17 November 20:15 hours

The Brotherhood of Peoples, Bartók in War and Peace

A Peace Palace Library Lecture, with live music, that will focus on Bartók’s views on peace and righteousness. Béla Viktor János Bartók (25 March 1881 – 26 September 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century.

The composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist Béla Bartók, a (r)evolutionary in art, was a pacifist who carefully avoided to be involved in politics in most of his life. As folk song collector, he soon extended “his interest and love to the folk music of the neighbouring Eastern European peoples”.

During the Great War, Bartók was one of those who opposed the conflict from the very beginning. Although he was personally affected and afflicted by the ensuing peace treaty, since it made collecting on the ethnographically most important territories impossible and he was even separated from his mother living in Bratislava, he continued working on the thousands of songs and instrumental pieces in his Slovak and Romanian collections, side by side with his work on the classification of Hungarian folk songs. He also maintained a wide range of scholarly and musical connections in the newly formed states. His voluminous scholarly output, only partly published during his life time and partly left behind carefully prepared for posthumous publication on Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak, Serbo-Croatian, Turkish and even Algerian Arab music, is in itself a lasting tribute to the traditional musical culture of peoples of different ethnicity.

Bartók’s greatest achievement is, however, in his own music which absorbed elements of the varied traditional styles he collected and studied. His compositions reflect all these various influences which he could transform to create a modernist expressive language of strong individuality and lasting relevance.

The Lecture, in the context of the European Heritage Label, will be given by Prof. Vikárius, Head of the Budapest Bartók Archives. Music by Prof. Drafi. Introduction by Mr. Jeroen Vervliet, director of the Peace Palace Library.

Organization: Peace Palace and Franz Liszt Akademie, in cooperation with the Royal Conservatorium, The Hague and the Embassy of Hungary. Language: English.

Location: Academy Auditorium. Tickets €12,50 Students € 9,50. Access only with valid ID.

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