One of the greatest things about being an artist is that there are few limits to how far you can explore and how much you can accomplish. Gheorghe Costinescu was a great explorer of his craft, transcending the boundaries of genre and always embarking on the path towards perfection. Today, we reflect on Costinescu’s life and his contributions to our artistic world.
Born in Bucharest in 1934, Costinescu was an active composer, conductor, pianist, musicologist, and educator throughout his life, residing in New York from 1969 until his passing on July 11, 2023.
After studying privately with Pascal Bentoiu and earning an M.A. in composition from the Bucharest Conservatory under Mihail Jora, he continued his studies with Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne and Luciano Berio at the Juilliard School in New York, where he received a Post Graduate Diploma. In 1976 he received a Ph.D. with Distinction from Columbia University, where he studied with Chou Wen-chung.
His chamber, choral, orchestral, and stage works have been performed in major cities in Europe and the United States, and at the Royan, Shiraz–Persepolis, and Tanglewood festivals. His stage work The Musical Seminar, a winner in the League-ISCM National Composers Competition, was premiered at Lincoln Center in New York City. The European premiere took place at the State Opera of Stuttgart, and the British premiere at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
Costinescu held teaching positions at The Juilliard School, Columbia University, and the New School for Social Research. In 1982, he joined the faculty and subsequently directed the electronic music program at Lehman College of the City University of New York, where he became Professor Emeritus of Music in 2003.