Szilárd Mezei was born in February 12th, 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 in Beograd under prof. Zoran Eric. As violinist, violist, double bass player and composer and in various formations (from duo to nonett) held many concerts internationally.
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 and plays authentic Hungarian folk music on genuine folk instruments (koboz and oud).
Since 2001, Mezei is closely collaborating with choreographer Josef Nadj, director of the ‘Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans’ in Orléans, France.
As a performer Mezei participated in many workshops of improvised and intuitive music (with Tim Hodgkinson in Budapest, William Parker in Győr, among others). Played so far with musicians/improvisors like Matthias Schubert, Róbert Benkő, György Szabados, Mihály Dresch, Tim Hodgkinson, Albert Márkos, Peter Ole Jörgensen, Joe Fonda, Michael Jefry Stevens, Joelle Leandre, Hamid Drake, Herb Robertson, Frank Gratkowski, Charles Gayle. His writings on music were published in many periodicals in Former-Yugoslavia and Hungary.
Mezei is a member of the Composers Association of Serbia and the Hungarian ‘Gyorfree’ Jazz, Improvisative, Contemporary and Folk Music Workshop Comitee.
szilardbakter (at) gmail (dot) com