Cornelius Zirbo began studying the cello at the age of eight as a pupil of the Augustin Bena Music Gymnasium School. He continued his studies at the Sigismun Toduță Music College, in his native Cluj, subsequently transferring to the Dinu Lipatti National College of the Arts, Bucharest, where he studied with Octavian Lup, and at present he is studying for his Degree at the National University of Music, Bucharest, in the class of Marin Cazacu.
In Paris, he has attended the Cello Excellence Class of Gautier Capuçon at the Louis Vuitton Foundation. To date, he has enjoyed the guidance of numerous outstanding international cellists, including Gautier Capuçon, Frans Helmerson, Miklós Perényi, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Götz Teutsch, Maximillian Hornung, Romain Garioud, Alexander Buzlov, László Fenyő, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, and Wendy Warner.
He is an ambassador of the Summer Academy of the prestigious Verbier Festival, Switzerland, where he took masterclasses in the cello and chamber music with Frans Helmerson, Miklós Perényi, Pamela Frank, Klaus Hellwig, Gábor Takács-Nagy and James Ehnes in 2017. He has also taken part in cello masterclasses at the Kronberg Academy, Germany, and in 2016 and 2018 he was a student of Frans Helmerson in the masterclass he gave at the Palazzo Ricci in Montepulciano, Italy.
He has won awards at the StreichWerk International Competition, Berlin, the Young Virtuosos International Competition, Sofia, the Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition, Croatia, the ProArt International Cello Competition, Ukrain, and the Concertino Praga International Competition, Czech Republic. He has given concerts and recitals nationally and international in prestigious venues such as the Konzerthaus (Berlin), the Foundation Louis Vuitton Auditorium (Paris), the Rudolfinum (Praga), St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London), Église de Verbier (Switzerland), the Concert Hall of the National Library (Beijing), and the Romanian Athenaeum (Bucharest).
Cornelius has also performed at prestigious music festivals including Verbier (Switzerland), Georges Enesco (Romania), SoNoRo (Romania), Chiemgauer Musikfrühling (Germany), South Bohemian (Czech Republic), and Cluj Musical Autumn (Romania). As a soloist he has performed with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Khmelnitsky Philharmonic, the Transylvania State Philharmonic, the Moldova State Philharmonic, the Royal Camerata, the National Youth Orchestra of the Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation, and the National Junior Orchestra. He has also performed in various chamber ensembles alongside leading musicians such as Mihaela Martin, Frans Helmerson, Gautier Capuçon, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Diana Ketler, and Anna-Liisa Bezrodny.