B i o g r a p h y
The performing art of Constantin Sandu has developed under the influence of his Romanian masters – Sonia Ratescu, Constantin Nitu and, later on, Constantin Ionescu-Vovu at the "Ciprian Porumbescu" Higher Music Conservatory of Bucharest – and of other outstanding individualities such as Sequeira Costa, Dimitri Bashkirov, Helena Sá e Costa and Tânia Achot. His unique artistic personality blends accuracy and respect for the musical text with fascinating poetical sensitivity and imaginative sound spectrum
At the age of 14, he started his career as a soloist with orchestra. Since then, he has been involved in an intense musical activity – hundreds of recitals, chamber music and concerts with orchestra – in several European and Asian countries, having had favourable appreciation from both the public and the critics: “his sensitive personality helps him give a very personal though valid version” (Piano Journal – United Kingdom); “a musician of an undoubted personality, (…) a magnificent sense of colour and rhythm, together with undeniable virtuosity” (Diario de Sevilla – Spain); “a superb pianist, (…) a masterful hue and delicacy (…) irreproachable mastery. Overwhelming.” (ABC – Spain); “an artistic performance of real excellence” (Muzica – Romania); “a concerto full of expression and emotion” (Público – Portugal); "A General leading his troops, the Bodensee Symphonic Orchestra." (L' Est Républicain – France); “The delicate and deep playing, the almost immaterial sound, carried the audience into a dimension of dream.” (Corriere Valsesiano – Italy).
He holds several awards at international competitions: Senigallia – Italy 1980 (2nd), Viotti-Valsesia – Italy 1981 (1st), Paloma O’Shea – Santander, Spain 1984 (Honourable mention), Epinal – France 1985 (2nd) and Maria Canals – Barcelona, Spain 1985 (3rd and Alberto Mozatti special prize).
He has participated in important Festivals, namely: Enescu – Bucharest, Chopin – Paris, Festival Internacional de Santander, Festival de Primavera - Sevilla, Ciudad de Ayamonte, Internationale Trossinger Tastentage, Muziksev - Izmir, Vara Magica - Bucharest, Figueira da Foz, Espinho, Guimarães.
He is a regular guest soloist of the most significant Romanian orchestras, such as: George Enescu – Bucharest, Transilvania – Cluj, Oltenia – Craiova Philharmonics, and the Symphonic Orchestra of the Romanian Broadcasting. He has also played with noteworthy European orchestras, as for instance: Arthur Rubinstein – Lodz, Halle Philharmonic, Bodensee Orchestra – Konstanz, National Orchestra of Belarus, Symphonic Orchestra of Radio – television of Kiev, National Philharmonic of Moldavia, National Orchestra of Porto.
He has played with renowned conductors, such as: Cristian Mandeal, Horia Andreescu, Ludovic Bacs, Emanuel Elenescu, Christian Badea, Camil Marinescu, Daisuke Soga, Ilya Stupel, Thomas Koncz, Victor Dubrovski, Emil Hatchaturian, Elena Herrera, Meir Minsky, Mark Stephenson, Heribert Beissel, Johen Wehner, Robert E. Luther, Didier Benetti, Piero Bellugi, Roberto Salvalaio, and Wong Kah Chun.
He has performed in celebrated concert halls (Ateneul Roman – Bucharest, Concert Hall of the Romanian Broadcasting Society - Bucharest, Palau de la Música Catalana – Barcelona, Iturbi hall of the Palau de la Música – Valencia, Manuel de Falla Auditorium – Granada, Mozart hall of the Zaragoza Auditorium, Teatro de Rojas – Toledo, Teatro Cervantes – Malaga, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation - Lisbon, Casa da Música – Porto) and in other important musical centres (London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels Rome, Turin, Madrid, Seville, Bratislava, Xi'an, etc.).
He was a member of the jury of the following International Competitions: Epinal, France 2015, 2017 and 2019, Vianna da Motta — Lisbon, Portugal 2001, Cidade do Porto — Portugal 1996, 1998, 2003 and 2010, Viotti-Valsesia — Italy 1995, Pinerollo-Cittá della cavalleria — Italy 1994 and 1996, Helena Sá e Costa — Aveiro, Portugal 2004, Florinda Santos — São João de Madeira, Portugal 2004, 2012, Ciudad de Toledo – Spain 2007 and Propiano – Bucharest, Romania 2008 - 2017 and 2019, Paços’ Premium 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2017, Santa Cecilia - Porto, Portugal 2017. He was invited to be the president of the jury of the 28th Epinal International Piano Competition in 2021.
He has given several master classes, among which the following are to be mentioned: Porto International Music Courses 1998, Celebrating the Great Pianists Festival in Aveiro 2001, International Music Courses Ciudad de Gandia 2003, National Music University of Bucharest 2005, 2013, International Music Forum of Torrelodones 2008, Encuentros Internacionales de Música - Alcobendas 2012, Hochschule fϋr Musik Trossingen 2012, Fórum Internacional de Música "Ciudad de Orihuela" 2013 - 2019, Steinway & Sons House - Xi'an 2019, National Music Conservatory of Lisbon 2008 and 2020 and several editions of the International Instrumental Courses of ARTAVE / Centro de Cultura Musical.
Within the ERASMUS+ programme, he has given master classes at prestigious Conservatories and Universities, such as Conservatóire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris 2018, Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles 2016, Hogeschool Zuyd Maastricht 2013, Yasar University Izmir 2014 and 2020.
Within Porto 2001 — European Capital of Culture, he performed Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Porto National Orchestra, under the direction of Mark Tardue. This performance was integrated in an all-Rachmaninov-Concertos programme, in which he participated together with Vladimir Viardo, Sequeira Costa e Artur Pizarro.
He recorded several CDs – Beethoven (2001), Albeniz and Gershwin (2002), Portuguese and Romanian piano music (2005), Mozart and A. J. Fernandes Concertos (2009) and other collective or chamber music works.
In 2006, he received the title of Ph. D. in music at the National Music University of Bucharest, with the thesis Portuguese Piano Music.
He has lived in Portugal since 1991 and presently teaches the piano at the Porto Higher School of Music and the Performing Arts, where he is the current Head of The Piano Department.
In 2019, the Government of Romania distinguished him with the Excellency Prize and Medal 100 pentru Centenar, for his contribution to the "preservation of the Romanian cultural heritage".