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Ileana Cotrubas (b1939)

Ileana Cotrubas was born into a musical family: her father was a tenor in an amateur chorus and her mother also sang. When she was nine years old she joined a children’s chorus that performed on Romanian radio and in local opera productions, becoming a soloist with the choir at the age of eleven. In 1952 Cotrubas entered the Special Music School for gifted children in Bucharest, undertaking a variety of studies, including conducting, piano, violin and acting, during her first two years. From her mid-teens onwards however she concentrated on singing, even though she was initially rejected by the Bucharest Conservatory as her voice was considered to be too modest. Nonetheless, after further study that included music theory and practice, she was accepted by the conservatory in 1958. Here she studied voice with Constantin Stroescu while continuing with piano and learning the major operatic languages (French, German, Italian); she was also active as an athlete.



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