Effective date: September 19, 2018

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Lucero Print is the Publisher Horatiu Radulescu set up in the 1980’s as he was finding it increasingly difficult to find an editor who was able to take on the challenge of type-setting his great variety of syntaxes that he used in ever-varying, different-sized ensembles.

He designed this logo himself lucero 50 315

The team


Catherine Marie Tunnell is the CEO of Lucero Print and was married to the composer Horatiu Radulescu (1942-2008) who was the founder of spectral music. They had a daughter together, Sophia Alexandra born in 2004.

In 1998 she won the post of Second Principal Cello at the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne, Switzerland which is now under the direction of Joshua Weilerstein.

Catherine Marie Tunnell was born in England, U.K in 1969. She won a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School at the age of 9 where she studies with Maurice Gendron, William Pleeth and Jennifer Ward-Clarke.

In 1987 she continued her studies with a scholarship at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester studying under Moray Welsh and Ralph Kirshbaum. While at college she won numerous awards as well as the Taylor Cello Competition.

Further scholarships from DAAD, Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, King Edward VII, Fleming and Münster Trusts allowed Miss Tunnell to undertake her post-graduate studies with Johannes Goritzki at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf, Germany.

In 1993 she won 1st Prize at the Vienna International Competition which then led to international engagements as soloist in recitals and concerto performances in and around Europe.

In 1994 she won the post of principal cello in the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra in Heilbronn, Germany with whom she also performed as soloist in numerous festivals. In the same year she gave her debut recitals in the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room, South Bank in London.

Concurrently widened her horizons in studying baroque music closely with Anner Bylsma, Fabio Biondi and Ton Koopman as well as winning the Iannis Xennakis Prize for Interpretation of contemporary music.

In 1997 London Symphony Orchestra engaged Miss Tunnell as guest principal cellist under the direction of Sir Colin Davis.

Some of the fesivals where she continues to give recitals include Florence, Gstaad, Zürich, Basel, Bucarest, Heidelberg, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Brno, Prague, Bruxelles, Amsterdam, Oslo, Bergen, London and Paris.

She continues to specialize in the interpretation of his music as a soloist as well as a founder member of the European Lucero Ensemble.

SamDunscombe byCristinaMarx Small

Sam Dunscombe is a performer, composer, sound artist, and audio engineer. Sam is interested in the multi-dimensional perception of time, which has led to explorations in spectralism, just-intonation, improvisation, the performance of complex-notated repertoire, field recording, audio engineering, and live electronic performance.


Sam has performed at major festivals and concert series around the world, including conducting the opening night concert of the 2019 MaerzMusik festival in Berlin, being an artist-in-residence at Ilan Volkov’s Tectonics Festival in Tel Aviv, presenting a three day performance and sound installation at the Tokyo Experimental Festival, and many others. Her 2021 release on Black Truffle, Outside Ludlow / Desert Disco, was critically well received, and featured in the July 2021 issue of The Wire. Sam also has albums available on Another Timbre (with Golden Fur and Klaus Lang), Ftarri (with Taku Sugimoto), and many others. In 2022 Mode Records will release "Horatiu Radulescu: Plasmatic Music vol. 1," featuring Sam's interpretations of three of Radulescu's key works (including a collaboration with Rebecca Lane, and a posthumous duo with Radulescu).


Sam has a Doctor of Musical Arts from UC San Diego with a thesis exploring the clarinet works of French-Romanian composer Horatiu Radulescu. She now works as the archivist to his estate, and the assistant editor to Catherine Marie Tunnell preparing new versions of Horatiu's works for future publication and performance.

Samuel’s website is: www.samueldunscombe.com

Joanie Waelti is an ITIL professional who enjoys creating websites, spending time on social media and playing with her puppy Zorra. She is Lucero's webmaster.

She is very active in the associative life and has founded a nonproift, Pictures of India, which helps finance education in India.

Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

This page contains audio extracts from several of Radulescu's compositions. It provides samples of work from different periods of his life to give a flavor of his overall output. A full list of the commercially available recordings of his music is given on the Recordings page.

Extract details

Taaroa op.7 (Bucharest, 1969) for orchestra

For his final exams in Bucharest in 1969 Radulescu composed the orchestral work Taaroa, named after the supreme creator god in the mythology of French Polynesia. In an interview in Le Monde de la Musique in 2001 Radulescu recalled that the concept of this work displeased his teachers, who found the idea “mystical and even imperialist”; only the composer Anatol Vieru supported him. In early listings the work is entitled Music for Taaroa (for 59 soloists) and is subtitled “Homage to Mircea Eliade”. Note: this archival recording, of the last five minutes of the work’s premiere performance, is included here only for its considerable documentary interest in allowing us to hear a snatch of the “pre-spectral” Radulescu. Performers unknown.

