Catalin Tircolea | Panflute in music – Nai in muzica

Panflute, Piano, Violin and Synth in Jazz


Born in Bucharest, Romania, Catalin Tircolea was fortunate to have as parents the prima ballerina of the Romanian National Ensemble “ROMANIAN RHAPSODY” and a major orchestra conductor/violinist. No wonder that by the age of five, he was already making his name as violinist through TV broadcasts playing a Menuet by Mozart.

Although he studied violin at the Music School, by the age of 17 he was attracted to and fell in love with pan flute and has adopted this instrument as the main instrument of his career. In the same time he has studied the piano as secondary instrument of the composition section, which he graduated at “Ciprian Porumbescu” Academy of Music.

Catalin Tircolea gave many concerts both in Romania and abroad and he also was invited to record. Thus, in 1978 he has started his discography career with the recording of the first album, from the other three ones that followed, together with the famous RICK van der LINDEN (Ekseption). This first album called “Variations” was a world premiere, in what concerns the two instruments involved for the first time in the history of music, pan flute and synthesizer. Another album followed with SUPERMAX and many other albums with the best Romanian & European artists among: Toni Iordache, Ion Dragoi, Marin Chiser, Johnny Raducanu, Ramon Tavernier, Richard Oschanitzky, Sergiu Comissiona, Luis Bacalov ( winner of the1996 Oscar Prize), etc.


He is the first who ever introduced panflute in jazz, his debut album  “Panpipe In Jazz”, released by Electrecord in 1978 being an example in this matter. Other examples would be the seven panflute jazz albums the musician has achieved until now, as well as his participation at many jazz internationals festivals like the one in Prague, in 1984, where he together with his band had impressed thousands, near Buddy Rich, Cecil Taylor, Arturo Sandoval, Didier Lockwood, etc. His discography contains  29 albums until now.

He has participated at various TV shows worldwide like RONDUIT TOURNEE and THE TED SHOW in Holland, THE HANK PLANTE SHOW in Houston, Texas, USA, OBJECTION TV Show broadcast by TBS TV Tokyo, Japan, the TV Special THE WELL TEMPERATED PAN FLUTE, specially created for C.Tircolea by Romanian TV, so as different appearances in different TV shows, both in Romania and abroad.


In 1985 he made a 6-month tour in the USA where, beyond teaching pan flute at some universities’ summer camps, he also made his American debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the well-known conductor Sergiu Comissiona, who found Tircolea “a musician of great versatility”. The concert included classical, Romanian folk pop and jazz music, all arranged and adapted by Tircolea, being regarded by the press as “the high light of the season”.

In 1990 he was invited for the third time in Japan where he had the opportunity to cooperate with KORG and YAMAHA. With KORG, he has done special pan flute sampling sessions. With Yamaha he made the first Yamaha’s three-dimensional recording which has been exposed at the 1990 Tokyo Fair.

In 1992 his 14th album “Dr. Music” is released. On this solo album he is composer, arranger, performer and producer and he has combined the electronic sounds with the acoustic sounds in a variety of musical kinds, briefly called Fusion Music.


Between 1991 and 1995 he was present, as a composer, in many pop Festivals and contests.

In 1994 “Colinde” (first edition) his 15th album is released by CiTy Music, which contains the most famous romanian traditional carols, syntheses of the two grand musical systems western and eastern, respectively tonal and modal. In the Meridian newspaper the well-know musicologist Viorel Cozma has written: “Tircolea was not satisfied with the melodic quotation only, but he tried to dress up each carol with a genuine harmonic coat and a complex, big, polyphonic form, orchestrated with a rare colorist fantasy, in which the pan flute, with its particular, haunting sound confers each carol an unforgettable charm.”

In 1996 Catalin Tircolea written the music for two TV series (broadcast by RTL) the music for John Arden’s play “Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance”, he has released “Colinde” (second edition) and he took part in the Francesco Rosi´s “The Truce” (with John Turturro in the main role) musical recording sessions. Catalin Tircolea plays the main musical themes of the film, written by the winner of 1996 Oscar Prize, Luis Bacalov.

From 1998 till present, Catalin Tircolea has running a rich componistic and pianistic activity In 1998 Catalin Tircolea has initiate a new musical project called “ALTER EGO”, which has materialized in an album released by ZONE REC.- POLYGRAM called “X-TREME”. On this album, he signed as composer, arranger, keyboard player, programmer and producer.

In 1999 he was awarded with The 1998 Composers and and Musicologists’ Union Award for the best jazz theme for “Samba Do Rio”.


Working with great producers like: PETER HAUKE (the one that launched and produced groups like: NUKLEUS, SCORPIONS, TANGERINE DREAM, etc) , JACK LANCASTER (the one that produced the music of artists like: GARY MOORE, PHIL COLLINS, STEPHANE GRAPELLI, HANS ZIMMER, JACK BRUCE, BRIAN ENO , VANGELIS, etc.) and ROB & FERDI BOLLAND ( who wrote and produced music for STATUS QUO – “We’re In The Army Now” and FALCO – “Amadeus”, among others, not only that enriched Tircolea’s musical experiences for being a producer, but in the same time helped him to be just one. So one can refer to C. Tircolea as to a complex artist, being in the same time composer, arranger, pan flutist, pianist (keyboardist), programmer, producer and sound engineer.


