Bela Bartok was one of the 20th century’s most influential composers. Bartok studied the folk music, not only from Hungary, but also Romania and Slovakia, in order to incorporate it into his work. Many of Bartok’s early works were considered a part of the Hungarian folk style. Bartok went on to incorporate this folk music into his own compositions and changed the way composers at that time felt about using their own culture in their works. Bartok opened up a new approach to composition, which is still used today, and earned Bartok the title: “the healer of wounds.”
Bartok wrote the Suites for Piano in 1914, Bartok’s first published work. Bartok was 22 years old and had only been studying music for five years at that point. Bartok worked as an accompanist from 1910-1914, which helped Bartok gain a well rounded knowledge of piano playing and composition.