Composer, pianist and conductor.
After graduating from the National Conservatory of Music in Bucharest, she obtained a degree from Paris Sorbonne in 1992.
PHD in Musical Esthetics at Sorbonne, Paris (1995)
In 1994 she was awarded the Grand Prize in Composition from the Romanian Academy.
She is considered to be one of the most important Romanian composers of her generation.
Her music is affiliated with the spectral music trend.
She represents the Hyper-Spectral music trend in contemporary avant-garde music.
Conductor with Iancu Dumitrescu of the Hyperion Ensemble - a chamber music ensemble from Romania, based in Bucharest specialized in the performance of contemporary classical music, more particular as the main promoter in Romania of the Spectral Music trend
Her music is spectral, acousmatic, heterophonic and transformational.
She composed over 200 works, music for soloists, chamber
music, music for symphonic orchestra, electronic and computer assisted music.
Avram received numerous commissions for composition from Radio France, Art Zoyd (France), Les Ateliers UPIC (Paris), Ensemble Lucilin (Luxembourg), Ensemble Mozaik (Berlin), Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles (Mons-Belgium), IMEB-Bourges, Bodo Sinfonietta (Bodo- Norway),
She was awarded at Ars Electronica - Linz in 2000 for the work “Traces, Sillons, Sillages” for ensemble and computer assited sounds.
Founder and President- since 2006- of the Romanian Community of Electro-acoustic and Computer Assisted Music – CREMAC.
Vice-President of the International Community of Electro-acoustic Music – CIME – affiliated to IMC and UNESCO.
She is also founder and Artistic Director of several national and international festivals dedicated to experimental, electronic and spectral music trends:
« Acousmania »- in partnership with Romanian Broadcasting Corporation – six editions, from 2002 to 2006
« Musica Nova » – In partnership with the Ploiesti Philharmonic Orchestra 2002-2004
« Spectrum XXI » - dedicated to spectral music trends and held annually in three European capitals. Since 2006 the festival took place in Paris, London, Geneva, Brussels, Berlin, Bucharest, Mons, East Grinstead.
SPECTRUM XXI was financed by institutions such as Romanian Ministry of Culture, Romanian Cultural Institute, Pro Helvetia, European Agency for Culture, Education and Audiovisual – EACEA towards the program Culture 2007-2013.
In 2010 Avram was elected as “Blodget Artist in Residence” at the Harvard
University, Department of music where she taught composition to postgraduate students. She also sustained numerous workshops, lectures and conferences at Harvard University, the University of Maine, Farmington (USA), Univeristy of Minneapolis-St Paul (USA), Technical University of Istanbul (Istanbul,Turkey), Institute Jacques Dalcroze (Geneva), Centre de Creation Musicale Iannis Xenakis (Paris), etc…
"Quatre Etudes d'Ombre" for bass flûte (1992)
"Axe" for cello (1993)
"Métaboles" for bass clarinet (1985)
"Quatre Etudes orphiques" for female voice, electronics and ensemble (2006)
"Nouvelle Axe" for strings (1997)
"In Nomine Lucis" for orchestra (1992)
"Telesma" for clarinet, percussion and computer sounds (2002)
"Chaosmos" for orchestra (1996)
"Lux Animae" for ensemble and computer assisted sounds (2004)
"Voices of the Desert" for ensemble and computer assisted sounds (2005)
" The Endless Burning Fire" for ensemble and computer sounds (2007)
"Un raggio Ardente e di si chiara luce" for strings (2000)
Contribution in musicology:
”Ana Maria Avram and Iancu Dumitrescu” - Musicworks Nr 71,
“Being composer” - MusicWorks nr.76 ( 2000);
“Ana-Maria Avram: an adventure in experimental music” an interview with
Costin Cazaban, Bananafish, Los Angeles no 15 ( 2001)
Jean-Noël Von Der Weid: “La Musique du XX Siècle” - Paris, Hachette, 2004
“ Roumanie Terre du Neuvième Ciel” Interviews with musicologist Harry Halbreich – Bucharest, Axis Mundi, 1992.
“ The Spectral Music at the beginning of XXIst Century” – 2006. CREMAC
Her musics are published by Edition Modern, Electrecord, Artgallery, Radio
Her compositions were performed") in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Standford, in Vienna in the Wien Modern Festival in 1992, 1994, 2003 ) in Paris (several times at Radio France, in Theatre de la Ville) in London (several times at The Royal Festival Hall, LSO St Luke’s, Conway Hall, etc.) Berlin, Nancy, Allicante, Lisbon, Baden-Baden, Darmstadt, Moscow, Belgarde, Istanbul, Minneapolis etc.
Her works has been commissioned by prestigious international ensembles such as Kronos Quartet (San Francisco) « 20 Jahrhundert » from Vienna, Musiques Nouvelles (Mons), Lucilin (Luxembourg), Mozaik (Berlin), iO String Quartet ( USA), Bodo Sinfonietta (Norway), soloists from l'Orchestre National de France. In her own country she worked with the some of the most important groups: The Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, Romanian National Orchestra, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, L'Orchestre de Chambre de Roumanie, etc.
