Home » Jazz Musicians » Szilard Mezei

Szilard Mezei

Szilard Mezei was born on February 12th, 1974 in Senta, Serbia (then Yugoslavia) as a member of the Hungarian minority in the multiethnic region of Vojvodina. He completed his violin studies in Senta and Subotica and studied composition for four years at the University of Arts in Beograd with Prof. Zoran Eric. As violinist, violist, double bass player and composer and in various formations (from duo to nonet) he has held many concerts: Senta, Kanizsa the Jazz, Improvisative Music Festival, Subotica, Novi Sad (all Serbia, then Yugoslavia), Maribor (Slovenija), Szeged (Hungary, MASZK Festival), Budapest (Hungary, FONO), Gyor (Hungary, Mediawave Festival, also Gyorfree Impro Workshops, Gyergyószentmiklós (Romania), Leverkusen (Germany, Leverkusener Jazz Tage), Düsseldorff (Germany, Düsseldorffer Altsadt Herbst- special prize for improvisation), Copenhagen and Aarhus (Denmark, Magic Music Festival), Kluj-Napoca (Romania, Charta Minimumia Festival), Odorhei Secuiesc (Romania), Beograd (Serbia, Ring Ring Festival), PEcs (Hungary, Gassztro Fest, POSZT), Kishegyes (Dombos Fest), Copenhagen, Aero, Aalborg, Aarhus (Denmark, tour with the Creative Workshop Ensemble), Debrecen (Debrecen Jazz Days), Klagenfurt (CIK, Austria, 2004), London (Klinker Nunhead, 2005), Cerkno Jazz Fest (Slovenia), Avignon, Warszawa.

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 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.Bartok 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 Orleans in Orleans, 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 Orleans 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 Avignon in 2006, then successfuly toured Europe and Japan.

In 2003 Mezei was invited by the Creative Workshop Ensemble of Denmark to tour in that country, performing some of his compositions.

Read more

Tags

2
Album Review

Szilárd Mezei Tubass Quintet: Rested Turquoise

Read "Rested Turquoise" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Pardon the quote from the American rock band Cracker's lyrics to “Low": Sometimes I want to take you down/Sometimes I want to get you low/ Brush your hair back from your eyes/Take you down let the river flow. It's relevant because Szilárd Mezei's Tubass Quintet does carry out a mission to take you low. With a unique line up comprised of four double basses and a tuba, Mezei's Rested Turquoise does let a river of sound flow. The ...

Album Review

Szilard Mezei Septet: Cet

Read "Cet" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro


Ogni nuova uscita discografica riguardante Szilárd Mezei (negli ultimi anni sono frequenti) è una piccola festa. Questo suo nuovo lavoro, inciso a inizio 2015 alla testa di un settetto dalle timbriche e dalle dinamiche veramente efficaci, non fa certo eccezione. Vi convergono sette pagine del violista serbo-magiaro svarianti dai sei minuti e mezzo al quarto d'ora (la durata complessiva del CD sfiora i 77 minuti), svolte più che mai nel segno di una concezione compositiva spinta, puntuale, fortemente riconoscibile, identitaria. ...

Album Review

Szilard Mezei, Tim Trevor-Briscoe, Nicola Guazzaloca: Cantiere Simone Weil

Read "Cantiere Simone Weil" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro


Tre musicisti adusi all'improvvisazione senza rete e più in generale a uno sperimentalismo scevro da compromessi come il serbo-ungherese Szilard Mezei, l'inglese Tim Trevor-Briscoe e il nostro Nicola Guazzaloca danno vita a un trio che s'incontra occasionalmente da un po' di anni a questa parte (nel 2011 hanno dato già alle stampe per la Leo Records Underflow) scegliendo come terreno d'incontro appunto l'improvvisazione totale, regolata però da precisi appetiti-parametri strutturali che evidentemente tutti e tre possiedono. Il ...

Album Review

Szilard Mezei Flute & Strings Trio: Fehér Virág

Read "Fehér Virág" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro


Varcata la soglia dei quarant'anni, il violista serbo-ungherese Szilard Mezei continua a rimanere un pur illustre outsider, proseguendo congiuntamente a sfornare album di un rigore e uno spessore che lasciano immancabilmente ammirati. Quest'ultimo suo lavoro, più che mai cameristico (tratto-cardine della sua musica, in perenne equilibrio fra ricerca improvvisativa di marca più o meno scopertamente jazzistica e sperimentalismo contemporaneo-colto), lo vede dialogare con due sole partner (più un terzo limitatamente al brano centrale) lungo tre ampie pagine a sua firma, ...

103
Album Review

Szilard Mezei Wind Quartet: Innen

Read "Innen" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni


Serbian violaist Szilárd Mezei has gained a reputation as a composer/musician that rarely fits into ordinary definitions and conventions. Throughout his career, he has systematically blurred the boundaries between modern chamber contemporary music, European folk-based themes and jazz and free improvisation. His second release with his Wind Quartet, following We Were Watching the Rain (Leo, 2009), is no exception. With this unique quartet Mezei explores dark and deep-toned textures-- playing viola and composing for trombone, tuba and ...

175
Album Review

Szilard Mezei: Februari Fadontes

Read "Februari Fadontes" reviewed by John Sharpe


Serbian-born, Hungarian violist Szilard Mezei leads a quartet of his countrymen through a satisfying program of three multi-sectioned compositions on this limited edition LP. Mezei has become increasingly visible on the international scene, with a string of releases from ensembles of different sizes, and a guest appearance with the Fonda/Stevens Group. This new foursome features the attractive frontline blend of viola and Peter Bede's tenor saxophone, recalling the pairing of Billy Bang and Frank Lowe in the Jazz Doctors, but ...

240
Album Review

Szilard Mezei Ensemble: Nad/Reed

Read "Nad/Reed" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza


Szilard Mezei calls his music contemporary improvised music--a term that has often been used and abused, showing how music can either be transformed by imagination or lack thereof. The impact is in direct proportion to the skill of the musicians, which is why listening to the Szilard Mezei Ensemble is such a singular experience. The 14-piece band is a revelation, as comfortable in composed work as it is on the expanse of freedom.

The Hungarian Mezei was born in Senta, ...

Read more articles

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Rested Turquoise

NoBusiness Records
2021

buy

"The Core-tet Project...

Naxos Classics
2018

buy

Fehér Virág

Slam Productions
2016

buy

Cet

Odradek Records
2016

buy

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.