Biography

At the age of 24, the British violinist Cristian Grajner de Sa gave his European debut recital at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, with his performance acclaimed as "equally poetic, wild, fierce... a future giant among violin soloists".

Cristian has been invited to perform in many of the great venues of Europe, such as the Mozarteum Salzburg, Atheneum Bucharest, Wigmore Hall in London, the Cheltenham Festival, St. Martins-in-the-Fields, Salle Paderewski Lausanne and Ateneo de Madrid, with futher engaments in France, Italy and the United States. He has been widely broadcast and featured on BBC Television, BBC Radio 3, Scala Radio FM, TVR Romanian National Television, TRT3 Radio Turkey and The Violin Channel. Previous concert seasons have seen Cristian perform many of the great concertos with ensembles at home and abroad; the Orquestra de Cámara Galega in Galicia, the Symphony Orchestra of his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Music and he performs regularly at the Corn Exchange, Bedford, where he is to return in the 20/21 season to perform the Beethoven and Brahms Double concerti. His repertoire extends from most of the staple works of the literature to lesser known concert pieces, concertos and sonatas, particulary of French origin, with which he has a strong affinity and music by Henri Dutilleux, Guillaume Lekeu and Lili Boulanger (to name only a few) feature often in his concert repertoire. In June 2020, he released live recordings under the Ulysses Arts label on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and all other streaming platforms. After taking a keen interest, Scala Radio selected him as their Young Artist.

As a recipient of the Gold Medal with High Distinction at the International Vienna Music Competition, 2019, his performances were praised with "huge musicality, a depth of understanding and technical virtuosity", and Cristian previously received the First Prize at the inaugural ‘Groba’ International Violin Competition in Spain. He was also a string finalist at the celebrated competition, the BBC Young Musician. Cristian was honoured and humbled to have been awarded the distinguished 'J & A Beare Prize' from the Royal Academy of Music in 2017, its most renowned prize gifted to the most outstanding violin graduate. In the same year, the Academy invited him to perform with his regular mentor in London, Maxim Vengerov, in an evening of Brahms' chamber works to celebrate Vengerov's final concert as the Academy's Menuhin Professor of Music.

Cristian was born in December 1994 of Italian and Portuguese heritage, and was awarded the Leverhulme Scholarship from the Royal Academy of Music at the young age of thirteen. It was at this time that Cristian met the legendary French violinist, Maurice Hasson, who became his teacher and most important influence, and with whom he remains in close contact today. Cristian has also had the unique honour to study as the only student of Tasmin Little, and under her guidance he graduated from the Academy with First Class Honours in 2017. He completed his conservatory education at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg with another celebrated French artist, Pierre Amoyal.  

Cristian has worked closely and received advice from most of today's great pedagogues and performers; notably Pinchas Zukerman, Silvia Marcovici, Menahem Pressler, Sylvia Rosenberg, Vadim Repin, James Ehnes, Ralph Kirshbaum and Rodney Friend.

Cristian de Sa perfoms on a Camillo Camilli, 1740, on extended loan from the Benslow Trust.