Cristian Budu



A stunningly original pianist with musical insight and maturity that could inspire envy in colleagues twice his age.” (Gramophone Magazine, 2016).

Young Brazilian of Romanian origin, pianist Cristian Budu arises as reference in the piano world for his outstanding achievements and unique artistry. In 2013, Switzerland, he became the winner of one of the most important and prestigious piano competitions in the world, the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition at its 50th anniversary. It awards just one winner by edition, and sometimes none at all. Amongst laureates of previous editions are names like Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, Christoph Eschenbach, Til Fellner and Evgeny Korolyov. Besides the Grand Prize he was also awarded the Children’s Corner prize and the Audience Prize. At the next edition (2015) the Grand prize was not awarded. The critique considered this deed as the most important award on the part of a Brazilian pianist over the last 25 years.

In 2016 Cristian launched his first commercial solo CD by record company Claves in Europe, being awarded two important prizes: ‘Editor’s Choice’ by British Gramophone magazine and ‘ 5-Diapasons’ by Diapason French magazine, a seldom simultaneous appreciation. In 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 like 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” by Gramophone.

In 2016, Cristian also recorded Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert nr. 1, the second CD for the Sao Paulo Youth Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Claudio Cruz, and he was awarded “Instrumentalist of the Year” by APCA, the critics association of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Cristian grew up in Diadema, outskirts of Sao Paulo, and became very early interested in Music. During this period, seeking path for his musical activity, he approached multi-artist from Pernambuco, Antonio Nobrega who introduced him to the rich realm of traditional Brazilian music and dance. Cristian was a student at the Brincante Institute for four years, having classes with Rosane Almeida and several folklore artists, who significantly contributed to his artistic development. Cristian was honored to participate in shows of Antonio Nobrega and then, in Boston, he joined a quartet specialized in Brazilian music that won in 2013 the Honors Competition of New England Conservatory at the ‘Contemporary Improvisation’. This granted him shows in the United States and a recording of a CD.

Amongst various invitations Cristian was offered, are the ones at the J.S. Bach Festival, Klavierissimo,  ‘Les Grands Interpretes’ (Geneva),  ‘Rising Stars’ at Frankische Musiktage Festival (Germany), Zermatt Festival, Piano aux Jacobins (France), Delft Chamber Muisc Festival, Rockport Music Festival (USA), Campos do Jordao International Festival (Brazil).

Cristian already appeared as a soloist at Jordan Hall, Liederhalle, KKL, Bucharest Athene, Sao Paulo Hall, LAC of Lugano, and with orchestras such as Orquestre de la Suisse Romande, Stuttgart Radio Symphonic Orchestra, Luzern Symphonic Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, Sergipe Symphony Orchestra, São Caetano do Sul Philharmonic Orchestra, Ermil Nichifor  Orchestra,  Montevideo Philharmonic Orchestra, Parana Symphony Orchestra, Amazonas Philarmonic Orchestra, amongst many others.

Cristian was honored to share the stage with artists like Antonio Meneses, Christian Poltera, Esther Hoppe, Jennifer Stumm, Alexandra Soumm, Giovanni Gnocchi, Joseph Conyers.

When he moved to Boston in 2010, Cristian was hosting musical evenings that inspired the foundation of the Groupmuse project ( that generated great media impact and received the support of Boston Symphony Orchestra. In Brazil Cristian is the founder of the Pianosofia project ( that takes classical music to homes through a community of musicians that frequently rehearse and cultivate genuine love for Music. The projects promotes chamber music with piano with the intention to ‘wake up asleep pianos’ at people homes. Soon the project gained the important support of the Cultura Artistica Society.

Cristian startet his musical studies with Elsa Klebanowski, pupil of Wilhelm Kempff. In 2009, Cristian graduated from the University of Sao Paulo, where he had as professor the pianist Eduardo Monteiro. He became Master in Piano Performance under the guidance of Wha Kyung Byun, and in 2014 he received the presidential scholarship by the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, when he was accepted for the Artist Diploma, a prestigious study program that offers full sponsorship, recitals and solo concerts in the United States.