Saturday, February 23, 2013
Béla Bartók, 1940
Béla Bartók in October 1940, aboard the USS Excalibur, en route to America.
Bartok was to have exactly five years on free soil. In late September 1945, the composer succumbed to leukemia.
It is said that only ten persons attended Bartók’s funeral, a contention I find hard to accept, given how many notable musicians based in the U.S.—Lili Krauss, Serge Koussevitzky, Fritz Reiner, György Sándor and Joseph Szigeti, among countless others—had befriended Bartók.