Tamás Érdi, pianist and artistic director
Gundel, Junior Prima and Prima Primissima Prize winning pianist, Tamás Érdi was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit in 2004 and Hungary’s highest musical distinction, the Liszt Prize in 2019. He started piano studies under the instruction of Erika Becht who has been his teacher ever since. At 17, he won the Louis Braille Piano Competition in Moscow and after two years of studies at the Vienna Music Academy, was accepted to the Toronto Music Conservatory where he received his artist diploma as a pupil of Leon Fleischer.
An undergraduate still in his teens, he had two Mozart CDs released simultaneously in Budapest and Toronto. A huge and instant success at the time, they have reached five editions since. Way back in 2000, American Record Guide, America’s oldest classical music review magazine appreciated the exceptional emotional depth and amazing power of expression of his Mozart performance, comparing it to that of Rudolf Serkin, Vladimir Ashkenazi, Mitsuko Uchida, Evgeny Kissin and Clara Haskil.
His concerts took him to 28 countries where he played in prestigious venues including the Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln and the Barbican Centre. In Hungary, Érdi’s Liszt, Chopin and Schubert recordings have appeared on the Hungaroton label and he has played a dozen successful concerts under the baton of his chief mentors, Zoltán Kocsis and Tamás Vásáry. In 2010, Zoltán Kocsis said that “Tamás touches the piano keys with much greater sensitivity than a musician with eyesight. I don't think we could ever reach the degree of sensitivity that is apparent in his performance. I dare say that this ability could be measured by standards set by Chopin.”
2019 brought Tamás his fourth invitation to Warsaw, to play under the famous Chopin statue for an audience of over for thousand people. Musicologist Antoni Grudzinški, the president of the Warsaw Chopin Association, has voiced the belief that “Tamas Erdi has earned for himself with his style of performance a place in the front line of the world’s best piano performers for a long time to come.”
He was equally applauded when he played with the Toronto or the Iceland Symphony, the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, the Sverdlovsk or the Enescu Symphony, the latter at the final event of the Liszt Year in Rumania. In Hungary, he is a regular soloist of the National Philharmonics and the Symphony Orchestra of the Hungarian Radio. Tamás Érdi is also the main attraction of Cool on the Beach, a festival of open-air classical music concerts now in its fifth year. In the summer months, these high-quality concerts by outstanding musicians bring thousands of music lovers to venues on the shore of the lake Balaton and the banks of the Danube. In the colors of this festival Tamás was a cultural ambassador of the Year of European Heritage when invited to play in Bratislava and Rijeka in 2018.