Muzsikás delves deep into the roots of central European history by combining Jewish, Ottoman, Hapsburg, and Gypsy influences to bring the world a rich, complex and mysterious Transylvanian tradition. As part of the folk revival that swept Hungary two decades ago, in response to the straitjacketed approach of Russian state-sponsored folklore, Muzsikás played tanchez when it was dangerous to do so.
Now an even broader audience has discovered the talents of their stellar vocalist, Marta Sebestyén through her work on the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film, The English Patient and the Grammy winning Boheme by Deep Forest. Exhilarating audiences with their outstanding musicianship and their devotion to seeking out obscure and interesting music, Muzsikás has become one of the world’s top performing ensembles.
Péter Éri was born in 1953 in Budapest, Hungary. As a ten-year old child he won the first prize of a dance competition with dancing the Lads’ Dance of Kalotaszeg, accompanied by his schoolmate Andras Schiff, who is currently a world famous pianist.
His stepfather, Dr György Martin, a well-known ethnographer, brought young Éri to his trips where he collected Hungarian traditional dances and instrumental music and consequentially Éri as a child made his first connections with living musical and dance traditions.
At 14, Éri became the dancer of the Bartók Dance Ensamble where he was an active dancer for six years. His interest in the music continued. He became the bass player of the first Hungarian folk revival band, the Sebő Group. At that time the singer of this band was a young woman called Marta Sebestyen.
Meanwhile when the band Muzsikas was formed in 1973, Éri became the guest musician of the band. In 1978 he became a full member.
Éri graduated from Eötvös University of Budapest as an ethnographer and philologist of Romanian language and literature.
He plays the viola, the three-string “kontra”, mandolin and different types of flutes.