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Iancu Dumitrescu

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Biography

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

Dumitrescu received a master’s degree in composition in Bucharest; Alfred Mendelsohn 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, 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 Horatiu Radulescu and the French composers of the spectral school.

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 different way from the French.”[1]

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