Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály was born on December 16, 1882 as son of a railroad official in Kecskemét, Hungary and spent his youth in various Hungarian villages, where he became familiar with Hungarian folk music. His father played the violin, his mother played the piano and sang; nevertheless Kodály never developed any particular inclination toward instrumental performance and preferred composing to actively making music. In 1900 he went to Budapest, where he studied composition at the academy with Hans Koesssler, Béla Bartók's teacher, while also studying languages and literature at the university. Kodály wrote his doctoral dissertation on the strophic construction of the Hungarian folk song. There followed a study period in Paris. Kodály had a special commitment toward Hungarian folk songs. Together with Béla Bartók, he traveled through Hungary, collecting a total of 3,000 old songs, which he then compiled into a comprehensive catalogue. Kodály, who died on March 6, 1967 in Budapest, also had a lifelong commitment to education, among other accomplishments, he developed a method of his own for the musical education of children and adolescents. Zoltán Kodály's rich treasury of compositions was generally based on vocal music, inspired by a vocally constructed melody. This is why his Euvre is largely dominated by a number of songs. He achieved world renown, on the other hand, with his spirited orchestral works, such as the "Háry János"-suite and the "Galántai táncnóták" ("Dances from Gálanta")