Archives for August2014

Opened towards electroacoustic experiments, tackles the contemporary musical phenomenon from a multimedia perspective, with consistent new music influences, while utilizing both acoustic and electronic sources, hybridized through the latest technologies. The ensemble was founded in 2013 by Cătălin Creţu and Dan Alexandru (both graduates of the National University of Music inBucharest). Dan Alexandru is a percussionist, sound engineer and producer fromBraşov, member of GAME percussion ensemble and various Romanian orchestras and ensembles. Cătălin Crețu specialized in multimedia composition at Hochschule für Musik und Theater inHamburg. He coordinates the Electroacoustic andMultimediaMusicCenterof the National University of Music inBucharest. 

Starting from algorithms realized through various coding mediums, the music made by explores polistylistic expressive areas, alternating modern composition techniques, utilizing complex, sometimes extravagant timbres, overlapping asymmetrical rhythms, spectral harmonies, various polyphonies, all combined in a large improvisational framework in which often invites one or several other musicians to express themselves. The large scale use of new technologies, live processing and audio-visual interactions induce a spectacular aspect in all their concerts. is the melting pot in which contemporary electroacoustic alchemists tame the algorithms and humanize the technology.

Facebook page HERE.

Somnoroase Păsărele

Somnoroase Păsărele, a project that appeared in 2007, represents the musical research of two artists: Gili Mocanu and Elena Albu. Previous experiences have existed since 1992, with GM recording sounds on magnetic tape. The roots of the project rised from contemporary music (Iancu Dumitrescu, David Prescott). Somnoroase Păsărele is derived from the artistic project Bitum that was born in 2005. There have been collaborations with musicians and artists such as Robert Walker (USA), Bogdan Scoromide (RO) and Mugur Grosu (RO). The general tendency was to explore the type of sounds and themes specific to contemporary music, but in a form made more accesible to the younger audiences. Although they avoid the term “experimental”, the result belongs in this area. If in the beginning they played with preparing clasical instruments, mixing natural or analogic sounds and all kinds of  recordings, after 1997 their work started to focus exclusively on the relationship with the computer, studying composition, tone and non-tone, atipical structures, even bypassing the unconventional for obtaining the determinants. What was important in each composition was the search for a meaning, for a round and self-contained construction. Aware of the fact that experimental times are gone, they wanted to go further, so they made up the phrase “conventional experimental”. 

Somnoroase Păsărele produced an album “ABECD” at Baba Vanga Label, that in 2013 was presented with a live performance inPrague,Czech Republic. Then followed different invitations to experimental music festival (Simultan/Timișoara; Dvorak Marathon/Bucharset and Berlin- Konzerthaus).

SoundCloud HERE.

Facebook page HERE.



Somnoroase Păsărele is a unique project, a musical fusion that is a welcome addition to the Romanian contemporary music field.



Sound designer, field recorder and broken tools aficionado, Sillyconductor (Cătălin Matei) wrote music for mute films, fashion shows in Berlin (Fashion Week), Vienna or London, programmed the sound for performances and installations in numerous biennials and festivals in Norway, Spain, Germany, Italy, US etc.

Among the most memorable stuff, he used 100 maneki-neko golden cats  to fathom Ligeti’s mechanical adventures with metronomes, he created the Shuffler – a micro-track ultrafast software that used thousands of images and sounds at colossal speeds, he used automobile sounds to resample orchestral sources, he even conducted birds choirs with the help of a Kinect video-camera, as well as an earthquake and some other things.

SoundCloud HERE.


Ştefan Diaconu

Stefan Diaconu was born in 1990 in Radauti, Romania and started learning piano at the age of 6, then began studying flute at the age of 10 as a student of the “Octav Bancila” National College of Arts in Iasi. During the time spent in Iasi he participated in many national and international competitions where he was awarded a large number of prizes.

He took his bachelor’s degree in both Flute Performance and Orchestral Conducting at the National University of Music in Bucharest, where he studied with prof. Ion Bogdan Stefanescu and prof. Petru Andriesei.

Stefan participated in an Erasmus Exchange project at the “Frederic Chopin” University of Music in Warsaw, Poland in 2011. He studied flute with prof. Agata Igras-Sawicka and conducting with prof. Monika Wolinska, during which time he had the opportunity to discover a large variety of pieces by Polish composers, which he afterwards premiered in Romania. As part of his musical education he took part in many masterclasses with teachers such as  Gerglely Bodoky, Michael Cox, Jean Claude Gerard, Dieter Flury.

