Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Advice on Having a Successful VSA Competition

Strings Magazine asked me to share few thoughts about my experience as a tone judge for the 2018 Violin Society of America International Instrument and Bow Making Competition.

Here is an article with some useful information for violin and bow makers which appeared in the May 2019 issue.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Stradivari & Guarneri del Gesu

I am fascinated by sound, I have always been. For me a violin or a bow doesn’t just have to work, it also has to inspire, to invite me and my imagination into a sonic world in its own right. For this reason I try to stay close to talented living makers or to the work of past masters. 

Recently I had the chance to visit yet again a friend who’s generosity of sharing his treasures is beyond words and got to step into a marvelous musical world. Basically I created and attended a private little party between my hands, my imagination, a wonderful Golden Period Stradivari violin, a wonderful late Guarneri Del Gesu violin, a Tourte and a Voirin... 

I know you all wonder which is the best, which is the greatest, which I’m in love with… and the answer is that they’re all good and great. I feel fortunate to have been able to play them and you can make your own thoughts and opinions on which you find the best and greatest.

Violin selection is matter of personal preference, technical level, the colors and textures one feels or hears in his mind. Among other things I look for quick and easy response, a certain sensitivity under my fingers. We should also pay attention to the right hand since it offers such important feedback. The bow is what makes a violin sound. Without it there is pizzicato or silence. The idea is to achieve expressivity and fluidity with the greatest ease. Each string should have its own character, building blocks of one’s own private musical world. I’m drawn to recordings of masters from the past with their warm personal sound which is in stark contrast with the sound of contemporary artists. Being able to play soft is maybe more important than playing loud. I think one needs to achieve contrasts effortlessly, quickly and beautifully. 

I hope these sounds peaked your interest as much as they did mine. There is a gem in every violin out there and with the right approach (technique, strings, tonal adjustments and the right bow) one can find great joy in creating and exploring his own personal musical world…

Bach - Sonata for Violin Solo No. 2, Grave played on a Stradivari violin

Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto solo Excerpt played on a Stradivari violin 

Paganini - Caprice No.21 played on a Guarneri del Gesu violin 

Enescu - Impressions D'enfance, Le Menetrier played on a Guarneri del Gesu violin 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Love is... at Capitol Records!

December 2019 brings the release of Sophie's first professional album singing some of her favorite songs of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others. This superb album was recorded at the historic Capitol Records, same exact spot where Frank and Dean recorded. I feel so fortunate to have been involved in this project alongside some amazing professionals and to support my little girl as she's reaching to the stars. 
Stay tuned for all the updates on Sophie's upcoming first album here:

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Kennedy Center Premiere

I'm humbled by the honor to perform in this great temple of music the world premiere of Matthew Jackfert's Violin Concerto "A Black Bear Awakens in Winter" accompanied by the Charleston Chamber Orchestra and conductor Scott Woodard.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Bio...

Violinist Cristian Fatu is the first violinist of the Montclaire String Quartet and Adjunct Faculty at the West Virginia State University. He is a top prize winner at more than 25 national and international violin competitions in his native Romania and abroad including First Prize at the 2008 Kingsville International Competition, TX and the Grand Prize and First Prize at the 2000 "Remember Enescu" International Violin Competition, Romania. He has built a significant career of recital, concerto, music festival and chamber music appearances in the US and Europe including the Music Celebrations International Festival at Carnegie Hall, New York City; the International Summer Academy Prag-Wien-Budapest in Austria; and the Kyoto International Music Students Festival in Japan, among others.The Murnauer Tagblatt in Germany praised his “wonderful virtuosity as well as perfect technique.” Cristian holds a Bachelor's degree from the National Music University of Bucharest, a Master's and an Artist Diploma from Park University, MO where he studied with Ben Sayevich. His teachers and coaches include Gil Shaham, Stefan Gheorghiu, Eric Rosenblith, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Gabriel Croitoru and Vladimir Spivakov, to name a few. Upcoming engagements include the world premiere of a West Virginia Violin Concerto by composer Matt Jackfert at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in the company of the Charleston Chamber Orchestra in February 2019. Cristian is married to the pianist and jazz singer Victoria Martirosyan – Fatu and together they have three children Mark, Vivienne and Sophie who at only five years of age became the youngest contestant in the history of NBC's America's Got Talent delivering memorable performances of Sinatra's top hits.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Treasures from Home CD Now Available!

This CD features some of the most touching and popular pieces close to our hearts. Home is where our family is and with this album we share with you the music that has accompanied us throughout life's journeys.
Our latest Album is now available for purchase and listening on Apple Music:

Also it can be found in digital or analog form on Amazon and CD Baby websites:

Lastly, it can be heard on YouTube at: