Kseniia Erdeli

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Erdeli, Kseniia Aleksandrovna


Born Feb. 24 (Mar. 8), 1878, on the estate of Miroliubovka, near Elizavetgrad (now Kirovograd); died May 27, 1971, in Moscow. Soviet harpist and teacher. People’s Artist of the USSR (1966).

In 1899 Erdeli graduated from the Smol’nyi Institute in St. Petersburg, where she had studied the harp under E. A. Val’ter-Kiune. She began her concert career in 1898. She was a soloist with the Bolshoi Theater orchestra from 1900 to 1907 and from 1919 to 1938.

Erdeli founded the Soviet school of harp playing and contributed to the enlargement of the harp repertoire. She was the first to perform works for the harp by such composers as M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov, S. S. Prokofiev, S. N. Vasilenko, R. M. Gliére, L. K. Knipper, M. V. Koval’, and A. I. Kos-Anatol’skii. Erdeli also wrote music for the harp and transcribed for the harp works by many composers. Her playing was distinguished by subtlety of color and by virtuosity.

Erdeli taught at several music institutes, including the Music and Drama Institute of the Moscow Philharmonic Society (1900–05), the Smol’nyi Institute (1908–13), and the St. Petersburg Conservatory (1913–18). She joined the teaching staff of the Moscow Conservatory in 1918 and was made a professor there in 1939. From 1944 to 1954, she was an instructor at Gnesin’s Music Pedagogic Institute. Among her students was V. G. Dulova.

Erdeli was awarded two orders and several medals.


Arfa v moei zhizni: Memuary. Moscow, 1967.


Poltareva, V. Tvorcheskii put’ K. Erdeli. L’vov, 1959.
Dulova, V. Isskustvo igry na arfe. Moscow, 1975.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.