Béla Bartók

1881 - 1945

Béla Bartók was a renowned Hungarian composer, pianist, ethnomusicologist, and music teacher. Together with Franz Liszt, he is counted amongst the greatest composers from Hungary. He is also considered one of the most important composers of the 20thcentury. His major musical works include orchestra, string quartets, piano solos, an opera, a cantata, some ballets, and several folk songs for voice and piano.

Through his collected works and analytical research of folk music, he is regarded as one of the founders of comparative musicology, which eventually became ethnomusicology. He was a child prodigy and his mother recognized his remarkable musical skills very early on and gave him music lessons. His style was a combination of folk music, classicism, and modernism. Most of his early compositions were a mix of nationalism and romanticism. His melodies were deeply influenced by the folk music of Hungary, Romania, Turkey and other nations. He was especially fond of Bulgarian music.

Apart from being a terrific composer and pianist, he was a great music enthusiast as well. He spent a considerable amount of time researching traditional and folk music in different parts of the world and then composing unique pieces with distinct elements of such folk melodies.