In 1999 he composed and produced the album “Eu Sunt Mona” for a fourteen years old singer called SIMONA NAE.

In the same year he also composed and produced an album for a fifteen years old singer called ANNABELLA which was released in 2001. He is a member of The Union of Composers since 1990, and a member of The Union of Artists and Filmmakers (UARF).

In 2003 he arranged, produced and released his 17-th album called “Standards”. This album contains jazz standards played for the first time in the history of music by pan flute.

In 2004-2005, his 18-th album “Cat Tircolea & Alter Ego – EZ4U” has been released by “Electrecord”. An album with original Tircolea’s orchestrations of very popular jazz and pop songs. He evolves as a pianist, arranger and music producer, alongside his group “Alter Ego”.

2006 was the year of making “The Essence of Panflute” DVD. The first real and comprehensive panflute sample sounds library volume. A “world premiere” of a kind, making him actually the first “virtual” musician of the pan flute. This product was distributed, among others, by the famous “Best Service”.

In december 2007, C. Tircolea launches his 19th album called  “SYNVIONAI”, an album awarded in 2008 with The 2007 Composers and and Musicologists’ Union Award for the best jazz album of the year 2007.

Simona Nae’s “COLINDE” album produced by C. Tircolea was released in 2008 and Mirela Zafiri’s “COLINDE PENTRU MAMA” album also produced by Tircolea, has been released at the end of 2009.

In november 2010, the second volume of the trilogy „Synvionai” had been released. The album called „Synvionai II”, the 20-th in his discography, was produced by C. Tircolea and distributed by E-media and has been awarded in Feb.2011 with The 2010 Composers and and Musicologists’ Union Award for the best jazz album of the year 2010.

The third volume of the “ALTER EGO” project initiated in 1998, the 21st album in artist’s discography has been released in 2012. Among guests: Macke, Nico, Berti Barbera, Simona Nae and others.

In 2013 “SYNVIONAI 3” is released as the third volume of the trilogy “SYNVIONAI”. Produced by the author himself, the album has special guests like: Decebal Badilă, Cristian Soleanu, Eugen Popescu-Doreanu, Nicu Patoi, Silviu Albei, Phil Davies, Michael Pontelli, etc..

In March 2015 he was awarded The 2014 Composers and and Musicologists’ Union Award for the best song of the year 2014 with his song “Strangers in the Night”, the same romanian translated title of the famous play “„Les Montagnes Russes” by Eric Assons and performed by Florin Piersic and Medeea Marinescu, with lyrics by Elena Russo.

2015 was also the year in which he has finished “The Son of Man”, a symphonic poem.

In 2016 he has finished the string quartet “Elucidations” and “Leaving Ison”, an work for symphonic orchestra.

The work for symphonic orchestra “Far from Ison” has been finished in 2017.

In 2018 The National Museum “George Enescu” together with The Union of Romanian Composers and Musicians had organized a “Componistic Profile – Catalin Tircolea”. With this occasion it had been played composer’s works from chamber, pop, jazz and symphonic genres.

Also this year has been released the twenty-third  album of his recording career. The album “Life as a Sound”, which includes works for solo piano, for cello and piano and violin and piano, as well as a choir, all the pieces being written in a lyrical register of deep meditation. The album appeared a year after his mother Elena Russo passed away.

In March 2019 he was awarded The 2018 Composers and and Musicologists’ Union Award for the best jazz song “Daksha” from “Synvionai 3” album.

In the same year, the twenty-fourth album of his record career and his first solo piano jazz album entitled “Feel the Love”, appeared.

Also in the same year, in October, appears the 25 th album of Catalin Tircolea, “My Chamber”, album that includes most of his chamber music works.

On November 27, 2020 appeared the most important work of Catalin Tircolea, the symphonic poem “The Son of Man”, materialized in an album with the same title. It is the twenty-sixth in the artist’s discography.

“Ison” is the twenty-seventh album of Catalin Tircolea and it had appeared May, 2021. It includes the symphonic triptych “Leaving Ison”, “Far from Ison” and “Back to Ison”, as well as the string quartet “Elucidations”.

In November 2022, a new album has been released. “The Nostalgia Of The Paradise”. It is an album of symphonic music created in the style of trailer music, the third after “The Son Of Man” and “Ison”. The special guest on this album is the soprano Andreea Carmen Marin.

A new album is released in November 2023 entitled “Lelitz A Jazz”. The twenty-ninth album in the discography of the artist.

Songs like “I Heard Django”, “Hop U 2”, “Latin Heart”, “Str8 No Jokes”, “Grooving Nah, Nah, Nah”, etc., give a very special color to the album, with a lot of dynamism, emotion, warmth and multiple spectacular solos. It is a jazz album, which includes styles such as: fusion, classic jazz, latin jazz, r&b jazz, hip-hop jazz, funk jazz, crossover, ballads, etc.

Among the special guests of this album are Decebal Bădilă, Nicu Patoi, Simon Phillinganos, Michael Pontelli, Guillerme Sanchez, Dana Caraman, Phil Davis and City Horns Section.

In June 2024 the album “Lelitz A Jazz” receives The Union of Composers and Musicologists from Romania’s award in the jazz section.


Catalin Tircolea | Create your badge

code psn gratuit