Csaba Onczay is one of the leading violoncellists of his generation. He born in Budapest, he studied at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest with Antal Friss, at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow with Shirinsky
and with Andre Navarra in Sienna. After finishing his studies, he secured the position of Professor at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary where he remains today, he is since 2017 Professor Emeritus. In 2001, he was a Visiting Professor at Oberlin
Conservatory in Oberlin, OH. From 2006 to 2009 he was a Visiting Professor at the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a permanent guest professor at the Summer String Academy of the Indiana University.
Mr. Onczay has won various international prizes. They include: First Prize at the International Pablo Casals Competition in Budapest, Hungary (1973); First Prize at the International Villa Lobos Competition of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1976). For his
excellent interpretation of Kodály`s Solosonata op.8., he was awarded the Liszt Prize in Budapest, Hungary (1976), and Meritorious Artist (1986). He received the Kossuth Prize (1993), the highest award given to any performing artist in all of
Hungary. He was also awarded the prestigious Bartók-Pásztory Prize in 2004, and Several Artisjus Prizes for the performance of contemporary compositions.
He appears as a soloist in some of the most prestigious
concert halls of Europe, America, Korea and Japan. He has amassed outstanding successes with numerous orchestras including the Wiener Symphoniker, the Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, the RAI Orchestra as well as many orchestras in the United States.
In addition to numerous concert recordings for radio and television, Mr. Onczay has concertos of C.P.E. Bach, Schumann, Lalo, Villa Lobos, Dohnányi and also all the sonatas of Beethoven and all the solo suites of Bach. Mr. Onczay is considered
to be an outstanding interpreter of the contemporary music of Akutagawa, Gubaidulina, Lutoslawski, Pendereczki, Dutilleux, Landowski and of concertos composed for him personally (Decsényi, Kocsár, Lendvay, Szokolay).
Parallel with his activity of interpreter since 1978, he regularly holds master-courses in Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Japan and Hungary. In Florence, he conducted an orchestra, established by him, for two years. He is invited
as soloist and chamber music player to many international festivals, including: Pablo Casals Festival Prades; Springfestival Budapest; Beaumaris Festival Gifu; Springfestival Prague. He is the Artistic Director of the Niederstotzingen Musiktage in Germany
and of the Summer Courses at the Festetics Castle in Keszthely, Hungary and Bergamo, Italy.
In August, 1990, the Le Monde wrote about him the following: "… the Hungarian cellist Csaba Onczay, with his special concentration,
velvety sound and the spirit of his playing, comes near Casals."