A second-generation musician, Cristian knew music was his life at the tender age of four. He was born in 1983 in Romania’s cultural epicenter of Bucharest. He was gifted his lifelong instrument, the violin, by his mother, a cellist.
But there was no bow to accompany it. Little four-year-old Cristian had no choice but to play the strings by simply plucking them by hand. This went on for a number of weeks before a bow finally became available.
That’s when he knew — this would be his life’s work.
Cristian was educated at George Enescu Music Highschool in Bucharest. There he continued to learn, play, and perfect his talent for the violin.
At sixteen years of age, Cristian made his concert debut with the Bucharest’s National Radio Chamber Orchestra performing the Bruch Violin Concerto. When he was only eighteen years of age, he was awarded the annual “Young Musician Debut” prize by the Romanian Union of Musical Critics in 2001.
He was recognized by many to be one of the most exciting young violinists of his generation and was celebrated for his technique and bright artistry, positioning him as an exemplary virtuoso.
The next step in his educational journey was the prestigious National Music University of Bucharest in Romania, where he earned his Bachelor’s of Music in 2006. Due to his incredible drive and unmistakable talent, he was offered a scholarship to study in the United States.
Cristian made his way to Park University International Center For Music, where he is now listed as a distinguished alumnus. He studied there for the following six years, where he earned his Master’s Degree, Artist’s Diploma and Artist’s Certificate. At Park University, he had the privilege of studying under Prof. Ben Sayevich.
“I had a wonderful experience there.” Cristian recounts his time at Park University. “I completed three graduate degrees over there and met some wonderful people along the way!”
With his incredible talent, it’s no surprise that he’s won prizes at more than 25 national and international violin competitions in his native Romania and abroad.
He took First Prize at the 2008 Kingsville International Competition and was awarded the Grand Prize as well as the First Prize at the 2000 “Remember Enescu” International Violin Competition.
Cristian was also a quarter-finalist at the 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Competition Bruxelles, the 2010 Tibor Varga International Violin Competition Sion, the 2005 International Fritz Kreisler Competition Vienna and 2006 Premio Paganini International Violin Competition Genova.
After his Park University days were over, the classical violinist moved his family to West Virginia, where the father of three dug even deeper into his life’s work. Now, more than just studying it, he was living it.
Their time in West Virginia was full of concerts and opportunities! Cristian was part of a string quartet and taught music at West Virginia State University.
He was privileged to play at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and was first violinist of the Montclaire String Quartet. Cristian played regularly in the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and several other symphonies in West Virginia and Ohio.
Somehow, he managed all of this while maintaining a private studio of violin students. But this musical father was bound to pass on his gift to the next generation of prodigies.
Cristian’s daughter is Sophie Fatu, a gifted little jazz singer. That may be a familiar name to some as the talented little firecracker has made appearances on big hit shows like Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey, The Ellen Degeneres Show.
She made the biggest impression on the crowd favorite, America’s Got Talent, where her audition now has over 48 million views on YouTube.
It became clear that her talent needed to be nurtured and showcased to get the most traction. Off to Tinsel Town! Cristian and his ex wife Victoria picked up the whole family, and they made the coast-to-coast move to Los Angeles, where the little jazz star has gone on to expand her career into acting.
She’s held roles on TV shows like Will and Grace, Goliath, The Kids Are Alright, and has even made it to the big screen, where she starred alongside Mel Gibson and Charlie Hunnam in the 2021 release, Last Looks.
Like any good father, Cristian sacrificed the solid foundation he’d built in his own career to advance the dreams of his child. The highly educated, globally respected, and exquisitely talented violinist found himself in the position of starting over.
“Here, of course, I had to start from scratch.” He says. “I knew very few people. I started calling out concertmasters and other musicians that had been recommended to me.”
He knew virtually no one in Hollywood and had to essentially pound the pavement and start auditioning for symphonies and orchestras. He quickly landed a job with the US Symphony in Thousand Oaks, California. Opportunity led him into the influential circle of the legendary Hollywood concertmaster Bruce Dukov.
Bruce graciously guided Cristian into the world of studio music as a recording session musician. While his classical education and concert experience was highly valued.
“It has been such a tremendous experience, and I am in awe constantly when I get to work at Fox, or Warner Brothers, or other studios around town, or even Capitol Records! I get to walk on the same stage where legends have walked before.” Cristian gushes.
Cristian is excited to perform in live events again in the Los Angeles area and hopes to meet many new music enthusiasts at his next concerts. His favorite part of any show is described in his unique way of defining his success: “If one person comes and tells me that I managed to change their day, the way they feel, by virtue of the music they heard, that’s a success for me.”