Szilárd Mezei is a contemporary European violinist, violist, double bass player, composer and leader of various formations; he is perhaps the greatest hope of European jazz violin since the tragic death of Polish violin master Zbigniew Seifert in 1979. Szilárd Mezei was born 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 Belograd under prof. Zoran Eric. He 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's 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.Bartók 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). He leads the Szilárd Mezei Trio, Szilárd Mezei Quintet (/ Sextet / Septet / Octet), and plays in many formations (duo, trio, etc.) for improvising music (among others, in duet with György Szabados, and with his own orchestra MAKUZ, The Fonda/Stevens Group.