Miklós Takács (1932-2015)
Miklós Takács was born in Hungary and started his music studies at the Bartók Béla Conservatory in Budapest. He received a diploma in choral conducting and music education at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. Because he was also interested in orchestral conducting, he organized ensembles for cantatas and oratorios at the Institute of French Culture in Budapest.
In 1973 he became a professor of music at L’ Université du Québec in Montreal (UQAM). He later established a mixed choir in 1978 in which university lecturers, students and music lovers came together to enjoy choral singing. The choir grew larger year after year. Its 100 to 150 members took part in prestigious concerts in New York, Carnegie Hall, Nôtre-Dame-de-Paris, and the Salzburg Cathedral. The choral master used to say: "We hold the flag of the UQAM all over the world as ambassadors of the University.”
As its general and musical director, Takács revitalized the Montreal Philharmonic Society in 1982. It was the first such Canadian society in which the orchestra and chorus were united into one association. He established a fruitful partnership between the Philharmonic Society and the UQAM chorale. Their repertoire included the most famous oratorios of the Classical and Romantic periods: the Beethoven Choral-Fantasia and Symphony No.9, the Mozart and Verdi requiems, and the Orff Carmina Burana.
Maestro Takács conducted his ensembles with dynamism and passion. His lifelong dedication to high level music education and professional musical life was honored by the International Kodály Society by granting him Honorary Membership in 2012.