Meet the Musicians: Violinist Nicolae Bica

Born into a family of musicians, Romanian violinist Nicolae Bica started violin studies at the age of six. Several competitions, conservatories, and orchestras later, he arrived at his permanent home at the SLSO in 2001.

Why did you choose violin?

My parents chose violin for me. I was fortunate that both of them were musicians—my father was a choirmaster and my mother played piano and taught music in schools back in Romania. When I started school, my dad knew he would be able to help me with music. He thought, “you know, an orchestra has two violin sections, so the chances of getting a job are better.” What he didn’t realize was how fierce the competition is for violinists.


I’m glad to have ended up with violin because I love the sound of it—it’s been a pleasure to have in my life.


Do you have a musical idol?

Many, but Itzhak Perlman is one. When I was young in Romania in the 1980s, I had a video of him that was sort of smuggled in. His personality, his way of playing, his way of producing sound is very, very special. I wanted to play violin just like him.


When Music Director Hans Vonk passed away, Perlman stepped in as the SLSO’s Music Advisor. I was sitting right in front while he conducted—even now I get goosebumps because it was such a special moment.


What kind of music do you like?

For classical music, I love the composer Gustav Mahler. He makes every single voice in the orchestra quite important, and even for a section second violin player, it’s such a pleasure to prepare and perform the work. His music is very folky and truly people’s music. He takes you on an amazing journey.


Other than classical, I love reggaeton. There’s just something about the rhythm that gives me the energy to do anything!


Any hobbies?

I love mountain biking, and riding and working on my motorcycle. I took a trip to Colorado last year and went downhill mountain biking for the first time. It was a blast! My new violin case is covered in mountain biking stickers.

Watch Nicolae's full video interview below. To learn more, read his bio.