Bela Bartok was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He was born in Szeged on April 24, 1881, and died in New York City on September 25, 1945. Bartok studied at the Budapest University of Music and Dramatic Art and at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. After earning his doctorate in 1910, he returned to Szeged, where he lived until 1921. He then moved to Budapest, from where he emigrated to New York City in 1925. In the USA Bartok lived and worked until his death in 1945.
Bartok's music is strongly influenced by the Hungarian folk music he had heard as a child. His compositions were conceived primarily for violin, piano, and oboe - instruments he played himself. Bartok's style is modernist rather than classical, and often uses elements such as polyrhythm and mistakes in tonality ("mistakes in tonality"). He was one of the few composers of his time to take a public stand against National Socialism.
Bartok's works are performed worldwide today and are considered milestones of modern music.
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