Béla Bartok

Composer and Pianist Béla Bartok

Profession: Composer and Pianist


Biography: Regarded as one of the greatest-ever Hungarian composers, Béla Bartok was also a pioneering ethnomusicologist, who researched Hungarian peasant music and incorporated it into his work.

After studying in Budapest where he was influenced by fellow Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, Bartok travelled throughout Transylvania recording and researching traditional folk music, often with fellow composer Zoltán Kodály.Together they recorded over 10,000 folk songs.

Bartok used these traditional folk motifs to create his own modern style, especially in evidence in his string quartets. Bartok became known for his work for the piano, violin and orchestra,

After the outbreak of war and opposing Nazism Bartok went into exile in American in 1940. His "Concerto for Orchestra" was composed in the US. He died there in 1945, though his remains were returned home for a state funeral in 1988.

Born: March 25, 1881
Birthplace: Nagyszentmiklós, Kingdom of Hungary, Austria-Hungary
Star Sign: Aries

Died: September 26, 1945 (aged 64)

Historical Events

  • 1904-01-13 Béla Bartók's symphonic poem "Kossuth" premieres by the Budapest Philharmonic Society in Budapest
  • 1923-11-19 Béla Bartòk's "Tancsuite" premieres
  • 1926-11-27 Béla Bartók's ballet "Miraculous Mandarin" premieres at the Cologne Opera, Germany, conducted by Eugen Szenkar
  • 1934-05-25 Béla Bartók's "Cantata Profana - The Nine Enchanted Stags" premieres in London, England, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Wireless Chorus conducted by Aylmer Buesst
  • 1935-04-08 Béla Bartók's 5th String quartet premieres in Washington, D.C.
  • 1939-03-23 1st performance of Béla Bartók's 2nd Violin Concerto at the Concertgebow, Amsterdam with Zoltán Székely on violin and Willem Mengelberg conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • 1941-01-20 Béla Bartók's 6th string quartet, premieres in NYC
  • 1944-12-01 Béla Bartòk's Concerto for orchestra, premieres in Symphony Hall, Boston, by the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Serge Koussevitzky
  • 1946-02-08 Béla Bartók's 3rd Piano Concerto premieres in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy with György Sándor as piano soloist
  • 1988-07-07 Hungarian state funeral for composer Béla Bartók in Budapest, 42 years after his death with his remains relocated from New York