I was born in Satu Mare, a town in northern Romania very close to the Hungarian border, and felt drawn to music almost from the very start. My mother had a beautiful voice and was always singing to me, and I was soon able to sing before talking properly. For a long time after, my dream was to become a singer.
One evening, aged five and a half, my mom and I were in the car driving home Olivia Papa, who happened to be a violin teacher. After hearing me hum, she said I should start having violin lessons: at first, the only thing that I loved in the lessons were Olivia’s cats who often came to say hello, but as my skills improved, new possibilities were arising.
Soon I met my future mentor Alecu Leseanu, Principal Viola in the Bucharest Opera, under whose guidance I fell irremediably in love with the violin. He would always give the human voice as an epitome for musicality, in-line with my childhood dream, and the passion with which he taught each technique and chose each piece for me continuously made me want to discover more.
I became a pupil of the prestigious George Enescu Music High School in Bucharest, a period in which I accumulated a lot in terms of my musical experiences, receiving prizes in competitions across Europe. The next major step in my musical development was my participation in the European Union Youth Orchestra between 2010-2012, where I made friends from all over Europe, and learnt a lot about how people make music in different parts of the world.
In 2011, I began at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where I was able to play varied repertoire under the batons of Semyon Bychkov, Christian Thielemann, Marin Alsop, Maxim Vengerov and Yan Pascal Tortelier to name a few.
During my stay in London I have cultivated my love of chamber music, playing in seven structurally different ensembles. In 2016, I performed Haydn’s ‘Emperor’ and Dvořák ’s A major piano quintet in Italy as part of the ‘I Magnifici Cinque’, and performed at St Martin-in-the-Fields with my piano trio, sponsored by the Romanian Cultural Institute. I am also passionate about folk, and folk-inspired classical music too.
Royal Academy of Music
George Enescu Music High School
What is your favourite piece of music, and why do you love it?
This is a difficult one… A piece that often comes to mind is Enescu’s Violin Sonata No.3, written in Romanian folk style. It is a work in which a lot of folk playing techniques are used, suggesting instruments like the cimbalom and cobza, pleasantly reminding me of home. Its musical material is entirely original (with no allusions to actual peasant tunes) and very complex. Every time I hear it, I feel I discover something new.
What do you do with your time when you're not playing music?
I have been ballroom dancing for more than a year now. It is a thrilling activity through which I have the chance to experience music differently. It has often helped me in my practice! I also fence, a sport that I absolutely love. It encourages the mind to be in the present moment (to avoid being stabbed!) and is constantly pushing you to find new ways to score against your opponent.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us...
Whilst in high school I decided to break the world record for the biggest origami, and made a 1.75m tall Eastern dragon. Passers-by could see me on the balcony at home waving a huge amount of paper and shouting directions to my father - now down on the street - on how to take a good picture. The end result filled my heart with pride and the dragon stood proudly in our corridor. In school the next day though, I found out that somebody had already made a life-size origami rhinoceros… Oh well, next time.