Aikman World Premiere featuring Csaba Erdélyi

Music Director Matthew Kraemer and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra present a world premiere by ICO composer-in-residence James Aikman. Expressly written for ICO Principal Violist Csaba Erdélyi as soloist, Aikman’s Viola Concerto premieres Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 pm at the Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler Arts Center.

An internationally renowned viola player, Csaba Erdélyi has performed with such world-class musicians as Yehudi Menuhin, Rachel Barton, Joshua Bell, Franco Gulli, Yo-Yo Ma, George Malcolm, András Schiff, and worked with legendary conductors, like Riccardo Muti and Lorin Maazel. Making musical history in 1972, Erdélyi won the prestigious Carl Flesch Violin Competition – not with a violin, but with the viola – the first, and so far, only time. He was Principal Viola of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, and member of the Chilingirian String Quartet. Csaba Erdélyi is also a world-renowned Bartók scholar; his restoration and orchestration of the unfinished Bartók Viola Concerto has just received its European Premiere in Berlin by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Erdélyi considers himself a world citizen holding citizenships in his native Hungary, Great Britain and the United States. Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra is pleased to present Csaba Erdélyi as soloist for Aikman’s new work.

Fanfare (Jerry Dubins) describes James Aikman’s music as “soaring lyricism, romantic beauty, and emotional urgency.” Appointed ICO Composer-In-Residence in 2013, Aikman’s last ICO premiere (2016) was the acclaimed Peacemakers, work for chamber orchestra, chorus, soloists, narration and audio-video projections honoring nine peacemakers of the 20th century. In June 2017 Aikman received an Emmy Award for WFYI’s Special Coverage of Peacemakers, featuring Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Matthew Kraemer. Additional information available at

“James Aikman’s new concerto, written especially for principal viola Csaba Erdélyi exploits the lyric beauty of the instrument and will be a welcome addition to the viola’s expanding repertoire,” said Maestro Kraemer.

Kraemer adds, “Our talented musicians are at the very center of April’s program. Magnificent works by Strauss and Roussel abound with incredible solos for every instrument of the orchestra, highlighting the formidable artistry within the ranks of the ICO.”

Also on this program, ICO presents the orchestral suite version of Albert Roussel’s The Spider’s Feast. The ballet scenario depicts insect life in a garden. Based on Molière’s play of the same name, Richard Strauss’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme began as incidental music for an operatic presentation, and following a short-lived collaboration, Strauss revised his music into the orchestral suite.

Dance connects all pieces on the April program, from Aikman’s third movement (titled, “Danse”) to the moving musical storytellings of The Spider’s Feast and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Under the direction of Matthew Kraemer, these orchestral works highlight the musicianship and artistry across all sections of Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra each as soloists and ensemble musicians.

This program also marks the retirement of ICO cellist Dennis McCafferty who has been connected to the orchestra since its inception in 1984. An original member, Dennis left for a period and was appointed to the orchestra again in 1996. Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra is grateful to Dennis for sharing his artistry and dedication over these many years.

Saturday, April 21, 2018 – 7:30 pm
Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler Arts Center

Csaba Erdélyi, viola
Matthew Kraemer, conductor 

Albert Roussel | The Spider’s Feast
James Aikman | Viola Concerto
Richard Strauss | Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

This performance will include a pre-concert talk with ICO Music Director Matthew Kraemer, Composer-in-Residence James Aikman and a free post-concert reception in the Schrott lobby courtesy of Indianapolis Fruit.

Tickets start at $25 for adults, $10 for students with group discounts available. More information is available at or 317-940-9607.

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