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Cornel Țăranu (1934-2023) was a distinguished Romanian composer of mostly orchestral, chamber and vocal works that have been performed throughout Europe, North and South America.

Prof. Țăranu studied composition with Sigismund Toduță at the Gheorghe Dima Academy of Music in Cluj-Napoca from 1951 to 1957, where he later earned Doctorate in Musicology in 1974. He also studied with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire from 1966 to1967 and with György Ligeti, Bruno Maderna, and Christoph Caskel in Darmstadt from 1968 to 1972.

Among his many honors are the Great Officer of the Order of Cultural Merit (2004, Romania), five prizes from the Romanian Composers Union (1972, 1978, 1981, 1982, 2001), the Prize of the Academy of the SR of Romania (1973) and the International Koussevitzky Award (1982, for a recording of Garlands). He has been a member of the Romanian Academy since 1993 and was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2002.

Prof. Țăranu founded the chamber orchestra Ars Nova in Cluj-Napoca in 1968 and served as its Artistic Director and Conductor until his death. He also served as the Vice-President of the Romanian Composers Union from 1990 to 2023 and as director of the Cluj Modern Festival from 1995 to 2023. He published many musicological works, as well as the book Enescu în Conștiința Prezentului (1969, Editura pentru Literatură; French version – Enesco Dans la Conscience du Présent, 1981, Editura Științifică și Enciclopedică).

He taught at the Gheorghe Dima Academy of Music in Cluj-Napoca from 1957 to 2023, where he was Professor of Composition. Prof. Țăranu also gave lectures internationally, in Germany, Israel, Switzerland, and the USA.

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