Since 2010 he has been collaborating with national and international orchestras and chamber ensembles leading to his debut as a soloist in 2012 with the “George Enescu” National Philharmonic Orchestra of Bucharest.

Guided by prof. Ion Bogdan Stefanescu he discovered his passion for contemporary music and premiered a large number of pieces by both Romanian and international composers. In 2013 he he was invited to perform in a contemporary music festival in South Korea where he premiered compositions by Korean composers.

He broadened his artistic vision by playing with various jazz ensembles, recording movie soundtracks and shows for national radio and television broadcasts. He founded two chamber ensembles, “Silver Sound” flute sextet and “AEROS” woodwind quintet with which he performs at many cultural events.

Alongside being a member of the “Profil” chamber orchestra, “Camerata Regala” orchestra, “Icon Arts” contemporary music ensemble and “Archeus” ensemble he is a permanent principal flute assistant  at the “George Enescu” National Philharmonic Orchestra.


Timsonia 2014

A brand new festival dedicated to contemporary music is launching this October in the lovely Timisoara, conceived and created by two talented young Romanian composers, Gabriel Almasi and Gabriel Malancioiu, with the help of The West University of Timisoara, the Faculty of Music and Theater.

Timsonia International Festival of Contemporary Music is dedicated to the young generations – a very welcome initiative! – and will take place between October 25-28 in Timisoara. The festival will host 4 concerts and 4 lecture sessions, with guests from Romania but also Austria, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Germany and South Korea.

Official website: HERE



25 October,7 p.m., Capitol Hall

Doru Roman & Ensemble Percutissimo

Works by ParkHue, Violeta Dinescu, Miklos Maros, Doina Rotaru

26 October,7 p.m., Capitol Hall

Duo Carillon  & Trio Contraste

Works by Violeta Dinescu, Gabriel Mălăncioiu, Anatol Vieru, Gabriel Almasi

27 October,7 p.m., Orpheum Hall

Mihai Măniceanu & Trio Act

Works by Remus Georgescu, Aurel StroeDan Dediu, Diana Rotaru, Cristian LoleaCristian Bence-Muk, Mihai Măniceanu, Cătălin Creţu 

28 octombrie,7 p.m., Orpheum Hall

Luca Piovesan  & Ansamblul Atem & Alexandra Gutu

Works by Matthias Kranebitter, Francesco Pavan, Nildo Sanvido, Yotam Haber, Filippo Perocco, Gabriel Almasi, Luigi Pizzaleo, Ciprian Ion, Şerban Marcu, Remus Georgescu


25 October,11 a.m., Orpheum Hall

Marosné Kovács Tünde

Flute – extended techniques 

26 October,11 a.m., Orpheum Hall

Mihai Măniceanu, Diana Rotaru, Cristian Bence-Muk, Şerban Marcu,  Ciprian Ion, Gabriel Mălăncioiu, Matthias Kranebitter, ParkHue

Composers presenting their own works

27 October, 11, a.m., Orpheum Hall

Cătălin Creţu, Gabriel Almasi, Luigi Pizzaleo

Aspects of electronic music 

28 October,11 a.m., Orpheum Hall

Luca Piovesan

Accordion – new techniques used in contemporary music

Cristian Lolea

Film music

Ecaterina Banciu

Lecturer professor Ph. Dr. Ecaterina Banciu has been a faculty member of the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy in Cluj since 2002, actively involved in musicological research and teaching and herself an alumna of the Academy. She has published various articles, studies and two books (Aesthetic Archetypes of the Ethos-Affectionate Relationship in the History of Music – Editura MediaMusica, Cluj-Napoca, 2006; Musicological Itineraries: Mozart, Puccini, Toduţă, Terényi – Editura MediaMusica, Cluj-Napoca, 2009) and History of Music (Module of study for University Studies by Distance Learning) – Ed. MediaMusica, Cluj-Napoca, 2009). 

