“A stunningly original pianist with musical insight and maturity that could inspire envy in colleagues twice his age” (Gramophone).
Young Brazilian with Romanian parents, pianist Cristian Budu arises as a new reference for his unique artistry and outstanding achievements. He became the winner of one of the most important and prestigious competitions in the world, the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition, at its 50th anniversary (2013). It awards just one winner by edition, and sometimes none at all (at the next edition the prize was not awarded). Beside the Grand Prize Cristian also won the Audience prize and the Children’s Corner prize. The critique considered this as the most important award on the part of a Brazilian pianist over the last 25 years.
Cristian’s first commercial solo CD launched in 2016 in Europe was awarded many important prizes: ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Gramophone and ‘5-Diapasons’ by Diapason, a seldom simultaneous appreciation. And by the end of 2017, this CD entered Gramophone's list of "Top 10 Chopin Recordings", for his interpretation of the 24 Preludes op.28 - the list includes historical recordings such as the Concertos with Martha Argerich, Polonaises with Rubinstein, Waltzes with Dinu Lipatti, Nocturnes with Maria Joao Pires and Ballades with Murray Perahia. Also in 2017, his interpretation of Beethoven's 7 Bagatelles op.33 entered the "Top 10 Recent Beethoven Recordings" on Gramophone, a short list that included interpretations of various instrumental formations and artists such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Stefan Vladar, Nelson Goerner, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.
Future engagements include Solo Recital at Verbier Festival, duos with Renaud Capuçon and Antonio Meneses, and recording with Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra.
Cristian also recorded Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto n.1 with Sao Paulo Youth Symphony Orchestra. Other recent prizes are "Instrumentalist of the Year" (2017) by APCA, main Association of Art Critics in Brazil and also "Best Concert of the Year" (2016) by Guia da Folha, one of the main Cultural Guides of the country.
Cristian grew up in Diadema, outskirts of Sao Paulo, and during his childhood he was a student at the Brincante Institute (brazilian folklore music, dances and traditions), having classes with Antonio Nobrega and several artists who significantly contributed to his artistic development. Cristian was honored to participate in Nobrega’s shows and in one of them he played a full Brazilian Music solo piano recital. Later on, in Boston, he joined a quartet specialized in Brazilian Choro Music that won the Honors Competition of New England Conservatory.
Cristian has appeared as a soloist at important venues such as KKL, Jordan Hall, Liederhalle, Bucharest Athene, Sala Sao Paulo, LAC of Lugano, and has played and taught at many festivals like Klavierissimo (Zurich), Les Grands Interpretes (Geneva), Rising Stars series at Frankische Musiktage Festival (Germany), Rockport Music Festival (USA), Zfunot Tarbut series (Israel), Zermatt Festival (Switzerland), Piano aux Jacobins (France), Delft Chamber Music Festival (Nederlands), Monterrey International Piano Festival (Mexico), Campos do Jordao International Festival (Brazil).
Cristian has already performed with orchestras such as Orquestre de la Suisse Romande, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, New England Conservatory Philarmonic Orchestra, Mendoza Philarmonic Orchestra, Montevideo Philarmonic Orchestra, Ermil Nichifor Philarmonic Orchestra (Romania), Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo University Symphony Orchestra, Amazonas Philarmonic Orchestra, Sao Paulo Youth Symphony Orchestra, Espirito Santo Symphony Orchestra, Camerata SESI de Vitoria, Orquestra Ouro Preto, Parana Symphony Orchestra, Curitiba Chamber Orchestra, Petrobras Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Experimental de Repertório (Sao Paulo), São Caetano do Sul Philharmonic Orchestra, Sergipe Symphony Orchestra, among others.
When Cristian moved to Boston in 2010 he hosted musical evenings that directly inspired the foundation of Groupmuse (www.groupmuse.com/about) in which he had a very important roll in its start and development. It generated great impact in the music world and received the support of Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In Brazil Cristian is the founder of Pianosofia (www.pianosofia.com), a project that takes classical music to houses through a community of musicians who cultivate the genuine love for Music also with the intention of reaching out to new public. The projects promotes chamber music with piano and aims to ‘wake asleep pianos up' at people homes, with the additional help from piano technicians at Aronne Piano Store. The project also gained the support of the Cultura Artistica Music Society.
Cristian started his musical studies with Elsa Klebanowski, a pupil of Wilhelm Kempff. He graduated from the University of Sao Paulo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music having Eduardo Monteiro as his piano teacher, and he earned his Master’s Degree in Piano Performance under the guidance of Wha Kyung Byun at the New England Conservatory of Boston, also having lessons with Russell Sherman. Later on he received the Presidential Scholarship by the same institution when he was accepted for the Artist Diploma, a prestigious program that takes just one instrumentalist per year (sometimes none at all) and offers sponsorship and concerts in the United States.
Cristian lives in Berlin today.