Born on 13th April 1940 in Bucharest into a family of musicians, Vladimir Cosma is a violinist, composer and conductor living in Paris. His father, Theodor, was a pianist and conductor, his mother, Carola, an author and composer, and his uncle, Edgar, a composer and conductor. One of his grandmothers was a pianist, a pupil of the famous Feruccio Busoni. A documentary film on a French television channel recently showed Vladimir Cosma walking, a smile on his face, on the street in Bucharest where he spent his childhood and youth. He was smiling because he was remembering events from his childhood, things that happened on that very street and the people who used to live there.
After winning a number of prizes at the National Conservatory in Bucharest, Vladimir Cosma moved to Paris 1963 and continued his studies under the well-known Nadia Boulanger at the National Conservatory. Since then, he has won two César Awards for best film soundtrack, for “Diva” in 1982 and “Le Bal” in 1984; two 7 d’Or awards for best TV soundtrack in 1986 and 1991; and scores of other awards and prizes in France and around the world. Vladimir Cosma has received the Order of the Legion of Honour, class of Chevalier, the Romanian Cultural Merit in rank of Grand Officer and Order of the Arts and Letters in rank of Commander. He has won numerous Gold and Platinum Discs around the world, in France, Germany, Japan, Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Holland, the Scandinavian countries, etc.
On the 26th and 27th of January, the Romanian Cultural Institute held a number of events in collaboration with Vladimir Cosma under the aegis of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union and to which the Romanian Embassy in Paris also contributed.
Doina Marian, the Director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris tells us more: “We have been preparing this event for almost a year together with maestro Vladimir Cosma and his society, Larghetto Music. We have a partnership with this society and have taken part in the production of the two performances. The first one, held on the 26th of January, was naturally very important and symbolic, being dedicated to the Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU. It lasted more than 3 hours and afterwards the maestro gave autographs on CDs containing his music. The concert on the 27th was equally impressive. Vladimir Cosma gave a master-class, which is something he doesn’t normally do. He spoke about various moments in his life, how he composed certain soundtracks and played the music in question.”
From 1968, Vladimir Cosma has composed more than 300 scores for feature films and TV films. He has worked with important names in world cinematography, such as Yves Robert, Claude Zidi, Ettore Scola, Pascal Thomas and Pierre Richard. He has been involved in the creation of important productions for the French and American television. He has been interested in jazz music, having written pieces for the likes of Toots Thielmans, Chet Baker, Don Byas, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Tony Coe and Pepper Adams. He has also written music for singers Nana Mouskouri, Marie Laforet and Lara Fabian, as well as folk music, including for the panpipe player Gheorghe Zamfir and the flute and panpipe player Cezar Cazanoi, who took part, in fact, in the performance on the 26th of January.
Classical music was a constant attraction for Vladimir Cosma. The list of compositions includes the opera “Marius and Fanny” based on Marcel Pugnol, which opened at the Marseilles Opera House and featured big names such as Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna and Jean-Philippe Lafont. Vladimir Cosma also composed the musical comedy “The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob”, which opened at the Palais des Congrès de Paris in 2008.
Back to the concerts held on the 26th and 27th of January with the Director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris, Doina Marian: “The music was played against the backdrop of screenings of French films for which Vladimir Cosma wrote the soundtrack. He is a legend. It’s impressive how he is a role model in France for entire generations. It’s a coincidence that 27th January was also Mozart’s birthday, given that Vladimir Cosma is referred to as the Mozart of the seventh art”.
Let us just say that the performance given on the 26th of January featured, alongside an orchestra and choir, two French DJs, DJ Polo and DJ Pain.