Gundel, Junior Prima and Prima Primissima Prize winning concert 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 began his piano studies under the instruction of Erika Becht, who has been his teacher and ‘musical score’ (she has invented a unique method allowing him to learn, practice, rehearse and play without a printed score) 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’s diploma as a pupil of Leon Fleisher.
An undergraduate still in his teens, he released two Mozart CDs simultaneously in Budapest and Toronto. A huge and instant success at the time, they have had five editions since. American Record Guide, the oldest classical music review magazine in the US appreciated the exceptional emotional depth and power of expression of his Mozart performance, comparing it to that of Rudolf Serkin, Vladimir Ashkenazi, Mitsuko Ushida, 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 Barbican Centre. In Hungary, Érdi’s Liszt, Chopin and Schubert recordings appeared on the Hungaroton label and he has played successful concerts under the baton of his chief mentors, Zoltán Kocsis and Tamás Vásáry. In 2010, 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 sixth invitation to Warsaw, to play under the famous Chopin statue for an audience of over four thousand people. Musicologist Antoni Grudzinsky, the president of the Warsaw Chopin Association voiced the belief that “with his performance Tamás Érdi has earned for himself a place in the front line of the world’s best piano performers for a long time to come”. Érdi 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 Romania. In Hungary, he is a regular soloist of the National Philharmonics and the Hungarian Radio Symphony. Tamás Érdi is also the art director of an increasingly international annual open air classical music festival in the Balaton region.