Béla Bartók David Cooper

Publication date:
24 Apr 2018
Yale University Press
456 pages: 235 x 156mm
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The definitive account of the life and music of Hungary’s greatest twentieth-century composer

This deeply researched biography of Béla Bartók (1881–1945) provides a more comprehensive view of the innovative Hungarian musician than ever before. David Cooper traces Bartók’s international career as an ardent ethno-musicologist and composer, teacher, and pianist, while also providing a detailed discussion of most of his works. Further, the author explores how Europe’s political and cultural tumult affected Bartók’s work, travel, and reluctant emigration to the safety of America in his final years.
Cooper illuminates Bartók’s personal life and relationships, while also expanding what is known about the influence of other musicians—Richard Strauss, Zoltán Kodály, and Yehudi Menuhin, among many others. The author also looks closely at some of the composer’s actions and behaviors which may have been manifestations of Asperger syndrome. The book, in short, is a consummate biography of an internationally admired musician.

David Cooper is professor of music and technology, and dean of the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications, University of Leeds. His publications include Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra. The author lives in Liversedge, UK.

“David Cooper offers a rounded, all-encompassing portrait of the man and the musician in this authoritative biography”—Stringendo

'Béla Bartók was without a doubt one of the most important composers of the twentieth century. Outside of his native country Hungary, there have been relatively few books devoted to his life and works. David Cooper's comprehensive study of Bartók?'s ?oeuvre is a most welcome addition to the canon. Cooper justly concentrates on the music, introducing and analysing each and every composition, starting with the very early works. He also provides the appropriate historical background that is absolutely necessary to comprehend the man and his music. Bartók's life is a rare example of artistic progress and of uncompromising integrity. He is one of the giants in the history of music, a fact that this book will duly confirm.' - Sir Andras Schiff