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Hyperion Ensemble was founded in 1976 in Bucharest by Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram with the intention of exploring connections between archaic Romanian folk music — Byzantine music, folk traditions collected by Bartok, etc. — and contemporary avant-garde composition. It was described by The Wire as “a living workshop, a constant source of ideas and sounds.”
Over the years, Hyperion has come to be known for its transformational, hyper-spectralist, and acousmatic performances. The group has performed internationally and premiered most of the major works by spectralists Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram, who compose both individually and collaboratively, as well as by other Romanian composers. Although the ensemble has undergone transformations in personnel since its early days, it has remained consistent in philosophy and intention. Its many members come from seven different countries, including Romania, Israel, the U.K, the U.S., France, and Germany. They are: Stephen O’Malley, (guitar); Tim Hodgkinson (clarinet, bass clarinet); Yoni Silver (bass clarinet, violin); Diana Miron and Tijana Stankovic (violin); Zsolt Sores (viola); Albert Markos (cello); Andrei Kivu (cello, flute, tuba, trumpet); Larrentiu Cotac and Shmil Frankel (double bass); Colin Hacklander and Eduard Gabia (percussion); and Catalin Matei and Gili Mocanu (electronics). The conductors are Avram and Dumitrescu. The ensemble has played several radio broadcasts and released many recordings, including a 34-CD series showcasing the music of Dumitrescu and Avram.