Felicia Donceanu

“Felicia Donceanu studied composition at the Conservatory of Bucharest from 1949 to 1956 with the great Romanian composers Paul Constantinescu and Mihail Jora. She has delivered conferences, taught lessons, played in concerts, made broadcasts, wrote articles, and authored verses for songs and choirs. She has also composed vocal symphonic music, much chamber music, choral music, music for children, and a great number of lieds.

Felicia Donceanu has also received several prizes. She received honorable mention at the international composition contest of Mannheim in 1961. In 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1988, Donceanu won the prize of the Romanian Composers and Musicians Union. She was also awarded the George Enescu prize of the Romanian Academy in 1984.

Not only is Donceanu a recognized composer, but she is also an accomplished artist whose scope comprises plastic art and poetry. Her music is highly poetic, for the composer feels that the spell of poetic verse should be extended into music. Other characteristics of Donceanu’s music include pride of place and integrated voices in rich polyphony. One of her most important works is a set of lieds, written in 1984, for soprano and chamber orchestra. These lieds were inspired by the poems of the eighteenth century poet, Enachitza Vacarescu. Using instruments favored during Vacarescu’s time, the composer created a sonorous environment of the eighteenth century with the flute, lute, viola da gamba, spinet, and percussion instruments. The piece which concludes the cycle of four songs is entitled “Testament” and is meant to ensure the destiny of the Romanian people and language. It was for this cycle that Donceanu received the 1984 Enescu Prize.” (Irina Odagescu)

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