Csaba Onczay is one of the leading cellists of his generation. He received the Kossuth Prize (1993), the highest award given to any performing artist in all of Hungary. His excellent interpretation of Kodály`s
Solosonata op.8., he was awarded the Liszt Prize in Budapest, Hungary (1976), and the Meritorious Artist (1986). He was also awarded the prestigious Bartók-Pásztory Prize in 2004. In 2019 he
was presented by the Japanese Government award "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon". He has been a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts since 2019.
He 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).
He is Professor Emeritus of Cello at the Liszt University of Music in Budapest, Hungary, where he resides today. He was a Visiting Professor at Freiburg University of Music, at Oberlin Conservatory in OH. From 2006 to 2009 he
was a Visiting Professor at the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a regular faculty member of the Summer String Academy at the IU Jacobs School of Music. Parallel with his activity of interpreter since 1978, he regularly holds
master courses in Hungary, Europa, USA, Japan and Asia.
In addition to numerous concert recordings for radio and television, he 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. He is associated with the presentation of several contemporary music (Akutagawa, Gubaidulina, Dutilleux, Landowski, Lutoslawski, Penderecki); many Hungarian composers (Levente Gyöngyösi, Miklós
Kocsár, Kamillió Lendvay, Sándor Szokolay) has written and dedicated their works especially for him.
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.
founded an orchestra in Florence, Italy in 2000. 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.
His participation at the Wolf Trap Festival in USA in 1984 was received
with great enthusiasm. Musical America reported about him:
“Csaba Onczay brought to life the score’s quick-changing moods and its variety
of color, ranging from indomitable of Hungarian dance to lyric
Le Monde reported about him in August 1990:
“More significant was the successful presence of Hungarian cellist Csaba Onczay,
an extraordinary concentration, connected to a sound of “velvet” – disregarding any effects -... vivacious, deep, passionate and sometimes with a “ghostly” character
... close to Casals for saying shortly”.