Bartok in NYC and Philadelphia

Thanks to Alex Ross, and via Opera Chic, I checked out the video where Esa-Pekka explains the story of Bluebeard’s Castle to the L.A. Phil. But I want to call your attention to one of the videos that came up when the Bluebeard one was over – Esa-Pekka on Bartok in NYC. Very moving. He visits Columbia U. to check out Bartok’s papers which they have thanks to his ethnomusicological work there.


I recall there being a bust of Bartok in the Columbia Music Library on the top floor of Dodge Hall. My understanding is that Jack Beeson was a pupil of Bartok – the only American to study with him. I wish I had talked to Jack about this.

There are more Bartok papers here in Philly. The U of PA library has the papers of the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, and Bartok’s 3rd Quartet won a composition contest the Society sponsored. Consequently, Penn has an autograph of the Bartok 3rd. Bartok shared the prize with… Alfredo Casella.