Explore the works of

A preview of our collection of performances featuring the works of pioneering composer and ethnomusicologist Béla Bartók, who revolutionized classical music with his innovative blend of folk influences, intricate rhythms, and textured harmonies.

About Bartók

By fusing folk music elements with modernist techniques, Béla Viktor János Bartók (1881 - 1945) managed to leave a lasting impression on the world of music; in fact, he is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century, and he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hungary's greatest composers. Besides, through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology - nowadays ethnomusicology.

Bartók was born in the Banatian town of Nagyszentmiklós in the Kingdom of Hungary (present-day Romania) to a lower noble family on his father’s side. According to his mother, young Béla already displayed a unique musical talent; even before he learned how to speak, the toddler could already tell apart different dance rhythms played on the piano. By the age of four, Béla could play himself - up to 40 pieces. He started playing formally the next year.

From 1899 to 1903, Bartók studied piano under former Franz Liszt student István Thomán, and composition under János Koessler at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest. Upon finishing his studies, he also wrapped up his first major orchestral work, ‘Kossuth’ - a symphonic poem paying tribute to the Hungarian Revolution hero of the same name. At the start of his career as a composer, Bartók sought influence in the aforementioned Liszt and Richard Straus - who Bartók met at the 1902 Budapest premiere of ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ - but his most surprising and well-known source of inspiration was yet to be found.

When staying at a holiday resort in the summer of 1904, Bartók overheard a young Transylvanian nanny sing folk songs to the children in her care. Struck by the melody’s beauty, Bartók found there a lifelong fascination with folk music, often infused in his compositions.

Bartók's compositions evolved as the composer gradually started embracing modernist and atonal elements. Forced to emigrate due to political unrest, he settled in the United States in the forties. His time spent in America gave way to some of his most well-known works, including ‘Concerto for Orchestra’, and ‘Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta’, even as Bartók gradually found himself more and more troubled, financially and personally.

In addition to his role as a composer in classical music, Béla Bartók was also one of the main developers of the emerging field of comparative musicology, later recognized as ethnomusicology. His partnership with fellow composer Zoltán Kodály in particular gave way to the release of influential collections such as ‘Mikrokosmos’ and ‘For Children’. Alongside his music, these works showcase Bartók's unwavering dedication to studying and disseminating folk music.

Béla Bartók passed away at the age of 64 in a New York City hospital, in 1945. Despite only ten people attending his funeral at the time, he has since garnered a well-deserved reputation as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking figures in twentieth-century classical music.

Choose your subscription plan

Frequently Asked

What is Symphony.live?

Symphony.live is a video streaming platform committed to uniting the world’s orchestras. We believe in demystifying the wonderful world of classical music, striving to make it more approachable for diverse audiences through innovative viewing experiences. Our growing family of orchestras and their stories are at the forefront of everything we do. We curate a diverse array of concerts, playlists, in-depth explorations, and more. Our family of orchestras includes The Cleveland Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and others. This is your chance to get closer than ever to the music you love!

How does the free trial work?

For a 7-day free trial, curious users can try Symphony.live for free. During these 7 days, you can enjoy all of our content in full - and with no strings attached. During the trial period, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to join us or not, so feel free to cancel at any time. There are two types of subscriptions we offer: monthly ($6,99/month) and annual ($49,99/year). 

Note: prices may vary per country.

How/where can I watch Symphony.live?

With Symphony.live, you can watch anywhere, anytime. As well as accessing online through Symphony.live, you can take your favorite concert experiences with you wherever you go, thanks to our mobile apps for iOS and Android.

You can also watch directly on your television via Roku, Android TV,  Google TV, Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, and on recent Samsung and LG TV sets.

Currently, we are available in the following locations:

(Europe:) Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom;

(Americas:) Brazil, Canada, Mexico, United States of America;

(Asia-Pacific:) Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea;

Note: more platforms and regions will be added soon.

What content does Symphony.live offer?

We would like to think there is something for everyone at Symphony.live. Whether you're a history buff looking to explore some of history's greatest musical minds, a connoisseur of the concert hall looking for your favorite performance, or simply looking to throw some relaxing classical music on in the background while you work, we’ve got you covered. From exclusive concert performances to deep-dive documentaries and our very own Close Up series, we ensure the classical music fan never runs out of content to watch. Plus, our hard-working team of experts regularly curates hand-picked playlists for every mood you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re in the mood for Vivaldi or Zimmer, you will never get bored; we are constantly revamping our collection with new music!

What quality does Symphony.live offer?

We understand the importance of experiencing classical music in mint condition. To help with your immersive experience, we always strive to provide you with the highest quality possible. We also have a selection of 5.1 digital surround sound available. Moreover, through our Wolfgang collaboration, select concert videos come with captions, enriching your viewing experience by providing a deeper understanding of the beautiful music on your screen.

How many devices can stream simultaneously?

You can stream Symphony.live on two devices simultaneously.

How can I cancel?

You can cancel at any time, directly from your profile page on the Symphony.live website.

How can I contact Symphony.live if I need account support and/or troubleshooting?

If you need support about your account, billing details, or encounter problems, please go to our help & support section or send a mail to support@symphony.live