The Romanian-French composer Horațiu Rădulescu (born 7 Jan 1942 in Bucharest, died 25 Sept 2008 in Paris) is best known for the spectral technique of composition which he developed since the late 1960s.
He studied the violin privately with Nina Alexandrescu, a pupil of George Enescu, and later studied composition at the Bucharest Academy of Music (MA 1969), where his teachers included Niculescu, Tiberiu Olah and Aurel Stroe, some of the leading figures of the newly emerging avant garde. Upon graduation Rădulescu left Romania for the west, and settled in Paris.
One of the first works to be completed there (though the concept had come to him in Romania) was 'Credo' for nine cellos, the first work to employ his spectral techniques. This technique "comprises variable distribution of the spectral energy, synthesis of the global sound sources, micro- and macro-form as sound-process, four simultaneous layers of perception and of speed, and spectral scordaturae, i.e. rows of unequal intervals corresponding to harmonic scales." In the early 1970s he attended classes given by John Cage, György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis at the Darmstadt summer courses, and by Luc Ferrari and Mauricio Kagel in Cologne; later, from 1979 to 1981, he studied computer-assisted composition and psycho-acoustics at IRCAM.
Radulescu's spectral techniques, as they evolved through the 1970s and beyond, are quite distinct from those of his French contemporaries Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. He has a large catalogue of works (spanning more than 100 compositions), including six string quartets, five piano sonatas, a piano concerto, and many works for unconventional ensembles.
In 1974, Radulescu became a citizen of France, having lived in Paris since 1969. In the mid-1990s he moved to Switzerland, living first in Clarens and later in Vevey.
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