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 Ferenc Liszt and a composer of songs and operettas in the last decades of the 19th century, who immigrated 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 Jenö Hubay, and orchestration with Leó Weiner. He greatly admired and became a young apprentice of Béla Bartok; 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 praised, 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 immigrated 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 ethnomusicology.
A rhapsody in music is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, colour, and tonality. An air of spontaneous inspiration and a sense of improvisation make it freer in form than a set of variations.
Béla Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major, Sz. 119, BB 127 is a musical composition for piano and orchestra. Bartók composed the piece in 1945 during the final months of his life, as a surprise birthday present for his second wife Ditta Pásztory-Bartók. It consists of three movements.
The Viola Concerto, Sz. 120, BB 128 was one of the last pieces written by Béla Bartók. He began composing his viola concerto while living in Saranac Lake, New York, in July 1945. The piece 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, though, was suffering from the terminal stages of leukemia when he began writing the viola concerto and left only sketches at the time of his death.
Ferenc Farkas was a Hungarian composer.
Géza Frid was a Hungarian–Dutch composer and pianist.
Thomas Rajna is a British pianist and composer of Hungarian birth. He has been domiciled in Cape Town in South Africa since 1970.
Eldar Nebolsin is an Uzbek-born classical 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.
Anthony Ritchie is a New Zealand composer and academic. He is currently professor and head of performance at Otago University. His works number over a hundred, and include three symphonies, two operas, seven concertos, choral works, chamber music and solo works.
Rhapsody No. 1, Sz. 86, 87, and 88, BB 94 is the first of two virtuoso works for violin and piano, written by Béla Bartók in 1928 and subsequently arranged in 1929 for violin and orchestra, as well as for cello and piano. It is dedicated to Hungarian virtuoso violinist Joseph Szigeti, a close friend of Bartók, who gave the first performance of the orchestra version in Königsberg on 1 November 1929, with Hermann Scherchen conducting the orchestra.
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.
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).
József Soproni was a Hungarian composer.