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a candle for my son!

Serban Nichifor
Composer

Born: August 25, 1954, in Bucharest, Romania

Married  to Liana Alexandra, composer

Studies

  • National University of Music, Bucharest, Doctor in Musicology

  • Theology Faculty, University of Bucharest
  • International courses of composition at Darmstadt, Weimar, Breukelen and Munchen
  • USIA Stipendium (USA)

Present Position

  • Professor at the National University of Music, Bucharest (Chamber Music Department);
  • Member of UCMR (Romania), SABAM (Belgium), ECPMN (Holland)
  • Vice-president of the ROMANIA-BELGIUM Association
  • Cellist of the Duo INTERMEDIA and co-director of the NUOVA  MUSICA  CONSONANTE-LIVING  MUSIC  FOUNDATION  INC.(U.S.A) Festival, with Liana ALEXANDRA

Selected Works

OPERA, SYMPHONIC, VOCAL-SYMPHONIC AND CONCERTANTE MUSIC:

  • "Constellations" for Orchestra (1977)
  • Symphony I "Shadows" (1980)
  • Cantata "Sources" (1977)
  • Cantata "Gloria Heroum Holocausti" (1978)
  • Opera "Miss Christina" (libretto by Mircea ELIADE,1981)
  • Symphony II "Via Lucis" (1985)
  • Symphony III "American Symphony - I" (1986)
  • Symphony IV "American Symphony - II" (1987)
  • Symphony V "Pro Patria" (1987)
  • Symphony VI "Time Archways" (1988)
  • Cantata "Remember" (1988)
  • "Missa da Requiem" (1990)
  • Chamber-Opera "Talaria" (libretto by Etienne DE SADELEER, 1994)
  • Cantata "Per CHRISTUM" (1997)
  • "Concerto GRIEGoriano" for Piano and Orchestra (1997)
  • Chamber-Opera "Le Martyre de Saint Claude DEBUSSY" (libretto after Claude DEBUSSY and E.A.POE, 1999)
  • "Un Certain Instant" for Cello and Orchestra (2001)

CHAMBER, CHORAL AND VOCAL MUSIC

  • "Postludium" per Organo (1975)
  • "Sorcova" per Coro Misto a capella (1995)
  • Quartetto per Archi I - "Anamorphose" (1976)
  • "Carols" per Trombone e Percussione (1978)
  • "Invocatio" per Flauto e Celesta (1979)
  • "Canto di Speranza" per Flauto,Violino,Viola,Cello e Pianoforte (1981)
  • "Onirophonie" per Fl., Vn.e Pf. (1982)
  • "Chanson d'Antan" per Vn.e Pf.(1983)
  • "Carnyx" per Clarinetto (1984)
  • "Tango for Yvar" per Pf.(1984)
  • Quartetto per Archi II - "Vallons de l'Oubli" (1984)
  • "Aprite le porte di questo castel" per Coro Maschile (1984)
  • "Morendo" per Cb. e Pianoforte (1985)
  • "6 Melodies Irlandaises d'Amerique" per 2 Ob.,C.i. e 2 Fg. (1985)
  • "Czarna Rosa" per Mezzo-Soprano e Pf. (1986)
  • "7 Canti Rumeni di Natale" per 4 Trombe, 4 Tromboni ed Organo (1986)
  • "Horn Call Rag" per Corno e Pf. (1986)
  • "AVE MARIA" per Soprano ed Organo (1987)
  • "Isola di Euthanasios" - Sonata "sopra acqua e pietra" per Pianoforte (1988)
  • "Transgressio" per Fl.,Ob. e Fg. (1989)
  • "Battuta" per Percussione (1989)
  • "Lacrimosa" per Tenore e Pf. (1989)
  • "Meditatio"per Organo (1990)
  • Missa "Actio Gratiarum Oecumenica" per Coro Misto a capella (1991)
  • "NATALIS DOMINI" per Coro Misto a capella (1992)
  • "Isihia" per Cello (1992)
  • "Epiphania" per Cello e Pianoforte (1993)
  • "Rorate Caeli" per Soprano ed Orchestra da Camera (1994)
  • "Medium per Arpa" (1995)
  • "Medium per Flauto" (1995)
  • "3 Christmas German Chorals" for Organ (1997)
  • "Hommage a DEBUSSY" per 2 Pf. - ossia Pf. e Nastro Magnetico (1998)
  • "La Nuit Obscure" per Orchestra da Camera (1998)
  • "Invocation a Themis" per Sax.Alto (2001)
  • "Isihia" for violoncello and tape (2002)

Works published at

  • Musical Publishing House, Bucharest
  • Edition Modern, Munchen
  • "Pro musica Studium", Roma
  • "Quadrivium Music Press", New York
  • "Dohr Verlag", Koln a.s.o.
  • Edition SCORE-ON-LINE (France)

Works played and recorded in

  • Romania, Belgium, Holland, USA, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, England, Austria, Japan, Greece, a.s.o.

