He began his musical training in the violin when he was 8 in Bucharest, his birthplace. Later on, he took further courses with masters of the instrument Avy Abramovich, Varujan Coziguian, Georges Nicolescu and Stephan Gheorghiu.
When he was 17 years old, he was admitted to the Bucharest Conservatory of Music, where he gained a degree with the highest distinction.
During his years at the Bucharest Conservatory of Music he performed as a soloist with the conservatory orchestra as well as with the Romanian Radio and Television Orchestra featuring works by Mozart, Brahms, Saint-Saëns and Vieuxtemps.
He was leader, and also a soloist, with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in 1979.
He performed extensively with his own quartet, Pro-Musica, which he had founded with section leaders from the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra.
He was the recipient of the 2nd prize at the Colmar International Competition for Quartets, Colmar, France.
He earned the position of violin player and, later, that of soloist viola player in a competition to fill vacancies with the Basque National Orchestra. He stayed with the orchestra from 1984 until 1991.
Also with them, he taught instrument and orchestral technique at several courses held by the orchestra in 1984–85 and 1985–86.
He has partnered with Alberto Iglesias in the making and performing of music for several films directed by Pedro Almodóvar and Julio Medem, and he has played at the Lanzarote Festival of Visual Music, and at the Málaga Film Festival.
The jury at the 1990 ‘Nicanor Zabaleta’ International Competition awarded him the 1st prize on a unanimous vote.
Since 1991 Cristian Ifrim has been a professor of violin and viola, and a professor of chamber music at the Conservatory of Music in San Sebastián, Spain.
Beginning in 1993 and until 1998 he was a member of the jury for the awarding of music grants on behalf of the provincial authority in Guipúzcoa, Basque Country, Spain.
In 2001 he was a member of the commission appointed to select staff for the faculty at the Catalonian School of Music (L’Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya), Catalonia, Spain.
He has been guest soloist viola player with orchestras in Seville, Pamplona, Bordeaux, Bucharest, Lille, and with the Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia, among others.
In 1991, he performed Béla Bartók’s concerto for viola and orchestra under Israeli conductor Doron Solomon in a series of concerts with the Basque National Orchestra in Bilbao, Vitoria, Pamplona and San Sebastián.
With the Seville Symphony Orchestra, he premiered the orchestral version of the film music by Alberto Iglesias at Teatro de La Maestranza, Seville.
In 2007, among various other concerts, he was guest soloist with the Orchestre National de Lille, conducted by Dmitri Sitkovesky, on their tour of France. The tour featured the Sinfonia Concertante in A major for violin, viola and violoncello, and the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola by Mozart.
He is regularly invited to appear at international festivals in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, China, Macau, Thailand and South Korea. He has played with the Amadeus Quartet at the Perigord Noir Festival (France) and the Quinteto Philarmonía.
In 1988, he founded the Ifrim-Llorente Duo with pianist Maruxa Llorente. From the outset, they have performed chamber music regularly. This includes a 12 February 2009 recital at Teatro Victoria Eugenia, San Sebastián, to wide critical acclaim.
Since its inception, he has also been a member of the Claret Piano Quarter with Gerard Claret, Lluís Claret and Maruxa Llorente, He has taken part in the International Chamber Music Meeting in Oñati, Vic International Music Festival, Ripoll Festival, ‘Quincena Musical’ Festival in San Sebastián, Azkoitia ‘Ciclo Musical’ and Zumaia ‘Ciclo de Música’ series, and he regularly performs at the ‘Palau de la Música’ events in Barcelona.
He has taught a master class in violin, viola and chamber music at the International Music Forum in Spain since 2009. With the Forum, he has been guest concertmaster/conductor of the Forum International Orchestra.
In 2010–2011, he was on tour in the most prestigious festivals in Poland, on this occasion as leader of the Europa Quartet with Anna Radomska, Iurek Wosniack and Herwig Coryn. The quartet performed at the Music Festival in Torun, Szafarnia, the ‘Musical Summer’ Festival in Olsztyn, Gdansk, Lublin, Cracow and Warsaw.
In January 2010 he played at the Palau de la Música Catalana with the Claret Piano Quartet.
Since September 2011, he has been Professor of Violin at the Navarre Music Conservatory in Pamplona, Spain.