Szilárd Mezei was born in 1974 in Senta. Completed his violin studies in Senta and Subotica and studied composition at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade with Zoran Erić.

As violinist, violist, double bass player and composer and in various formations (from duo to nonett) he held many concerts in the country (Senta, Kanizsa – the Jazz, Improvised Music… Festival, Subotica, Novi Sad, Belgrade), as well as abroad (Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Germany – Düsseldorffer Altsadt Herbst 1996 – special prize for improvisation, Denmark, Austria, the UK, France, Croatia, Poland…) His ensembles play 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. Mezei is also very actively involved in composing music for theatre.

Since 2001, Mezei collaborates closely with the choreographer Josef Nadj, director of the Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans in Orléans, France. Their mutual project Les Philosophes was selected theatre-piece of the year 2001 in France. The play was performed with great success at the Festival of Dance in Cannes, France 2001, in Avignon 2002, in Brugge (Belgium – the capital of European Culture for the year 2002), in Orléans in October 2002, in Paris in May 2003, in Reggio Emilia (Italy), in Le Havre, in Nantes (France) 2004, and in London 2005. In 2006 they collaborated on a new project Asobu (together with co-composer Akosh S.). This play was premiered at the Festival d’Avignon in 2006 (Cour d’Honneur), then successfuly toured Europe and Japan.

His music was published on CDs in England, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden, Canada and the USA. His music was also performed at the contemporary music festivals such as Ondine ’98 in Rovereto, Italy and the International Review of Composers in Belgrade. He won the Sterija Prize for the music of the theatre-piece Szelídítések (Tamings). In 2004 Mezei won also the prize for music at the 54th Festival of Professional Theatres in Vojvodina (for the theatre-piece Via Italia).

Hep 7 (B)

The Hep cycle (the first piece, Hep 1 was written in 2006) consists of compositions based, on the one hand, on different – sometimes simple, sometimes complicated – rhythmic formulas chiefly in unison, and on the other, on rhythmic aleatory. Improvisation is also included in the majority of pieces from the cycle, notated as a combination of classical, graphic and verbal notation. Hep 7 (B) for bass clarinet, contrabassoon and piano was created in May 2008.