Walter Verdehr is professor of violin at the Michigan State University College of Music. He received MSU's Teacher-Scholar Award in 1973 and the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2004.
Born in Gottschee, Yugoslavia, Verdehr received his first violin instruction at the Conservatory of Music in Graz, Austria. After studying with Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School, he became the first violinist to receive a doctorate there. As a Fulbright Scholar, he graduated with distinction from the Hochschule fuer Musik. He has made numerous appearances as a soloist with orchestras in Houston, Honolulu, Taipei, Ulsan (Korea), and Izmir (Turkey); with the Teton Festival symphonies; and with many orchestras in Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, California, Czechoslovakia, China, and Australia. He has also performed in numerous solo and chamber music recitals in the United States and Europe.
His performance style was described by the The Times of London as "sweeping and vigorous." The Vienna Express called him "a perfect violinist with beautiful blossoming tone and noble musicality." Verdehr has served on the juries for the Naumburg and Prague Spring International violin competitions. He has made solo recordings for Crystal Records, Golden Crest Records, and NET-TV. Together with his wife, Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, he founded the Verdehr Trio in 1972, for which they have commissioned more than 200 works from international composers including Gian Carlo Menotti, William Bolcom, Joan Tower, Thea Musgrave, Augusta Reade Thomas, Alan Hovhaness, Peter Sculthorpe, Alexander Arutiunian, and David Diamond. Verdehr has taught at the International Congress of Strings. His students teach in universities and perform in orchestras throughout the United States and abroad.
He performs on the ex “Stephens-Verdehr” Stradivarius of 1690.
The Verdehr Trio
The Verdehr Trio has performed throughout the world: in nineteen European countries, in the former Soviet Union, in South and Central America, and in Asia, Australia, and all fifty of the United States. An acknowledged leader in the field of new music, the Verdehr Trio has, for nearly forty years, concentrated on molding and defining the personality of the violin-clarinet-piano trio, creating a large repertoire by commissioning more than 200 new works from some of the world's most prominent and exciting composers -- known and unknown, young and old, from this country and abroad. Among the major concert halls where the Trio has appeared are the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Library of Congress, New York's Tully Hall, Vienna's Brahmssaal, the Sydney Opera House, London's Wigmore Hall, Auditorio de Madrid, Dvorak Hall in Prague, the IRCAM Centre in Paris, and Leningrad's Philharmonic Chamber Hall. The Trio has also played at various international festivals, including the Spoleto Festival, Prague Spring Festival, the Vienna Spring Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. The Trio has received a Creative Programming Award from Chamber Music America. For more information about the Verdehr Trio, please visit its website.
CD Recordings by The Verdehr Trio
"The Making of a Medium" -- Crystal Records
- Vol. 1: Works of Mozart, Hovhaness, Frescobaldi, Pasatieri and Bartok (CD 741)
- Vol. 2: Works of Vanhal, Rorem, David, Musgrave, and Liszt (CD 742)
- Vol. 3: Works of Averitt, Currier, and Schuller (CD 743)
- Vol. 4: Works of Husa, Freund, Niblock, and Dickinson (CD 744)
- Vol. 5: Works of Arutiunian, Schickele, and Sculthorpe (CD 745)
- Vol. 6: Works of Diamond, Corigliano, and Sculthorpe (CD 746)
- Vol. 7: Works of James Niblock written for the Verdehr Trio (CD 747)
- Vol. 8: Triple Concertos of Skrowaczewski, Sarasate-David, and David: Sinfonia Concertante (CD 748)
- Vol. 9: Triple Concertos of David Ott and William Wallace (CD 749)
- Vol. 10: Works of Beethoven, Bruch, Larsen, Tschaikovsky, Druckman and Bolcom (CD 940)
- Vol. 11: Works of Gian Carlo Menotti, Constantinides, Bruch, and Deak (CD 941)
- Vol. 12: American Images I: Works of Chihara, Diamond, Satterwhite, Biggs, Erb, and Kramer (CD 942)
- Vol. 13: American Images II: Works of Tower, S. Currier, Biggs, Brohn, Hoag, and Welcher (CD 943)
- Vol. 14: Austrian Music: Works of von Einem, Erod, and David (CD 944)
- Vol. 15: Double Concertos for Violin and Clarinet by Wallace, Chihara, NIblock, and Constantinides (CD 945)
- Vol. 16: International I: Works of Chatman, Higdon, Rihm, Sheng, and Wolfgang (CD 946)
- Vol. 17: American Images III: The Michigan Connection: Works of Smith, Ruggiero, Liptak, Black/Bolcom, Mann, and Hartway (CD 947)
- Vol. 18: Music from Down Under: Works of Sculthorpe, Mills, Conyngham, Knehans, and Marshall
- Vol. 19: American Images IV: Works of Brouwer, Wallace, Hoiby, Puts, and Thomas
- Vol. 20: American Images IV: Works of Sierra, Lorenz, Wolfgang, Sowash, and Freund
Other Recordings by the Verdehr Trio
- LP: Works by Jere Hutcheson and Thomas Christian David, Crystal Records (S644)
- LP: Works by Joseph Haydn and Karel Husa, Crystal Records (S648)
- LP: Works by Don Freund and Thomas Christian David (duo), Leonarda Records (LP 1 122 Stereo)
- LP: Triple Concerto: Thomas Christian David, Tonkünstler Orchestra, Amadeo (423-733-1)
- CD: Works by Bassett, Bruch, Hoag, and Hoover, Leonarda Records (LE 326)
- CD: Works by Ida Gotkovsky, Musique de Chambre, Corélia (CC 890680)
- CD: Music from France: Works of Blasius, Jolas, Manoury, Milhaud, Poulenc, and Saint-Saens, Dux (0525)
I. "Making of a Medium" Video Series
- Part I: Composers Karel Husa, Gunther Schuller, Leslie Bassett, Ned Rorem, Alan Hovhaness, and Thea Musgrave, hosted by Martin Bookspan
- Part II: Composers Gian Carlo Menotti, Joan Tower, and Libby Larsen, hosted by Peter Schickele
II. "Composers" Series
- 1. Composers Robert Mann and David Diamond, hosted by Walter Verdehr
- 2. Composers Peter Schickele and James Niblock, hosted by Walter Verdehr
- 3. Composer Peter Sculthorpe, hosted by Walter Verdehr
- 4. Betsy Jolas and Philippe Manoury, hosted by Walter Verdehr
All DVDs contain interviews with the composer and a performance of their works written for and performed by the Verdehr Trio.