Szilárd Mezei

Violist, composer, improviser


Born 1974 in Senta, Serbia (then Yugoslavia) as a member of the Hungarian minority in the multiethnic region of Vojvodina. Completed his violin studies in Senta and Subotica and studied composition for four years at the University of Arts (Music Academy) in Belgrade under prof. Zoran Eric.

His orchestra plays contemporary improvised music, mostly performing his own compositions. As a composer, Mezei is interested in exploring the relationship between improvisation and composition (similarly to Witold Lutoslawski’s aleatoric and Anthony Braxton’s creative music methods), incorporating elements of jazz and authentic folk music as well. As a young musician he followed the path of B.Bartók and Gy.Szabados. Mezei is also very actively involved in composing scenic music (among others with Josef Nadj). He have more than 40 CD an LP releases of His music at international labels in Europe, Canada and USA, like Leo Records, Not Two, Creative Sources, Aural Terrains, Red Toucan, Ayler Records, Slam Productions, No Business, FMR, AUT records, Odradek Records, Future Music Recordings, Naxos. Played so far with musicians/improvisors like Matthias Schubert, Róbert Benkő, György Szabados, Tim Hodgkinson, Albert Márkos, Peter Ole Jörgensen, Jens Balder, Joe Fonda, Michael Jefry Stevens, Joelle Leandre, Hamid Drake, Herb Robertson, Frank Gratkowski, Charles Gayle, Sten Sandell, Joel Grip, Nicola Guazzaloca. He had more then 500 compositions for various ensembles.
He is active in theater-music also (made music for almost 60 theater pieces) and two times won the most important theater prize „Sterija”, and many prizes for theater-music.
His writings on music were published in many periodicals in Former-Yugoslavia and Hungary.