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Zoltan Szekely was born in 1903 in Kocs, Hungary. As a young student at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Szekely was influenced by well known composers and musicians such as Zoltan Kodaly, Zeno Hubay and especially Bela Bartok, with whom he developed a lifelong friendship and professional relationship. On graduation, he launched a successful solo concert career, performing throughout Europe and particularly championing contemporary compositions. In 1926 he married "Mientje" Igminia Everts and they resided in the Netherlands, Germany, Monte Carlo and London, to facilitate his music career. They had one son.
Szekely was the first violinist of the Hungarian String Quartet from 1937 until they disbanded in 1972.During these years the Quartet performed throughout the world and achieved renown for their performances of Bartok and Beethoven. They moved from Europe to the United States in 1950, where they were Artists-in-Residence at colleges in California, Maine and Colorado, coaching young quartets.<p>In 1972 Szekely was invited by Tom Rolston to become artist-in-residence at The Banff Centre, where he remained until his death in 2001.
Further details can be found in the biography "Szekely and Bartok: The Story of a Friendship" by Claude Kenneson (1994).</p>