Universal Edition - Zoltán Kodály – Biography

Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály


1882 – born on 16th December in Kecskemét (Hungary)

1900–1904 – studies at the Conservatory in Budapest – among others composition as a student of Hans Kössler and linguistics at the University of Budapest

1904 – trips to Bayreuth, Munich and Salzburg

1905 – beginning of folk music research together with Béla Bartók which causes him to become one of the greatest Hungarian composers

1906 – publication of the first collection of folks songs Twenty Hungarian Folks Songs

1906/07 – move to Paris and Berlin where his compositions are strongly influenced by Debussy

1907–1940 – Professor of theory and composition at the University of Music in Budapest

1908 – trips to Switzerland and Italy
Kodály works as a critic for several Budapest newspapers and foreign magazines

1910 – first concert performances in Budapest and abroad of 1st String quartet op. 2, Piano music op. 3, Sonata for violoncello and piano op. 4;
marries the composer and pianist Emma Sándor who was his student

1917 – publication of the study Pentatonik in der ungarischen Volksmusik

1918 – first performances of Duo op. 7, Solo sonata op. 8, song cycle Verspätete Melodien op. 6, String quartet II op. 10

1919 – leave from teaching for two years

1921 – world premiere of 2 Gesänge op. 5

1923 – commission to write a composition for the 50th anniversary of the union of Buda und Pest (together with Bartók) – creates the work Psalmus Hungaricus op. 13 and the world premiere takes place in the same year. This composition earns him world-wide recognition.

1925 – publishes ideas to reform teaching methods in singing and sight-reading

1925–1932 – cycle of folk music arrangements Magyar népzene, published in 10 books
more works about folk music follow

1926 – world premiere of Háry János in Budapest

Ab 1927 – conducts in Hungary and abroad

1945 – President of the State Art Council

1946/47 – guest trips to England, USA and former Sowjet Union

1946–1949 – President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

1957 – In honour of his 75th birthday he receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Budapest

1958 – Member of the Belgian Academy of Sciences

1961 – appointment as chief editor of the scientific magazine Studia musicologica

1967 – Zoltán Kodály dies on 6th March in Budapest