Béla Bartók is considered to be one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. He was an exceptional pianist, ethnomusicologist, the great researcher of Middle European folk music and a teacher at the Academy of Music. With his collection and analytical study of folk music he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology. His art and scientific achievement is of epochal importance, not only in the Hungarian and European music history, but also in universal culture. Thomas Mann once said that the importance of Bartók’s art was reflected in his eyes. He was soft-spoken but his music spoke instead of him. His painful, troubled works preceded the power of terror, the phantom of WWII from which he had to flee. Bartók’s relentless, strong and strict humanity can be an example for anyone. He confronted any type of dictatorship and could not stand servilism, subservience, self-denial and arrogant foolishness. According to turul.info, German classicism and romanticism, especially the art of Brahms played important roles in the evolvement of Bartók’s style. With the support of Zoltán Kodály he was intimately concerned with Hungarian folk music and the folk music of neighbouring nations for the purpose of comparison. His composing style slowly changed and leaned on the features of folk music as he came to know peasant music on his journeys. The fulfillment of this change is his opera, Bluebeard’s Castle, which he composed to Béla Balázs’ mystery-play.
Béla Bartók was born on the 25th of March, 1881 in Nagyszentmiklós (today Sinnicolau Mare, Romania). He grew up in a music lover family; both of his parents were very musical and played the piano very well. He took his first piano lessons from his mother; however his first music teacher was László Erkel, the son of Ferenc Erkel. He studied at the Academy of Music from 1899, where he later returned as a piano teacher. He already amazed music lovers and was also a real patriot at a young age. He prohibited his friends and family to write him letters in German despite the fact that he spoke German as a mother tongue.
Read more at: http://dailynewshungary.com/25th-of-march-the-birthday-of-bela-bartok-the-world-famous-hungarian-composer/
-more at Daily Hungarynews