Tiberiu Olah


Romanian composer • 1928-2002

Short biography

Tiberiu Olah • Romanian composer (b. 1928, Arpășel, Bihor – d. 2002). In 1946, he began his musical studies at the Cluj Musical Conservatory, continuing them at the Moscow Conservatory from 1949 to 1954. From 1958, he was a lecturer and then professor at the Bucharest Conservatory.


Tiberiu Olah’s music is based on a modal system he himself developed. The composer set out working with numeric series and proportional structures, which, once combined within a homogenous whole, through which can be seen the connections with the archaic stratum of Romanian and in particular Transylvanian folk music. His works often use the technique of continuous variation, and there is an obvious attraction to the idea of the cycle (Brancusi, Harmonies, Invocations, Equinoxes, Translations), harnessing original ideas in their various aspects, such as superimposing a work upon itself or upon another work from the same system. Tiberiu Olah’s works foreground a new conception of musical space and time (detailed in the composer’s studies of Webern and Enesco).


His compositions include numerous works in the symphonic, chamber and film music genres, including three symphonies, the Michael the Brave symphonic suite, a string quartet, a Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Sonata No. 1 for Solo Clarinet (the second piece in the Brancusi cycle), Sonata No. 2 for Magnetic Tape, Perspectives for Thirteen Instrumentalists, Sonata for Solo Cello, Invocations I, II and III, Sonata for Solo Flute, Metamorphoses on a Capriccio of Paganini for Flute and Two Double Basses, and Concerto Notturno for Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Vibraphone and Marimba.

Tiberiu Olah


Sonata for Solo Clarinet • Composition: Tiberiu Olah; Performance: Mihai Pintenaru – clarinet 

„Auditorium” Concert Hall of the National University of Music, Bucharest, 2018