The violinist, conductor and pedagogue Devy Erlih died in a road
accident in Paris on Tuesday morning. He was on his way to the
École normale de musique when he was hit by a truck. He was 83
Born in Paris in 1928 to Romanian–Jewish parents, Erlih played in his father's café orchestra as a child. After living in hiding during the war, he joined the class of Jules Boucherit at the Paris Conservatoire, and soon won that institution's Premier Prix. A recital debut followed, and in 1955 Erlih won first prize in the Long–Thibaud Competition, which helped launched his international career.
An early interest in Bartók, Stravinsky and Prokofiev led Erlih to become passionate about contemporary music, and he premiered concertos by Milhaud, Bruno Maderna, Henri Sauguet, Henri Tomasi, and others. He also championed the works of André Jolivet, including the 1972 Violin Concerto and the Suite rhapsodique. After Jolivet's death, Erlih married the composer's daughter, Christine.
Erlih joined the teaching staff of the Marseille Conservatoire in 1968, and the Paris Conservatoire in 1982. He formed Les Solistes de Marseilles in 1973, and from 1977 directed the Centre provençal de musique de chambre. He was president of the jury for the 2010 Jacques Thibaud Competition.