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Music Encyclopedia

Bela Bartok (1881-1945)

Hungarian composer and pianist, Bela was born in Nagyszentmiklos.

He too was one greatly influenced by his mother who taught him piano early in his life.
Bartok made public appearences as a composer-pianist when he was just ten years old.
He attended the Royal Hungarian Musical Academy of Budapest where he studied piano under Istvan Thoman.
Hans Koessler was his tutor and instructor in composition.

After he completed his training in Budapest, he began composing some very fine works.
These songs revealed the strong nationalist influences he possessed.
It also demonstrated his desire to promote the European Folk Music style.
He was later to become the first and foremost authority on the subject of Central European Folk Music.
He spent much time editing collections of folk songs and used the materials in his creative work.
At his death he had compiled as many as 6000 folk tunes.

In 1907, Bela Bartok was appointed professor of piano where he had first received his own training that being the Royal Hungarian Musical Academy of Budapest.
It was here he began his work writting piano music, many of these being directed towards the youth, music for children.
He received much acclamation and attention because of the unique harmonic and rhythmic idioms he used in these pieces.

His fame as a composer spread throughout the European Continent, and eventually he became one of the leaders in the International Society for Comtemporary Music.
This help launch him into a career as a composer-pianist, making appearences as far away as the United States of America.

In 1941 Bartok moved to New York City where he was commissioned by Columbia University to transcribe the massive Milman Parry Collection of Yugoslav folk-music recordings.

For those of you who are interested, the volume which contains his best works are compiled in the six volume collection of teaching pieces entitled Mikrokosmos