Szilárd Mezei is composer, violist, double bass player and improviser. He was born in 1974 in Senta, Serbia (then Yugoslavia) as a member of the Hungarian minority in the multiethnic region of Vojvodina. After completing violin studies in Senta and Subotica, Szilárd studied composition for four years at the Music Academy in Belgrade (in the class of Zoran Erić).

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.

He has composed more than 500 compositions, and is also active in theatre music (made music for almost 60 theatre pieces), winning two times the most important prize ”Sterija”, and many other prizes for theatre music. Being very actively involved in this field, he collaborated as composer, for example, with Josef Nadj, famous choreographer, dancer and theatre director.

Szilárd Mezei has released more than 60 CDs and LPs of his music on international labels like Leo Records, Not Two, Creative Sources, Aural Terrains, Red Toucan, Ayler Records, Slam Productions, No Business, FMR, AUT records, Odradek Records.

He plays contemporary improvised music with his various ensembles, mostly performing his own compositions. As an active and highly respected musician throughout Europe, Mezei has played with many musicians/improvisers so far: 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, Vasco Trilla, Phil Minton, Frank Gratkowski, Charles Gayle, Sten Sandell, Joel Grip, Nicola Guazzaloca.

Mezei organizes and leads workshops for improvised music in the country and abroad.

His writings on music were published in many periodicals in Former Yugoslavia and Hungary.


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