Her research interests cover topics such as hermeneutics. As an example we have the following study - Hermeneutic Aspects of Cornel Ţăranu’s Chamber Work ‘Oreste & Oedipus’ (2007). Shw wrote articles on Mozart’s works: Shakespeare’s Spirit in Mozart’s Works (2004); The Minuet in Mozart’s Chamber Works (2005), The Clarinet in Mozart’s Works (2006), The obsession of a theme:. „La ci darem la mano” by Mozart (2010); Romantic music: Stylistic perspectives of the Valse: chamber, symphonic and coreographic (2009), Behind Manfred – Byron, Schumann and Tchaikovsky (2010); postromantic music: Ist dies etwa derTod? – Vier letzte Lieder by Richard Strauss (2011); veristic opera: The enigma of Puccini -Turandot; Romanian contemporary music: Ovid’s effigy in Sigismund Toduţă’s Third Symphony (2004); Toduţă antiques (2007); Ede Terényi and the four Seasons (2005), Ede Terényi: Tribute for Mozart (2008), Sigismund Toduţă’s Choir Works – Cluj premiere (2008); musical archetypes: From “Viersuri de dor” to “Ciaccona”. Vasile Herman, co-author: Gabriel Banciu (2009), Enesco’s echos: „Rimembranza” for orchestra by Cornel Ţăranu, co-author Gabriel Banciu, Syntactic-semantic aspects in “Ethos 1″ and “Solstice” by Adrian Pop (2012);Intended repertoire: “Star of the day” by Tudor Jarda a choreographic poem with chorus and narrator (2012), Through the Maze of Word Processing (2013) and The history of a forgotten Passacaglia: end of the 3rd Symphony, „Ovidiu” by Sigismund Toduţă (2013).

Florin Estefan

Baritone Florin Estefan was born in Oradea on April 10, 1982. In 2004 he graduated the University of Music in Oradea, where he studied with professor PhD Alexandru Farcas and assistant professor PhD Gheorghe Mogosan. As a second-year student, at the age of 20 years, he was offered a position as soloist with the Romanian National Opera in Cluj, where he was employed for four years. 

He participated in numerous competitions including: The International Singing Competition Hariclea Darclee (First Prize), Toti dal Monte International Competition (Special Prize), Ionel Perlea International Festival of Lied (Grand Prix), Sabin Dragoi International Competition (Grand Prix) and the National Festival of Romanian Lied (where he received the Award of Excellence for promoting the Romanian Lied). 

During his career Florin Estefan has performed on numerous stages, both in Romania and abroad (Greece, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Japan, United States, Australia and the UK).

Vocal symphonic repertoire includes: L. van Beethoven (9th Symphony), J. Haydn (Cecilien Messe), W.A. Mozart (Requiem), G. Rossini (Petite Messe Solenelle), C. Orff (Carmina Burana). 

A few roles from the opera repertoire of Florin Estefan’s work are: Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni) – Mozart, Cosi fan Tutte (Gugliermo) – Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro (Count Almaviva and Figaro) – Mozart, Il Matrimonio Segretto (Il Conte Robinson) – Cimarosa, Iphigenia in Aulis (Agamemnon) – Gluck, Lucia di Lammermoor (Enrico) – Donizetti, Don Pasquale (Malatesta) – Donizetti, L’Elisir d’Amore (Belcore) – Donizetti, Il Barbiere di Sevilla (Figaro) – Rossini, La Boheme (Marcello) – Puccini, Madama Butterfly (Sharpless) – Puccini, La Traviata (Germont) – Verdi, Il Trovatore (Il Conte di Luna), etc. 

In 2006 he starred in the filmed version of the opera The boss, by A. Sienberger, and had a secondary role in Transylvania, directed by French director Tony Gatlif (a film nominated for the Cannes International Film Festival). 

Florin Estefan graduated in December 2007 at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice, having as professor of singing the famous tenor Dennis O`Neill, and participated in numerous courses of artistic mastery of renowned personalities in opera music: Dennis O’Neill, Sherrill Miles, Ileana Cotrubas, Dame Ann Murray, Jane Eaglen, Bernd Weikl, Elizabeth Connell, Carol Vaness and last, but not least, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Official site here 

Antifonia Choir

In 1969, Constantin Rîpă founded the Antifonia choir, a choir specialized in performing contemporary music that has had a very rich activity in Cluj-Napoca and other major cities in Romania. The tours they made, the festivals, contests and the Radio and T.V. recordings transformed Antifonia into the first laboratory, the first contemporary music workshop in Cluj, both for Romanian and foreign music.  

In 1979 Antifonia started its international activity, participating in the most outstanding competitions and festivals and eventually achieving 12 international prizes. These awards brought not only worldwide acknowledgement, but also invitations to the most important international festivals, as well as Radio and TV recordings in Belgium, Germany, France and Austria. 