Affiliations

Prizes and Awards

  • 1977 - First Prize GAUDEAMUS, Amsterdam
  • 1977 - International Prize, Tours, France
  • 1978  - "Press Prize", Evian
  • 1979 - International Prize ISCM, Athens, Greece
  • 1980, 1982, 1988 - Prizes of the Romanian Composers and Musicologists' Union
  • 1980 - "Diego ORTIZ", Toledo
  • 1982 -  "George Enesco" Prize of the Romanian Academy
  • 1983 - Urbana-Illinois
  • 1984, 1993 - Trento
  • 1985 - "Valentino BUCCHI", Roma
  • 1986 - "Musica Antiqua Europae Orientalis", Bydgoszcz
  • 1988 - ISCM, Hong-Kong
  • 1994 - Jihlava
  • 1996 - Karlsruhe
  • 1997 - Koln
  • 1998 - Newtown-Wales
  • 1998 - Birmingham-Alabama
  • 1998 - Bourges
  • 2002 - "Man of the Year", American Biographical Institute, USA
  • 2008 - Officer of the Order of the Crown, conferred by His Majesty Albert the Second, King of Belgium

PRESS REVIEWS

  • SUNDAY TIMES (London, 18.08.1977) - "The First Prize went to a 22-year-old Romanian Serban NICHIFOR, for his <Anamorphose>, played by the Gaudeamus String Quartet in the smaller hall of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Its virtually silent beginning, seemingly addressed to the eye rather than the ear, already hinted at a spatial element which later furnished a valid and charming feature of its ending. The visual gradually became audible, and the mosaic of sound soon acquired continuity as a few folk-tune motifs were set in relief. This innocuous, inextravagant, musically and visually direct essay in quartet-writing deserved recognition and won an ovation !" (Felix APRAHAMIAN)
  • FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (09.06.1978) - "Die Presse-Jury bedachte das rumanische Quartet <Lyra> mit einem Preis fur die ausgezeichnete Interpretation der attraktiven <Anamorphose> des jungen Komponisten Serban NICHIFOR" (Bernd LEUKERT)
  • SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (27/28.05.1978) - "...Sein <Anamorphose> betiteltes Stuck exerziert die verschidensten technischen Affekte und Effekte auf den vier Instrumenten und zerfasert den Streicherklang schliesslich auf augenfallige Weise..." (Albrecht ROESELER)
  • DIE PRESSE (Wien,26.05.1978) - "...die originelle <Anamorphose> von Serban NICHIFOR..." (Olga OBRY)
  • LA VOIX (11.05.1978) - "...le Quatuor <Anamorphose> du Roumain Serban NICHIFOR,oeuvre d'une redoutable complexite, mais d'une indeniable valeur..." (Georges BERNAND)
  • NRC HANDELSBLAD (Amsterdam,13.09.1977) - "...Serban NICHIFOR,in sijn strijkwartet - een brok onstuimig muziek maken - integreert hij vijf Roemeense melodieen uit Transsylvanie en past hij als een soort van harmonische basis evenees vijf Roemeens-orthodoxe hymnes toe. Let wel: hij doet dat in een uit gespreken avant-gardistisch klanggemiddelde ! Resultaat hat grootste applaus en de eerste prijde van den jury." (Ernst VERMEULEN)
  • DARMSTADTER ECHO (04.08.1980) - "Das absolute Gegenteil dazu wurde in der Streichquartett-Komposition <Anamorphose> des Rumanen Serban NICHIFOR geboten. Komplexe polyphone Schichtungen, vorwiegend mit wisperndern Spiel am Steg und scharrenden Flageolett-Tone aufgebaut, zeugten von einer ausgesprochen raffinierten Schreibweise..." (Jo TRILLIG)
  • MUSICULTURA (Breukelen, II-1980) - "...NICHIFOR's final example was a 1980 cantata <Sources>. The work deals with the peoples who lived in Romania in the most ancient times. In this energetic composition one can find a montage of folk materials and contemporary idioms..." (William P. MALM)
  • LIVING MUSIC (USA, Fall '93, Vol.11, No.1) - "...NICHIFOR has been active as a composer, performer, and musicologist. He has won numerous awards and is performed frequently in his own country and abroad. During the past years he has been especially active in Bucharest organizing concerts of music by Amarican composers. NICHIFOR did visit the United States in 1982, so he has a good sense of musical life in this country." (Rodney OAKES)
