Valeriu (Vali) Sterian (1952 – 16 September 2000, Bucharest) was a Romanian folk and rock musician.
He was born at September 21, 1952 at Știubei, near the town of Râmnicu Sărat, in the Romanian county of Buzău.
He studied at the University of Bucharest and obtained a BA in psychology.
Valeriu Sterian started as a drummer during secondary school in the music band Copiii Florilor (Flower Children). His official musical debut was in 1973 at the Ballads Spring Festival (Festivalul Primavara Baladelor) where he received the Best Song Award for the single Nopti (Nights). The song was soon under the communist censorship.
At that time he was performing with Carmen Marin as Vali şi Carmen. In November 1973 Carmen Marin departs from this duo, and is replaced by Carmen Cula (and thus they continued to play as Vali and Carmen).
At the same time, Valeriu Sterian started collaborating for several years with the poet Adrian Păunescu at his "Cenaclul Flacăra", up until in the early 1980s.
In 1975 the record company Electrecord recorded his first album "Muzică folk" (Folk music) - more like a single, with only 2 songs: "Cu iubirea de moșie" and "Cântec de oameni" made in collaboration with Dan Andrei Aldea. The songs was aired a lot at the Romanian national radio station at that time.
Later he composes the song Amintire cu haiduci, probably his best know and most popular song, along with "Nopti".
In 1979 he started a band called Compania de Sunet (Sound Company), with which he toured all over the country and also in Bulgaria, Hungary, USSR, Poland, Norway, France, United Kingdom, and in the USA. Initial benad members was: Valeriu Sterian, Iulian Constantinescu (percussion), Bebe Teodorescu (drums) and Gabi Vulpe (bas). Later the members would change constantly, a lot of Romanian musicians would come to be part of this band.
At the same year, 1979, comes his first real album: Antirăzboinică
In 1993 he founded a record company called B'Inişor ("Pretty well").
He collaborated with other Romanian musicians, such as: Alexandru Andrieş, Nicu Alifantis, Doru Stănculescu, Mircea Bodolan, Maria Gheorghiu.
In 1982, he had another album, Veac XX and steadily he moves towards a more and more rock oriented music (with albums such as Nimic fara oameni, S-a votat codul penal, Evenimentul Zilei si altele). He also start to be more and more in concerts all over Romania, and also in Bulgaria, Hungary, USSR, Poland, Norway, France, United Kingdom, and in the USA.
After the Romanian revolution in December 1989, musical career of Valeriu Sterian had a boost, with his songs made anthems of the revolution and the turmoil period imediat after ("Nopti"). His music turned again to be more of a protest music against the new rulers in Romania (Ion Iliescu and his neocommunist regime): albums Vino, Doamne!, S-a votat codul penal .
In 1993 he founded a record company called B'Inişor (some sort of word games: "binisor" = pretty well, and also the record company was based on the street Inisor, in Bucharest).
In 1998 he recorded his last album Ruga
In 1999 he was involved in a road traffic accident on Gheorghe Magheru Avenue in Bucharest in which two people were killed. He was arrested on the 4th of October on suspicion of homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol.Within a month he was bailed. The case was never fully concluded to this day. The following year (September 16, 2000) he died of cancer.
Muzică folk (Folk Music) -Electrecord, 1975
Antirăzboinică (Against War) Electrecord, 1979
Veac XX (20th Century) Electrecord, 1982
Nimic fără oameni (Nothing Without People) Electrecord, 1989
Nopţi (Nights) Norway, 1990
Vino, Doamne! (Come Here, God!) - Compania de Sunet & Metropol Music, 1991
S-a votat Codul penal (The Criminal Law Has Been Adopted) Compania de Sunet & Eurostar, 1992
Evenimentul zilei… şi altele (The News of the Day… and Other Stuff) - Compania de Sunet, 1994
Rugă (Prayer) - Compania de Sunet & Roton, 1998
The Very Best of Valeriu Sterian - Fundaţia Culturală Phoenix, 2000
Din darul magilor 5 (In memoriam Valeriu Sterian - Tribute album) - Fundaţia Culturală Phoenix, 2000
Muzică de colecţie, Vol. 66 Vali Sterian - Jurnalul Naţional, Compania de Sunet & Electrecord, 2008