Tibor Serly (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈtibor ˈʃɛrli] ; Losonc, Kingdom of Hungary, 25 November 1901 – London, 8 October 1978) was a Hungarian violist, violinist, and composer.
Serly was the son of Lajos Serly, a pupil of Franz Liszt and a composer of songs and operettas in the last decades of the 19th century, who emigrated to America in 1905 with his family.Serly's first musical studies were with his father.
Spending much of his childhood in New York City, Serly played violin in various pit orchestras led by his father. In 1922, he returned to Hungary to attend the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest,where he studied composition with Zoltán Kodály, violin with Jenő Hubay, and orchestration with Leó Weiner. He greatly admired and became a young apprentice of Béla Bartók; Serly would go on to become one of Bartók's great champions, writing and lecturing about him and conducting and recording many of his works. For the most part, these efforts received praise, both by Bartók and by colleagues.
After graduating in 1925 with high honors in performance and composition, Serly returned to America, where he played viola with the Cincinnati Orchestra (1926–1927), Philadelphia Orchestra (1928–1935), and the NBC Orchestra (1937–1938).During these years, Serly formed close relationships with the poets Ezra Pound and Louis Zukofsky, who wrote a dedicatory poem to Serly, published in the avant-garde magazine Blues in February 1929.
When Bartók and his wife emigrated to America during World War II, Serly met them at the docks and provided support to them. After Bartók's death in 1945, the family turned to Serly to orchestrate the final seventeen measures of the Third Piano Concerto as well as the Viola Concerto, which took Serly more than two years to compile from sketches into a performable piece. It is now one of the most widely performed viola pieces. While working on this project, Serly composed the Rhapsody on Folk Songs Harmonized by Béla Bartók for Viola and Orchestra, which has become one of his most well-known compositions.
Serly taught composition at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music in New York City (among other institutions) and was also a featured composer/conductor with the Danish Radio Orchestra. He taught orchestration to Carlyle W. Hall Sr., a trumpet player and arranger for Tommy Tucker's band; composer Glad Robinson Youse also studied with Serly.
In the course of rethinking the major developments in harmony found in the work of Stravinsky, Milhaud, Prokofiev, and Vaughan Williams as well as Bartók and other composers, Serly developed what he referred to as an enharmonicist musical language. In his book Modus Lascivus (1975) he explored a set of 82 basic tertian chords. Serly titled several of his later works as being "in modus lascivus", including sonatas for violin, viola, and piano. His Concertino 3 X 3 uses this compositional system, but is most memorable for its formal structure: it consists of nine movements, the first three for piano solo, the second set of three movements for orchestra without piano, and the final set combining the previous sets, played simultaneously.
In later life, Serly moved to Longview, Washington, with his second wife, the pianist Miriam Molin. He died at the age of seventy-six after being struck by a car in London.
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hungary's greatest composers. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became known as ethnomusicology.
A viola concerto is a concerto contrasting a viola with another body of musical instruments such as an orchestra or chamber music ensemble. Early examples of violas taking solo roles in orchestral settings include Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, scored for two solo violas, Georg Philipp Telemann's Concerto in G major, and Carl Stamitz's Viola Concerto in D major. Arguably, one of the first concertante works to use the viola without caution was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, scored for solo violin and viola. Although not much work was written for the viola alone in the Classical or Romantic periods, with only a few example concerto-like pieces emerging such as Max Bruch's Romanze, Hector Berlioz's Harold en Italie, or Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Potpourri, the viola concerto would see significant growth from the late 1800s.
Sándor Veress was a Swiss composer of Hungarian origin. He was born in Kolozsvár/Klausenburg, Transylvania, Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire, nowadays called Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and died in Bern. The first half of his life was spent in Hungary; the second, from 1949 until his death, in Switzerland, of which he became a citizen in the last months of his life.
The Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major, Sz. 119, BB 127 of Béla Bartók is a musical composition for piano and orchestra. The work was composed in 1945 during the final months of his life, as a surprise birthday present for his second wife Ditta Pásztory-Bartók.
The Viola Concerto, Sz. 120, BB 128 was one of the last pieces Béla Bartók wrote. He began composing it while living in Saranac Lake, New York, in July 1945. It was commissioned by William Primrose, a respected violist who knew that Bartók could provide a challenging piece for him to perform. He said that Bartók should not "feel in any way proscribed by the apparent technical limitations of the instrument". Bartók was suffering the terminal stages of leukemia when he began writing the piece and left only sketches at the time of his death.
Ferenc Farkas was a Hungarian composer.
Leó Weiner was one of the leading Hungarian music educators of the first half of the twentieth century, and a composer.
Géza Frid was a Hungarian–Dutch composer and pianist.
Endre Szervánszky was a Hungarian composer.
Kossuth, Sz. 21, BB. 31, DD. 75a is a symphonic poem composed by Béla Bartók inspired by the Hungarian politician Lajos Kossuth.
Pál Lukács was a Hungarian viola virtuoso, concert and recording artist, and music educator.
Rhapsody No. 2, Sz. 89 and 90, BB 96, is the second of two virtuoso works for violin and piano, subsequently arranged with orchestra accompaniment, written by Béla Bartók. It was composed in 1928 and orchestrated in 1929. The orchestral version was revised in 1935, and the version with piano in 1945. It is dedicated to Hungarian violinist Zoltán Székely, who later became the first violinist of the Hungarian String Quartet in 1937, two years after the founding of the ensemble.
Zoltán Gárdonyi was a Hungarian composer and musicologist. He taught at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music for 26 years.
Ditta Pásztory-Bartók was a Hungarian pianist and the second wife of the composer Béla Bartók. She was the dedicatee of a number of his works, including Out of Doors and the Third Piano Concerto.
Rezső Kókai was a Hungarian composer and musicologist.
Tibor Ney was a Hungarian violinist and music teacher.
Dénes Kovács was a Hungarian classical violinist and academic teacher, described as "pre-eminent among Hungarian violinists". He won the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition in 1955. In his career as a soloist and recording artist, he premiered and recorded the works of 20th-century Hungarian composers, and was also noted for his recordings of Bartók and Beethoven. From 1967 to 1980, he headed the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary's principal music college. He received many national awards including the Kossuth Prize (1963).
István Sárközy was a Hungarian classical composer, music critic, editor and academic teacher. His compositions date from the 1940s to 1979, and include works for musical theatre, choral works and songs, orchestral and chamber works, and works for piano. Notable examples include the stage works Liliomfi (1950) and Szelistyei asszonyok, the chamber cantata Júlia énekek, the overture Az ifjúsághoz, and the Sinfonia concertante for clarinet and strings (1963). He taught at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music from 1959.
József Soproni was a Hungarian composer.