  • THE WHITE HOUSE - WASHINGTON D.C. (01.10.1992) - "Dear Mr. NICHIFOR, thank you for the beautiful recordings of your Third and Fourth Symphonies, which I recently received through the U.S.Information Agency. I appreciate your having dedicated them <to the glory of America> and I am delighted to know that our cities have inspired you in this uniquely creative way. The recordings have been donated to the Library Of Congress so that they may be preserved for the people of the United States. Your thoughtful gift will bring many hours of pleasure to all who come to enjoy them." George BUSH, The President of the United States of America
  • RHEIN-NECKAR-ZEITUNG (Karlsruhe,31.10.1996) - "...Und mit der <Meditation> des rumanischen Komponist Serban NICHIFOR wurde man dann doch noch hineingefuhrt in die versunkene Welt der stillen Gebete, des Archaischen, der ruhig brutenden Fauxbourdon-Klange, die zuweilen die innigen religioso-Harmonien eines Cesar FRANCK herbeizitieren. Doch dann noch gesprochene lateinische Gebetformeln - da gab es alles, war die Glaubensseele begluckt. Dass davon gleichwohl ein subtiler Reiz ausging, blieb unbestritten."(Rainer KOHL)
  • LE JOURNAL DE ST-GERMAIN (24.09.1999) - "...C'est pour honorer la memoire de Claude DEBUSSY que le compositeur Serban NICHIFOR a compose en 1999 , <Le Martyre de Saint Claude DEBUSSY>, drame lyrique evoquant les dernieres annees du musicien. Il vient d'adresser au Musee Claude DEBUSSY sa piece pour piano et bande magnetique. Dans cette piece,on retrouvera tout l'univers debussyste: de la poesie enchanteresse,a l'appel du lontain... Cet enregistrement vient enrichir le fonds du musee (en cours de constitution) et devrait s'integrer au projet d'ecoutes musicales." (Jacques BERLIE)
  • LUXEMBURGER WORT (23.02.2000) - "...Finalement, c'est <La Nuit Obscure> de Serban NICHIFOR qui nous impressionna le plus. Concue comme un veritable <concerto pour percussion>,l'oeuvre surprend par son originalite et sa beaute intrinseque, mais aussi par la virtuosite qu'elle exige du soliste. Pas de bavardage, pas de fioriture, rien que de la tres belle musique, fracassante certes, mais tellement vraie !" (Pierre SCHWICKERATH)
  • LA LETTRE DU HAUTBOISTE (France, No 5/2000) - "...Dans les <6 Melodies Irlandaises d'Amerique> de Serban NICHIFOR, les nantais, deja nombreux, s'etaient associes aus messins. Cette musique franche et limpide, se pretait bien a un effectif hors norme concu pour le plaisir de jouer tout ensemble."
  • CORALITA (Trento, Nr.6/1985) - "...<Aprite le porte di questo castel> di Serban NICHIFOR - vivace e scherzoso elaborazione, tessuto su uno scheletro armonico in cui le tre strofe vengono variamente presentate... una <coda> precipitosa si conclude in un buffo <portamento>, che sfoncia nel <quasi parlando> (e <quasi grido>) dei due accordi finali."
  • KOLNER STADT-ANZEIGER (08.12.1997) - "...der Anhang umfasst 135 Kompositionen... Zweiter wurde Serban NICHIFOR aus Bukarest..." (Claudia FREYTAG)
  • LIVING MUSIC (USA, Spring 2000, Vol.17, No.3) - "Serban NICHIFOR himself turned in some splendid performances of our american cello music, and ensembles of student performers who are sure to develop technical and professional polish with experience filled the remaining concert-and-a-half with vibrantly enthusiastic renditions of chamber works..." (Aaron J. RABUSHKA)

Address

  • Serban NICHIFOR, Str.Principatele Unite Nr.2,Vila I, Ap.7, Sector 4, RO-70512 BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, Tel.(0040-1)336.13.99. and (0040-1)772.30.29, E-mails: snichifor@yahoo.com

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