Born in 1937, Irina Odagescu graduated from The National University os Music (composition section) in 1963. She also attended the international courses of Weimar in 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972, and Darmstadt in 1972 and 1976.
Odagescu has been awarded for her work on several occasions. She received the prize of the Romanian Composers and Musicologists five times in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1986, and 1988. She won the silver medal at the international polimusic contest of Ibague in Columbia in 1981. She received the medal and diploma of the Viotti international composition contest of Valsesia de la Vercelli, Italy in 1982, for one and two instruments. She also was awarded the I. G. N. M. prize at the World Days of Music in Graz in 1982.
Extremely active in her field, Odagescu has delivered conferences and made scientific reports, radio, and television broadcasts. In March 1992, she delivered a conference at the University of Pau, France, on her musical creation and the aesthetic principles she applies. She has also published the following two didactic works in collaboration: Practical Studies for Reading in Keys for Two Voices (1972), and Practical Studies for Reading in Old Choral Keys (1982). Her musical creations include symphonic vocal music, symphonic and chamber music, instrumental and choral music, and film music. Her works have been performed in many countries of Europe, America, and Asia. The most recent performance was at the Eighth Congress of Women Composers in Bilbao, Spain, in 1992.
In most of her music pieces, Irina Odagescu shows interest in achieving a blend of world music traditions and the contemporary trends. This blend falls into modalism enriched with serial structures. Odagescu uses a composition technique which allows her to express the most diverse affections, especially in symphonic vocal and choral music, in which melopea of a modal type often alternates with ample polyphonic and harmony developments.
In her choral poem “The Pyre of Bread,” dedicated to the tragic events of 1907, when the Romanian peasants rebelled in order to get their own bread, Irina Odagescu employs a very modern style in conception and in graphics. Each of the score pages shows very new signs which can best suggest her intentions.
Her choreographic poem “Tall Song” has been performed in several ballet performances of the Bucharest Opera. It is made up of two parts: “Calling” and “Summits.” This piece obviously appeals to spiritual heights to be attained by artists. The ascent is not always crowned with success, but the work appeals to those who, by perseverance and belief, finally achieve “the heights” on behalf of mankind.