Béla Bartók (Hardcover)

By David Cooper

Yale University Press, 9780300148770, 456pp.

Publication Date: June 9, 2015

List Price: 35.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.

About the Author

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.

Praise For Béla Bartók

‘Cooper’s book combines biography with musical analysis, which is illuminating… He calls on an unprecedented range of sources, and new details emerge’—Ivan Hewett, the Daily Telegraph.

— Ivan Hewett

“Musicians and scholars will want to devour this new contribution to Bartók research.”—Library Journal

— Library Journal

“As a work of scholarship, Cooper’s biography is excellent: exhaustive, detailed, informed by a deep and nuanced understanding of Bartók’s music.”—Sudip Bose, The Washington Post

— Sudip Bose

“Cooper is to be applauded for balancing the many facets of Bartók’s life to give us a well-rounded account.”—George B. Stauffer, The Weekly Standard

— George B. Stauffer