The choir was invited to sing most difficult contemporary scores. Thus, in festivals like Wien Modern, Musique d’Aujourd’hui – Strassbourg, Chaise-Dieu – France, Wiener Musiksommer, Cluj Modern, Modern Music Festival in Bucharest (Romania), Antifonia interpreted impressive musical works like: Nekuia – Iannis Xenakis, Requiem – Alois Zimmermann, Requiem – Gyorgy Ligeti, Grande Messe des Morts – Hector Berlioz, Fragende Ode – Mauricio Kagel, In Cauda – Franco Donatoni, Und Gott der Herr Sprach – Francisc Burt, IX-th Symphony – L.van Beethoven, Janne d’Arc au Bucher –Anton Honneger, Canti di LIberatine – Luigi DallaPiccola, Coram Requiem – Ivan Fedele, The sevengates of Jerusalem – Krisztoff Penderecki. For these works, Antifonia cooperated with the Philarmonic Orchestra ofBratislaw, the Radio France Orchestra, the 20 Yahrhundert, Ensemble of Vienna, the Symphoniker of Vienna, the Philarmonic Orchestra of Basel, the National Orchestra of Lyon, the Philarmonic Orchestra of Cluj, the Radio Symphonic Orchestra of Bucharest, the Hua XiaChamber Ensemble from Beijing. 

The concerts were conducted by personalities like Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Peter Burwik, Zoltan Pesko, Richard Edhinger, Alain Lombard, Yehudi Menuhin, Gheorghe Costin, Walter Haupt.

Cristian Bence-Muk

Cristian Bence-Muk (born August 31st,1978, in Deva, Hunedoara) graduated the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in 2002, with a major in Composition, in the class of Professor Hans Peter Türk. In 2005, he was awarded the academic title of Doctor in Music, with a thesis coordinated by Professor Cornel Ţăranu. At present, Cristian Bence-Muk is a Lecturer at the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, teaching Musical Analysis. 

He received numerous national prizes for his choral, vocal, chamber, symphonic, and vocal-symphonic works, which have been performed in concerts in Romania and abroad (France, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Poland) by famous contemporary music ensembles (such as “The peärls before swïne experience”), and published by publishing houses in Romania and Switzerland. 

Among the national prizes awarded by professional associations and institutions of prestige, we mention: 1st prize at the National Coral Composition Contest „Stefan cel Mare si Sfant – 500”, Suceava, 1st Edition, 2004, the excellence prize for young composers awarded by the National Union of the Romanian Employers, Bucharest, 2005 (for the oratorio Apocalipsa and the chamber opera Moara lui Califar), and the prize of the Composers’ and Musicologists’ Association in Romania – the Cluj branch – in 2005 for the chamber opera Moara lui Călifar. 

As project director supervised two research projects funded by CNCSIS (National Council of Scientific Research): Analytic and creative investments in the ballet and chamber symphony genres of contemporary national and universal composition (2006-2007) and The artistic and social impact of the contemporary music of the 21st century from the perspective of the relationship composer-performer-audience (2010-2013), projects that stimulated the composition, the interpretation and the musicological research in the field of contemporary music. 

In 2013 he arranged and orchestrated 14 Romanian traditional carols for soloists, mixed choir, children’s choir and orchestra. The resulting CD, Maria se preumbla (Mary was wandering) was distributed in more than 10,000 copies across the country with The National Journal Newspaper (onthe 23rd of December, 2013).

Music on the web:

Opriți războiul! (Stop the war!) for 16 string instruments 

Moara lui Călifar (Călifar’s Mill) - chamber opera

Official website here

Constantin Rîpă

Composer and musicologist Constantin Rîpă was born in Smulţi, Galaţi, Romania, in 1938. He graduated the „Gheorghe Dima” Music Conservatory in Cluj-Napoca, where he studied with Tudor Jarda, Dorin Pop, Sigismund Toduţă. He has been conducting the Antifonia choir from 1969. 

In 1982 he graduated his PhD studies in Stylistics Musicology at the the „Gheorghe Dima” Music Conservatory, having Sigismund Toduta as a mentor. Presently he is a Professor at the same academy, teaching Music Theory, Solfege, Music Dictation, while also being a PhD thesis coordinator. He also is a member of the Romanian Union of Composers and Musicologists.

His work consists in choir, chamber, symphonic and vocal symphonic music . He has published 12 studies of musicology at the “Gh. Dima” Conservatory; 3 of his Music Theory studies are translated and published in several countries.