Credo op.10 (Paris, 1969/1976) for nine celli

This was Radulescu’s first spectral score. The idea for Credo came to him while he was still in Romania, but the idea was worked out after his arrival in Paris and revised in 1976. He made a further version of the work, Ultimo Credo, in Freiburg in 1995. Radulescu discusses Credo in his interview with Bob Gilmore, “Wild Ocean”, reproduced in part on the interviews page. The performance extract here, from the Saarbrücken Festival in 1979, may have been the world premiere.

"infinite to be cannot be infinite, infinite anti-be could be infinite"
IVth String Quartet op.33 (Paris, 1976 – Versailles, 1987)

Radulescu’s Fourth String Quartet is for 9 string quartets, ideally with eight placed around the audience and one in the center, simulating the strings of an enormous viola da gamba. The piece may alternatively be done with one live quartet and the others prerecorded. This extract is the beginning of the CD recording by the Arditti Quartet (Editions RZ, 2001).

Ecou Atins [Touched Echo] op.39 (Versailles, 1979) for bass & grand flute, horn in F, soprano, cello, sound icon with three players, and 29 psalteries on tape

This beautiful and rarely-performed work is one of the first in which Radulescu laid out many of the special techniques that inform his great works of the decades ahead. In it we hear the sound icon, a concept introduced by Radulescu in the 1970s, a grand piano placed on its side and its strings bowed with fine nylon threads. This is an extract from the première, given by Ensemble L’Itinéraire at the Musée de l’Art Moderne in Paris in June 1979.

Das Andere op.49 (Avoriaz/Versailles, 1983) for viola solo

This work is dedicated to Radulescu’s musicologist friend Patrick Szersnovicz “for his
Brahmsian soul”. An extensive discussion of Das Andere by Radulescu himself can be found on the Liner Notes page of this site, as part of the text for the CD from which this extract is taken: Vincent Royer, viola - Intimate Rituals (Sub Rosa, 2006).

Frenetico il longing di amare op.56 (Paris, 1984) for bass voice, octobass flute, sound icon

This work demonstrates, among other things, Radulescu’s highly original approach to the human voice. He himself performs the vocal part, which displays a distinctive mixture of “normal” singing, overtone sonorities, and a fused timbre of singing and whistling simultaneously. The piece begins with deep bass tones from all three musicians; listening over inbuilt computer speakers may give a poor impression of the rich sonorities of the music. Horatiu Radulescu, voice; Pierre-Yves Artaud, octobass flute; Petra Junken and Eric Tanguy, sound icon (from the CD Horatiu Radulescu, Adda, 1993).

Amen op.88 (Versailles/Freiburg, 1993-94) for organ

Amen is one of a number of works written for, and commissioned by, the German organist Christoph Maria Moosmann. One of Radulescu’s most exquisite and haunting works, the music develops three sorts of material in its twelve minute span: a majestic opening idea which recurs throughout, ritornello-style, with various registral and timbral filtering; high, quasi-improvised passages in the extremely high register of the organ; and a fragment of a plainchant-like melody which is elaborated in the middle of the piece into a five-voice mensural canon. This is an extract from a live performance by Christoph Maria Moosmann.

The Quest - Piano Concerto op.90 (Freiburg, 1995-96)

Radulescu’s Piano Concerto was commissioned by the Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science and the Arts for the German pianist Ortwin Stürmer, who also commissioned Radulescu’s second, third and fourth piano sonatas. Liner notes (in German and in English) to the CPO recording of the work can be found on the Liner Notes page. This extract is from the beginning of the third movement, “Ancestor’s Chants”. Ortwin Stürmer, piano; Radio Sinfonie Orchester, Frankfurt conducted by Lothar Zagrosek (from The Quest, CPO, 1998).

Exil intérieur - Sonata for cello and piano op.98 (Versailles/Düsseldorf, 1997)

This work is a further expression of the love of sonata structures that inform many of Radulescu’s works from the early 1990s onwards. The sonata is in four movements, of which we hear here mov.3, “Ancestral Bells”. Cello and piano both play a Romanian Christmas carol from Moldavia, a hymn dedicated to the sun, at different tempi simultaneously, resulting in what Radulescu called a “diffracted heterophony”. Catherine Marie Radulescu, cello, Hannelott Weigelt-Pross, piano; unreleased studio recording.

