Prof. Valentina Sandu-Dediu


Musical Style and Rhetoric: the Construction of Mannerism in Music History


I studied piano for 12 years at the George Enescu High School in Bucharest, and then went to the musicology department of the (then) Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory, where I graduated in 1990. The unexpected opening of Romanian society to the world gave me the chance to benefit from research grants in Vienna (Alban Berg Foundation, 1991), Bucharest (New Europe College, 1996-97, 2008) and Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2000). The affinity with 20th-century Western music (my undergraduate thesis was an analysis of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck) led to the books and studies written in the 1990s: a doctoral thesis on mannerism in music (1995) and a study on musical rhetoric and stylistics (1997), expanded and turned into a volume in 2010. I then moved on to Romanian music of the second half of the 20th century, publishing volumes on the subject in Romania and Germany (2002, 2006), as well as numerous articles. In 2020 I coordinated two collective volumes dedicated to new histories of Romanian music. After graduation I worked at the Editura Muzicală and at the Institute of Art History in Bucharest, and in 1993 I became an assistant at the current National University of Music in Bucharest (NUMB). During the last three decades I have been involved in courses in music history, musicology, stylistics, theories of musical performance, going through all the teaching levels, and since 2010 I have become a PhD supervisor. Several artistic encounters and academic events have decisively marked my choices: in 2008 I received the Peregrinus-Stiftung Prize of Berlin-Brandenburg Akademie der Wissenschaften; in 2014 I became Rector of New Europe College (Institute for Advanced Study). I set up a series of broadcasts for Radio Romania Muzical Channel (Music, a biography), which has been revived for about 10 years, and founded a NUMB magazine (Musicology Today) which has grown in prestige abroad. I haven’t left the piano for good, accompanying clarinetists and violinists on chamber adventures and playing in a four-hand piano duo: CDs released in Romania with Aurelian Octav Popa, in Germany/ Neos with Dan Dediu, in Boston / Albany with Ray Jackendoff, at Métier / Divine Art Recordings with Irina Mureșanu.