Romanian composer and musicologist
(Simeria, 17 May 1908 – Cluj-Napoca, 3 July 1991)
He completed his university studies at the Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Art in Cluj Napoca (1926-1930, the pedagogical section; 1926-1932, the piano section; 1930-1936, the composition section), where he had among his teachers Marţian Negrea (composition) and Ecaterina Fotino Negru (piano). He attented specialization courses in Italy, at Rome, at the Academia Santa Cecilia (1936-1938) – with Ildebrando Pizetti (composition) and Alfredo Casella (piano) – and, at the same time, at the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra (1936-1938) – organ and religious composition.
He worked as a music teacher in Blaj (1932-1943), then he was hired as assistant-corepetitor at the Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Art Cluj / Timişoara (1 February 1943). After the war, he became artistic secretary of the “Ardealul” Philharmonic in Cluj (1945-1949) and remained professor of theory-solfeggio-dictation (1946-1949), harmony, counterpoint, fugue, forms, composition (1949-1955) and (only) composition (between 1955 and 1973) at the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Conservatory in Cluj. Between 1962 and 1965 he was also the Rector of the afore mentioned institution. He managed the composition department (1965-1973) and remained consulting professor from 1973 to 1991.
Between 1971 and 1974 he was also director of the State Philharmonic in Cluj Napoca.
He was awarded the title of Doctor in musicology (Rome, 14 November 1938) by the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra, based on his work entitled The Transcription and Analysis of a Few Unknown Youth Works Signed by G. Fr. Anerio. His Doctor’s diploma was released in February 1970, after the publication of an excerpt from his thesis in “Bollettino Ceciliano”, no.2, 1969. As a consequence, starting with 1970 he was entrusted – for the first time in Romania, in Cluj Napoca – with the scientific supervision of the doctoral studies in musical stylistics.
He was member of the Academy of Social and Political Sciences (1970-1989) and correspondent member of the Romanian Academy (from March 1991).
His creative activity was rewarded with numerous distinctions: the second “George Enescu” Composition Prize (1940); the “Robert Cremer” Prize (1943); the State Prize (1953, 1955); prizes of the Composers’ Union (1973, 1976, 1978). In 1957 he got the title Emeritus Master of Arts and in 1974 the “George Enescu” Prize of the Romanian Academy. In 1983 he was awarded the Grand Prize of the Composers’ Union.
Along Sigismund Toduţă’s three creative periods one distinguishes tendencies of merging the Gregorian and Byzantine religious intonations and the Romanian folkloric ones and of joining them to the whole of the grand forms of European music. One can find elements of new renaissance and new baroque orientations in the first creative period, while the last period turns towards heterophony and an intensely chromaticized modalism. We can also notice an elaborative style of a symphonic nature and a tendency towards polyphonic articulation. Sigismund Toduţă has an obvious inclination towards the cultivation of grand forms, without excluding the instrumental, vocal or choral miniature. He was the first Romanian composer who, after George Enescu and Paul Constantinescu, attained a genuinely personal style.
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