"return to the source of light" - 6th piano sonata op.110 (Vevey, 2007)

Radulescu’s last piano sonata, and the last opus in his long list of works, was commissioned by the English pianist Ian Pace and premered at the TRANSIT Festival, Leuven, Belgium, in October 2007. This is the first movement, “Use your own light”. The initial rhythmic motif, a rhythm in a bar of 5+4+4+4, reiterates a low D, with propulsive material in the right hand breaking into higher registers like sudden shafts of lightning. Subsequent sections introduce polyphonic treatments, often in the form of mensural canons, of the Romanian folk melodies that recur in much of Radulescu’s later work. The movement builds steadily to an almost manic intensity, with the pianist taxed to the limits of his dexterity. Ian Pace, piano; live performance from the TRANSIT Festival 2007.

Music extracts

Name Play Duration
7:10 min
5:31 min
Das Andere
5:57 min
Ecou Atins
5:36 min
Catherine Marie Tunnell

3:11 min
Fourth String Quartet
4:01 min
Frenetico il Longing
3:46 min
Piano Sonata no.6
10:17 min
5:33 min
The Quest
3:53 min

Sound Plasma

Radulescu wrote three main theoretical texts on his own music. The first Sound Plasma is a small book; the other two (Musique de mes Univers and Brain and Sound Resonance) are articles. These are described below. Smaller or occasional writings, including program notes to his compositions, will be added to this website in due course.

Sound Plasma: Music of the Future Sign (1975)

Sound Plasma is a theoretical text, a prose composition, and a piece of music simultaneously. (In its musical incarnation it has the title My D High opus 19∞.) The text itself was completed in 1973 and is dedicated to Bjarne Ruby of the Institute for Future Studies in Copenhagen. At one time it was intended as a Ph.D submission at the Sorbonne (in Semantics and Musicology), but was never completed in that form. As published by Edition Modern, the theoretical text is overlaid with what Radulescu called “stardust poetry”, much of it very beautiful, that opens up further interpretative possibilities. An essay on Sound Plasma by Bob Gilmore is in preparation. Sound Plasma may be ordered through Lucero Print.

“Musique de mes Univers” (from Silences 1 1985)

This text, written in Versailles and Rome in spring 1985, expands upon some of the ideas in Sound Plasma while adding new material and a discussion of some of the works Radulescu had composed in the meantime. The text is reproduced here by permission: an English translation is in preparation.

“Brain and Sound Resonance: The World of Self-Generative Functions as a Basis of the Spectral Language of Music”
(in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 999   ISBN 1-57331-452-8, December 2003, pages 322-363).

This substantial article was first delivered as a conference paper and put into definitive form for publication in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. The Abstract reads as follows: “The author discusses the ‘preferential phenomenology’ of sound spectra. Most interesting have been the sound relations that result from special filtering according to ‘rings’ of resonance. Mathematical operations are required to describe this filtering of frequency multiples-spectral components-producing sum and difference tones. With new harmonic formats, a new phenomenological vocabulary of music is achieved that evolves far beyond its historical language”.
The article may be acquired through Lucero Print.

Young Horatiu

Horatiu Radulescu was born in Bucharest on January 7 1942. He studied the violin privately with Nina Alexandrescu, a pupil of Enescu, and later studied composition at the Bucharest Academy of Music (MA 1969), where his teachers included Stefan Niculescu, Tiberiu Olah and Aurel Stroë, some of the leading figures of the newly emerging avant garde. Upon graduation in 1969 Radulescu left Romania for the west, and settled in Paris, becoming a French citizen in 1974. He returned to Romania thereafter several times for visits, beginning in 1991 when he directed a performance of his Iubiri, the first public performance of any of his mature works in his native country. (Radulescu nonetheless commented that in the interim he had dedicated many of his works to a “virtual and sublimated” Romania) (Radulescu, cited in Krafft 2001, 47).

One of the first works to be completed in Paris (though the concept had come to him in Romania) was Credo for nine cellos, the first work to employ his spectral techniques. This technique “comprises variable distribution of the spectral energy, synthesis of the global sound sources, micro- and macro-form as sound-process, four simultaneous layers of perception and of speed, and spectral scordaturae, i.e. rows of unequal intervals corresponding to harmonic scales” (Radulescu 1993). These techniques were developed considerably in his music of subsequent decades. In the early 1970s he attended classes given by Cage, Ligeti, Stockhausen, and Xenakis at the Darmstadt Summer Courses, and by Ferrari and Kagel in Cologne. He presented his own music in Messiaen’s classes at the Paris Conservatoire in 1972-73; Radulescu recalled that while Messiaen himself was sympathetic, later calling him “one of the most original young musicians of our time” (Radulescu 199), some of the students were more reticent, not understanding his music’s “colourful, dreamy, mystical” inclinations (Radulescu cited in Krafft 2001, 48).

