Octavian Lazăr Cosma
Octavian Lazăr Cosma (b. 15 februarie 1933, Treznea, Sălaj) is a Romanian musicologist. His parents, teachers Lazăr and Aurelia Cosma were killed during the ‘Treznea Masacre’ in September 1940, an attack over their village by the Horthyst troups after the defeat of the North part of Ardeal. He was married to Elena Cosma, pianist. They are both parents of Mihai Cosma, musicologist. He studied at Blaj School then at the Gheorghe Dima Conservatory in Cluj-Napoca and the N.A. Rimski-Korsakov Conservatory in Leningrad with prof. Mihail Druskin. He has been a Doctor in Musicology since 1972 at the Gheorghe Dima Conservatory in Cluj-Napoca.
He is currently teaching at the National University of Music in Bucharest (academic tutor for the PhD students and musicology), the university where he actually started his teaching career in 1959 (for Aesthetics, Romanian Music History, Musicology). He was granted the title of Academician for the Romanian Academy and numerous Doctor Honoris Causa. He was the first academic tutor for the PhD students that the National University of Music in Bucharest had. He was member in the Universitary Diplomas and Titles National Council. He was chair of the Musicology Department at the National University of Music Bucharest between 1977 and 1985.
He was secretary of the Musicology and Music Critic Department of the Romanian Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union (1963-1993) then Vice-President of the same Union (1993-2005). He was interim president for this Union between 2005 and 2006 and full elected president between 2006 and 2010. He was President of the Romanian Authors’ Unions’ National Alliance. He was Editor-in-Chief for “Muzica” Magazine (1990-2010). He is a member or president in numerous juries for different performing, composing competitions or even for head position occupancies inside the Romanian Ministry of Culture. He is an active member in the Romanian Cultural Institute Administration Council and the Romanian Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union Executive Committee.
He published hundreds of studies and articles for newspapers and magazines in Romania and abroad (U.S.A, formal U.R.S.S., Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany etc.). He was invited as a speaker for hundreds of radio and television shows in Romanian and abroad. He participated to numerous symposiums, conferences, conventions etc., in Romania, U.S.A., formal U.R.S.S., France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Denmark, Irak, Belgium, Holland, formal Yugoslavia, Austria, United Kingdm, Sweden, Norway, Japan etc. He is the author of more than 80 articles about Romanian music and musicians, published in the most important musical dictionary, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
He is Doctor Honoris Causa for “Gheorghe Dima” Conservatory in Cluj-Napoca and “George Enescu” Arts University in Iasi. He is a member of the American Musicological Society. He was granted numerous prizes, from which we mention: The Romanian Academy Prize, several Prizes of the Romanian Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union and Romanian Gouvernment Decorations. He is a Honorary Citizen for the city of Blaj and for his birth place, Treznea. Since 2011 he is a correspondent member for the Romanian Academy (the only musicologist in the Academy’s history that was granted this type of recognition). Octavian Lazăr Cosma and composer Cornel Țăranu are now the only two musician members of the Romanian Academy. Other members of the Romanian Academy that were musicians: folklorists Teodor T. Burada and Constantin Brăiloiu, composers George Enescu, Sigismund Toduță, Sabin Drăgoi, Matei Socor, Ștefan Niculescu.
He wrote the following books (selective list): Romanian Opera (2 volumes); Enescu’s Oedip (1967), Bucharest; Chronicles of the Romanian Music (9 volumes); Chronicles of the Romanian National Opera in Bucharest (1st volume is released); The Romanian Musical Universe – Romanian Composers’ and Musicologists’ Union; Symphonics of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation – 1928-1998; The Bucharest Philharmonic in the light of the music critic – 1921-1945; National University of Music in Bucharest at it’s 140th anniversary (History of the Bucharest Conservatoire) (first 3 volumes); Cluj Romanian Opera – 1919-1999 (2 vol.)