Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály biography

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

Works by Zoltán Kodály in the UE

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