BÉLA BARTÓK (3/25/1881 - 9/26/1945)

Béla Bartók was one of the leading Hungarian and European composers of his time, proficient also as a pianist. He joined his friend Zoltán Kodály in the collection of folk music in Hungary and neighbouring regions, including, in his case, Anatolia. His work in this field deeply influenced his own style of composition, which is, however, very much more astringent in its apparent mathematical organisation than much of what Kodály wrote. He was out of sympathy with the government that replaced the immediate post-1918 republic in Hungary, where he was held in less official esteem than abroad, and moved in 1940 to the United States, dying there in relatively straitened circumstances in 1945.