Iancu Dumitrescu, composer, conductor and musicologist, was born in Sibiu, Romania, in 1944. Between the ages of seven and 22, he pursued conventional musical studies leading to an M.A. in Composition at the National Conservatoire in Bucharest. Towards the end of this period he met Alfred Mendelsohn, who introduced him to the music—then forbidden in Romania—of Schoenberg and Webern. A slight liberalization of the Romanian regime beginning in 1968 catalyzed a move towards more personal work amongst a group of composers that included Dumitrescu, Niculescu, Stroe, Vieru, and Olah. In 1973, Dumitrescu met Sergiu Celibidache, who made a profound impression on him and who introduced him to the application of Husserlian phenomenology to music and composition.
From this moment Dumitrescu emerged as one of the leading personalities in European contemporary music—an artist whose significance and influence have embraced both composition and the interpretation and philosophy of music. Since 1976, Dumitrescu has directed the Hyperion Ensemble, based in Bucharest and performing throughout Europe. Hyperion was founded to explore a new aesthetic—hyper-spectral music, based on the radiant power of sound and its microcosmic complexity, all aspects of which are questioned, analyzed, and recomposed from a spectral perspective. Dumitrescu is also the founder and artistic director of the International Music Festivals of Computer Assisted Music, Acousmania, Musica Nova, Musica Viva, the International Spectral Music Festival, and Spectrum XXI, held annually in three European capitals. Edition Modern, a contemporary music recording label run by Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram in partnership with ReR MegaCorp, has released more than 40 CDs since its founding in 1990. His oeuvre includes more than 300 works, including chamber music, electroacoustic, orchestral music, and computer music.