Beginning in the early 1970s Radulescu’s works began to be performed at the leading contemporary music festivals, including Gaudeamus (Taaroa, 1971; in ko ‘tro – mioritic space, 1972), Darmstadt (Flood for the Eternal’s Origins, 1972), Royan (fountains of my sky, 1973; Lamento di Gesù, 1975), Metz (Wild Incantesimo for nine orchestras, 1978; Byzantine Prayer, 1988) and Donaueschingen. From 1979 to 1981 he studied computer-assisted composition and psycho-acoustics at IRCAM, although his work makes relatively little use of electronic means of sound production. In 1983 he founded the ensemble European Lucero in Paris to perform own his works, a variable ensemble consisting of soloists specialising in the techniques required for his music. In 1991 he founded the Lucero Festival.

In the mid-1980s Radulescu was based in Freiburg in Germany, though for many years he retained an address in Versailles. In 1988 he lived in Berlin on a DAAD fellowship, and in 1989-90 he was resident in San Francisco and Venice as a laureate of the Villa Médici hors les murs scholarship. In the mid-1990s he moved to Switzerland, living first in Clarens and later in Vevey. He died in Paris on September 25, 2008.

From his earliest works Radulescu’s musical concepts, and the techniques he invented to realise them, were unconventional. For his final exams in Bucharest he composed the orchestral work Taaroa, named after the Polynesian god; this displeased his teachers, who found the idea mystical and even imperialist; only the composer Anatol Vieru supported him. Radulescu’s spectral techniques, as they evolved through the 1970s and beyond, are quite distinct from those of his French contemporaries Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. His compositional aim, as outlined in his book Sound Plasma (1975) was to bypass the historical categories of monody, polyphony and heterophony and to create musical textures with all elements in a constant flux. Central to this was an exploration of the harmonic spectrum, and by the invention of new playing techniques to bring out, and sometimes to isolate, the upper partials of complex sounds, on which new spectra could be built. The harmonic relationships in his music are based on these spectra and on the phenomena of sum and difference tones. The opening sonority of his fourth string quartet (1976-87), for example, is based on partials 21, 22 and 43 of a low C fundamental; this is an example of what Radulescu referred to as “self-generating functions” in his music, as partials 21 and 22 give in sum 43 and in difference 1, the fundamental. (On a C fundamental, partials 21, 22 and 43 are all different, microtonally distinct kinds of F, the 21st partial being 29 cents lower than tempered F, partial 22 being 51 cents higher and partial 43 12 cents higher.) Much of his music for strings makes use of a “spectral scordatura”, where the open strings are retuned, often to simulations of the partials of a single harmonic spectrum – for example in his Lux Animae (1996/2000), for solo cello or viola, the open strings are retuned to the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 11th partials of a low E.

Many of Radulescu’s later works derive their poetic inspiration from the Tao te ching of Lao-tzu, especially in the 1988 English version by Stephen Mitchell: the titles of his second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth piano sonatas, and of the fifth and sixth string quartets, are taken from this source. The piano sonatas, as well as his Piano Concerto The Quest (1996) and other later works, make use of folk melodies from his native Romania, integrating these with his spectral techniques.


  • Gilmore, Bob. 2003. ‘Wild Ocean’: An Interview with Horatiu Radulescu Contemporary Music Review 22, nos. 1-2 (March–June): 105–22.
  • K[rafft], N[athalie]. 2001. Horatiu Radulescu: la composition des nuages Le Monde de la Musique 255 (June): 46–49.
  • Möller, Hartmut. 2001. Trying to Understand Horatiu Radulescu’s String Quartet op. 33: 'Infinite to Be Cannot Be Infinite; Infinite Anti-Be Could Be Infinite'. In The Ratio Book: A Documentation of The Ratio Symposium, Royal Conservatory, The Hague, 14–16 December 1992, edited by Klarenz Barlow. Cologne: Feedback Studio.
  • Radulescu, Horatiu. 1975. Sound Plasma – Music of the Future Sign. Munich: Edition Modern.
  • Radulescu, Horatiu. 1985. Musique de mes univers. Silences 1:51–56.
  • Radulescu, Horatiu. 1993. Liner notes for Horatiu Radulescu (Adda, 1993: see Discography).
  • Toop, Richard. 2001. Radulescu, Horatiu. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.

© Bob Gilmore, 2008