Béla Bartók

(1881-1945)

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Eminent Hungarian composer and pianist. He was initially much influenced by the music Liszt and Wagner but it was his collection of the folk music of Hungary and Romania, which he made with Kódaly, that most influenced his own compositions, such as his Six Romanian Folk Dances, the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta and the much of his work as well as the more lyrical side. His six String Quartets are acknowledged as the twentieth-century masterpieces of this form. The spread of Nazism forced him to leave Europe for America, but he did not flourish there and he died in reduced circumstances in New York.

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