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Transcript of Bela Bartok
Died: New York, September 26, 1945, of leukemia
Genre: 20th Century
Performed as: Pianist Early childhood In common with many of the great composers Bartok was something of a child prodigy. He gave his first public performance at the age of four, playing one of his own compositions. Piano Evolution • Following on from his early promise as a pianist, Bartok began a career as a concert pianist. He was very successful at this but decided to retire from public performances to take up a position at the Budapest Music Institute as the head of piano studies. During his 25 years at the Institute he left a legacy of teaching works based on the music of such composers as Bach and Mozart. WWII Unfortunately the political struggles in Europe prior to the outbreak of World War II meant that it was impossible for Bartok to remain in Hungary. Along with a large number of his compatriots he emigrated to America in 1940. This gave him the opportunity to study the work of other composers whom he might not have had contact with. Other Music contributions Although well regarded for his orchestral and solo violin and piano works, Bartok had a predilection for the folk music of different countries, but particularly that of Hungary. Much of his knowledge of this type of music is reputed to have been derived from listening to a Hungarian folk singer. In America Un-heil Hitler The times that he was most actively composing in were full of political turmoil. He didn't approve of the Nazi parties in Germany and Italy and refused permission for his work to be played in those countries. His own personal life was subject to some turmoil too as his first marriage ended in divorce, with both marriages producing children. From Hungary to Budapest Bela Bartok is now generally regarded as one of the greatest of Hungary’s composers. His works are played regularly in concert halls throughout the world and retain their popularity. It is fitting that, in the year of the centenary of his birth, 1981, former his house in Budapest was converted to a museum commemorating his achievements in the world of music. Fun Facts • No fun at parties:
Bartók was personally shy. In concert he was cold and uncommunicative, which, of course, didn’t help him get gigs. However, Bartók left behind many recordings of him playing the piano that offer valuable insight into his manner of playing. .......... • Man of the World:
Bartók was a pan-Slavist and an ardent internationalist. Partly due to his cosmopolitan musical style, which assimilates ethnically diverse influences, Bartók was invited to join a committee for “Intellectual Co-operation” by the League of Nations in 1931. ......... • Teaching legacy:
Bartók didn’t enjoy teaching, but you’d never know it from his composition list. Two of his major works in the 1930s – 44 Duos for violin, and Mikrokosmos, six books of graded, short pieces for piano – were pedagogical. Among his students were several famous pianists and the pianist/ conductor Georg Solti. ........ • Founding a Field:
Due to his work with folk melodies, Bartók is regarded as a founding father of ethnomusicology, or the anthropological study of music. Explore the Music •Structural Symmetries: Bartók’s music is famous for all sorts of symmetrical structures. For example, his rhythmic and formal structures often read like musical palindromes.
•East meets West: Bartók’s music is famous for blending elements from Western classical and Eastern European folk traditions.
•Piano Music: Bartók composed many of the pieces within Mikrokosmos to teach his son, Péter, how to play the piano. Some of the difficult pieces in this collection, though, are frequently performed as concert pieces. Bela Bartok Also Known As:
Bela Bartok was an ethnomusicologist, music teacher, pianist and well-known Hungarian composer. He was appointed as piano professor at the Budapest Academy in 1907.
Type of Compositions:
He wrote stage and orchestral works, piano solos, string quartets, cantata and folk songs. He was an avid collector of folk songs. The composer wrote a few dramatic works which were not quite as popular as his orchestral, piano and chamber music compositions. The music elite in his country at the time were fairly conventional and didn't take too kindly to some of his ballets. One in fact was banned after its first performance as its subject matter was considered to be in poor taste. Influence His mother taught him how to play the piano as a child and he also studied under different teachers. Bartok later on studied at the Royal Hungarian Academy of Music in Budapest. Notable Works Among his known works are: "The Miraculous Mandarin," "Microkosmos," "Contrasts," "Kossuth," "Duke Bluebeard's Castle," "The Wooden Prince," "Cantata Profana," "Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta," "Concerto for Orchestra" and "Sonata for Solo Violin." Music For Strings, Percussion and Celesta Interesting Facts He became a research assistant at Columbia University. In 1906, interest on the music of central Europe was sparked by the publication of a book called Hungarian Folk Songs by Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly. ......... His first wife was Marta Ziegler, his student, with whom he had a son. After divorcing Marta, Bartok married another student named Ditta Pasztory with whom he had another son. His "Third Piano Concerto" was written for Ditta. The Miraculous Mandarin 4: Allegro Molto Resources http://www25.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/belabartok.html
http://musiced.about.com/od/20thcentury/p/bartok.htm Quiz :) How or of what did Bartok die of?
At what age did Bartok give his first performance and who attended it?
Who did he base most of his works on?
Is the museum commemorating him in Hungary or Budapest?
Who or what influenced him to start playing music and composing?