMITRESCU. It's an uncompromising piece with a tendency to noise throughout, drawing blizzards of pizzicato, high - pitched sounds and lots of glissandos from the panoply of avant garde string effects.


Both Avram and Dumitrescu are convinced that if they have been able to open new doors in music, it is because they have made or found precisely those connections between musical activity and inner life that remain unarticulated in conventional musical training. This is not, however, simply a matter of theit philosophy and motivation as artists. The psychological reality if their music is directly grounded in a conception of the acoustic reality of sound.

Tim Hodgkinson, Musicworks No 71, Toronto, Summer 1998

“Works also features three compositions by ANA-MARIA AVRAM, born in Bucharest in 1961. Wonderful to hear music where textural innovations aren't employed to colour pre-existing structures, but evolve form in process. On Zodiaque she plays prepared piano opposite Dumitrescu, a percussionist and magnetic tape.

Seems like these Romanians are engaged in a similar kind of sonic research to that which resulted in the masterpieces of Giacinto Scelsi and Ennio Morricone : collective endeavour, genuine "deep listenning". The results are similarly overpowering a milion miles from the tootling inconsecuence of most of what passes for New Music in the classical world.”

BEN WATSON - The Wire, London May 1995