Born In Budapest, Hungary
Resides In Bowling Green, OH

Csaba Erdelyi - Viola

Csaba Erdélyi, born in Hungary, made musical history when, in 1972, he won the prestigious Carl Flesch Violin Competition with the viola—the first, and so far, only time. Following the Flesch Prize, he was invited by Joseph Szigeti and Rudolph Serkin to the Marlboro Festival where he also worked with Pablo Casals.

A viola student of Pál Lukács and subsequently Yehudi Menuhin and Bruno Giuranna, Erdélyi became Menuhin’s partner in concertos and chamber music. Menuhin wrote to Benjamin Britten: “Erdélyi is an invaluable link between the two great musical cultures of Eastern and Western Europe.”

As a soloist, Erdélyi has recorded for Concordance, Decca, Hungaroton, Lyrita, Nimbus and Philips records. He has played viola concertos in the Royal Festival Hall and BBC Promenade Concerts, as well as major international music festivals. He was the viola soloist in the film score of Amadeus.

Erdélyi was principal viola of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London from 1974 to 1978. In 1980 he became the violist of the London-based Chilingirian Quartet, as well as professor of viola at the Guildhall School of Music. In the USA, Professor Erdélyi taught at Indiana University, Rice University, Butler University, Bowling Green State University. His former students can be found in prestigious positions in music performance and education all over the world.

For over 20 years Professor Erdélyi researched the original manuscript of the Bartók Viola Concerto, the composer’s last work left in draft. In consultation with renowned Bartók scholars he restored and orchestrated the work in the most authentic manner. Both Erdélyi’s edition, published by, and his world premiere CD with the New Zealand Symphony have received world-wide professional acclaim, now available to listen to at

In September 2017, Bartók Viola Concerto – Restoration and Orchestration by Csaba Erdélyi, Revised Version 2016 received its European Premiere by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Berlin Philharmonic Hall. The orchestra’s Music Director, Sir Simon Rattle wrote: “I am in total agreement with the opinions of György Kurtág and Pierre Boulez that Erdélyi’s score is the most faithful realization of Bartók’s last masterpiece that was left in draft.” Csaba Erdélyi serves as principal viola of both the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia da Camera at the University of Illinois. He plays a magnificent viola made for him by master luthier Joseph Curtin in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Sponsored by JoLee Wennersten

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts