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Catalin Ursu

Catalin Ursu was born in 1960 in Bucharest, Romania, where he studied at the University of Musical Studies of Bucharest, where he studied composition with Tiberiu Olah. He has written five string quartets, four symphonic poems, a symphony, an opera, electronic music, stage music, and numerous choral pieces. Almost all his works are recorded and part of the National Archives of the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation. His music is played often in Romania, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, and Spain. He is the recipient of many music awards, such as the Award of the Romanian League of Composers and Musicologists, the Dinu Lipatti Award for Composition, the Award of the National Contest for Young Artists, and the Grand Prix for a vocal-symphonic composition.

Music has been part of his life since he was started on piano in his native Romania at the age of four by his pianist parents.

"I was confined to the piano till I was 16, when I discovered I liked putting sounds together," he said. "I loved the piano but not practising. I did like to sight read and, when I was 15, I got a gift of 450 piano scores and read through them all. I think that started me on studying composition in university."

That led to a successful career as a symphonic composer, with almost 100 performances of his works in Europe. Ursu is a member of the European League of Composers and has works in the archives of Romania.

Dec 2004

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Canadian Music Centre