Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály is a three-times Kossuth-winning Hungarian composer, musicologist, music teacher, folk music researcher, member and later president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from 1946 to 1949.

He was born in 1882 in Kecskemét.
In 1904’s June he received his diploma from composing and on March 17th in 1910 he performed with instrumental compositions on his first composer’s evening.
Between 1909 és 1920 he wrote only piano and orchestra accompaniment songs,  piano pieces, and chamber pieces. In his vocal works, he first sought to create Hungarian song culture. Kodály tried to replace the song culture that did not exist in the life of the poets. Namely, János Arany, Sándor Kisfaludy, Dániel Berzsenyi, Ferenc Kölcsey, Mihály Vitéz Csokonai, Bálint Balassi.


Between 1920-1923 he did not write any new works. In 1923, he completed in two months the so-called ”Psalmus Hungaricus”, commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the unification of Pest, Buda and, Óbuda. Kodály quickly became Hungary’s leading composer. His work was honoured with the Corvin-Wreath in 1930. With the spiritual support of Kodály and in the spirit of his folk-educator, he created the Hungarian Choir and the so-called Énekszó magazines.
In 1930s Kodály’s dream came true in addition to the works of the orchestra : the folk song was performed at the concert stage and at the Opera House.

He retired is 1942 but continued teaching folk music at the Academy of Music and the  government awarded him with the Central Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit.