Eugene Sarbu


Firmly established as one of the most important musicians of his generation, Eugene Sarbu has been hailed as “Destined for Greatness” (Daily Telegraph, London), raised to “Superstar status” (The Guardian, London) and even compared to “Paganini himself” (Goteborg Musik). His hold on public imagination stems from a unique combination of talent and charm.

Eugene Sarbu and Georges Enesco are the only Romanian violinists who have the honour to appear in the genealogical tree of the greatest violinists in the world music history, in the famous British music critic Margaret Campbell's book "The Great Violinists" - published in London in 2004.

Few violinists have made a more sudden and dramatic impact on the world’s music scene than Eugene Sarbu. His international career was launched by a series of gold medals in practically every major competition in Europe and North America. These culminated with the First Prize in the Paganini International Competition in Genoa, Italy, only two months after having been awarded the First Prize and the Audience Prize in the Carl Flesch International Competition in London and the Rockefeller Prize for Music in the United States.

His career takes him across five continents, appearing with many of the world’s finest orchestras, including all the major London and British orchestras and those of New York, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Miami, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Portland, Vienna, Hamburg, Munich, Bamberg, Milan, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Verona, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich, Lugano, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, Barcelona, Zagreb, Bucharest, Sidney, Melbourne, New Zealand, Singapore, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Santiago de Chile etc. The celebrated violinist also performs extensively in recital with distinguished pianists like Leon Pommers, Tullio Macoggi, Samuel Sanders, Bruno Canino, Gordon Back and his sister, Carmina Sarbu, in the most prestigious concert halls in the world and at the great international festivals.

Mr Sarbu is heard on radio and television in most countries, has recorded extensively for the BBC and on disc for EMI and Auvidis. His repertoire is vast, encompassing the master works of the baroque, classical, romantic, modern and contemporary composers.

Several world musical events illustrate the personality of Eugene Sarbu. In 1982, he brings together some of the finest musicians from the major European orchestras, becoming Director and Founder of the European Master Orchestra and gives its world premiere performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London - as soloist and conductor. Following the breathtaking events towards freedom and democracy in Romania in 1989, Eugene Sarbu initiated a world campaign for his beloved country, by giving countless benefit concerts around the world. The first such event took place in Paris, on December 26, 1989. when the legendary violinist, with incredible courage, played and moved deeply the public, together with his great friends Gheorghe Zamfir, Ileana Cotrubas, Carmina Sarbu, Gerard Depardieu, Sophie Marceau, Georges Enesco Quartett... In December 1994, Eugene Sarbu gave an historic performance at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, on the violin of Paganini (“Il Cannone” – Guarneri del Gesù). In 1997, he was invited by HRH Prince Charles to perform together with his sister at St. James’ Palace in London. That same year he became the Honorary Director of the Romanian National Radio Orchestra in Bucharest. In September 1999, Mr Sarbu opened the 1999-2000 season at Carnegie Hall in New York, performing the Brahms Violin Concerto with the American Symphony Orchestra to a standing ovation.

In December 2000, the President of Romania bestowed upon the great virtuoso the Order of “The Star of Romania”, in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the art of music.

Born in Romania, Eugene Sarbu began to study the violin at the age of five with his father. He made his first solo appearance when he was six and subsequently captured every conceivable musical award of his country, becoming a real legend very early on. Following studies at the Music School in his home town of Galati (with Prof. Nachmanovici), in Bucharest (Prof. G. Avakian and Prof. I. Geanta) and Paris (Robert Soëtens), at the recommendation of Yehudi Menuhin, he received a scholarship from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to study with the legendary Professor Ivan Galamian (violin), Guarneri Quartett (chamber music) and Eugene Ormandy (orchestra / conducting). Upon graduation, Mr Sarbu continued with Galamian at the Juilliard School in New York, where he received his Master of Music Degree, and with Nathan Milstein in London and Zurich.

Eugene Sarbu, acclaimed by audiences and critics everywhere as one of the foremost violinists of our time, performs on a magnificent Stradivarius violin, previously played also by Henryk Wieniawsky, made in Cremona in 1729.