Laszlo Varga: Pedagogy, history, and legacy

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Ross T. Harbaugh - Committee Chair


The purpose of this essay is to provide a detailed exploration of the personal history, teaching techniques, and professional achievements of Laszlo Varga, a famous and important Hungarian cellist living in America.Varga is considered one of the greatest living cellists and pedagogues in America today. He now resides in Sarasota, Florida, where he teaches and writes cello ensemble arrangements. He also performs and lectures throughout the world. Very little has been written about this cello virtuoso and master teacher who grew up in Hungary and worked with such artists as Casals and Starker.Varga agreed to spend several hours with the author answering questions and discussing his own history, teaching techniques, and current projects. The author met with Varga in his Sarasota, Florida home and conducted two taped interviews with him. Subjects covered in the interview included Varga's interest in performing on a five-string cello, the main issues he covers in a student's lesson, the scale system, etudes and methods he employs, and the repertoire he favors. In addition, an important part of the interview addressed Varga's impressions and stories about the many extraordinary musicians that he has met during his career.


Biography; Music; Education, Music

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