« On the Abolition of the Soul » - a Radio France commission was released
on a double CD- Radio France, an anthology of Prix Italia since 1949.
“When Ana-Maria Avram conducts, she sometimes seems to be plucking
stars from the sky, or jabbing into hives, causing thousands of tiny critters to fly up into the air like flurries of gold dust. Avram allows the moment to shape the music. In her view, the analytical approach of serial and structuralist composers in recent decades represents a desacralisation of sound space. The conductor is instead drawn to spectral composition, in which everything develops from the nature of the sounds themselves. Moreover, to Avram, spectralism is not an academic, technologically assisted manipulation of the organism sound. Her work allows the sound to emerge from fluctuating acoustic systems in an interplay between composed and improvised passages, in which the musicians are co-creators in the most literal sense. According to her, this is how musical activity and inner life can be combined, this is how music can open the doors to other areas of human life. A cursory glance at Avram’s catalogue of works reveals her dedication to the arcane, the archaic, the religious, and even, at times, the occult. Developed over recent years, Lux animae – Licht der Seele is an entire series of works for soloists and ensemble. One inspiration may have been the Rumanian spectralist Horatiu Radulescu’s 1996 work for viola solo, which bears the same title. Radulescu added the following notes to her piece: “Try not to be at all normal”, “always play always a bit little drunk", "all the new colours are beautiful", and "you must end in the air – imagine the sound vibrating in eterno". In comparison, Ana-Maria Avram’s philosophy seems more sober, but also more militant. For her, being modern means ”to be alive and vital. To accept risk. To dare. To think. To dare to think. To free yourself of preconceptions. To believe. To be brave. To be yourself. To know your weaknesses and not give up, by always asking yourself the same fundamental questions.” It follows that she always starts a new work by meditating; a dream that slowly takes concrete shape, until she finally brings it to life in the concert hall.” Lux Aeterna Concert Ana-Maria Avram at Berghain 11th march 2011 by WanderingStar e.V.
“ De son coté, Ana-Maria Avram, maniant les sonorités de souche spectrale,
d’une tradition plus européenne, et instrumentales en intégrant l’imaginaire du son archétype, tout en privilégiant la structure dont elle exploite les différentes colorations dans un camaieu de résonances. Lignes brouillées, démultipliées, s’intermodulant en une géologie d’harmoniques fluides, l’album de Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram constitue une parfaite introduction à l'oeuvre de deux des compositeurs roumains les plus innovateurs and représentatifs de ce siècle”
Serge Belleudy - d’ESPINOSE : CRYSTAL LAKE, 31 Mars 1996
“Both Avram and Dumitrescu are convinced that if they have been able to
open new doors in music, it is because they have made or found precisely those connections bandween musical activity and inner life that remain unarticulated in conventional musical training. This is not, however, simply a matter of theit philosophy and motivation as artists. The psychological reality if their music is directly grounded in a conception of the acoustic reality iof sound.” Tim Hodgkinson, “Musicworks” No 71, Summer 1998,Toronto.
Works also features three compositions by ANA-MARIA AVRAM, born in
Bucharest in 1961. Wonderful to hear music where textural innovations aren’t employed to colour pre-existing structures, but evolve form in process. On Zodiaque she plays prepared piano opposite Dumitrescu, a percussionist and magnetic tape. Seems like these Romanians are engaged in a similar kind of sonic research to that which resulted in the masterpieces of Giacinto Scelsi and Ennio Morricone : collective endeavour, genuine ‘deep listenning’. The results are similarly overpowering a milion miles from the tootling inconsecuence of most of what passes for New Music in the classical world. BEN WATSON - The WIRE, LONDON, May 1995
“Avram descends musically from a long line of European spectralist composers.
Listening to her pieces forces one to recall the tradition of composers like Grisey and Murail, and sonically is incredibly reminiscent of earlier proto-spectralists like Giacinto Scelsi. She is most closely associated with fellow Romanian hyper-spectralist Iancu Dumitrescu, with whom Avram works closely as a composer, conductor, and pianist in the Hyperion Ensemble (founded by Dumitrescu in the 1970s). (…)
Spectral music can sometimes seem a bit cold, even mechanical, in its execution. Avram's music is particularly remarkable because of the very real warmth with which she imbues each of her pieces. Whether composing a solo work which she herself performs, or a piece for electronics, pre-recorded tape, and an entire chamber ensemble, Avram has a brilliant flair for the dramatic paired with a sense of subtlety that lends great contrast and excitement to each moment of each of her works.
Like other Romanian contemporary composers, such as Stefan Niculescu and Horatiu Radulescu (as well as, of course, Dumitrescu), Avram focuses on the use of bird calls, wind sounds, bells, and "natural" sounds that mix harmonic and inharmonic elements in the creation of her hyper-spectralist pieces. Her music is wonderfully textural and phenomenally beautiful. These clips included here are just a few examples of the already deep contributions Avram has made, at only age 50, to the world of New Music” . WFMU Radio Station