Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97
- BM, Northwestern University (1968)
- MM, University Illinois Urbana (1969)
- Doctoral studies, Peabody Conservatory
- Study with Howard Karp and Leon Fleisher
- Tanglewood Piano Fellowship (1976)
- Conductors Seminar (1989)
Hailed by the New York Times as “a marvelous pianist,” Peter Takács has performed widely, receiving critical and audience acclaim for his penetrating and communicative musical interpretations. Takács was born in Bucharest, Romania, and started his musical studies before his fourth birthday. After his debut recital at age 7, he was a frequent recitalist in his native city until his parents’ request for immigration to the West, at which point all his studies and performances were banned. He continued studying clandestinely with his piano teacher until his family was finally allowed to immigrate to France, where, at age 14, he was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris.
Upon Takács' arrival in the United States, his outstanding musical talents continued to be recognized with full scholarships to Northwestern University and the University of Illinois, and a three-year fellowship for doctoral studies at the Peabody Conservatory, where he completed his artistic training with renowned pianist Leon Fleisher.
Takács has received numerous prizes and awards for his performances, including first prize in the William Kapell International Competition, the C.D. Jackson Award for Excellence in Chamber Music at the Tanglewood Music Center, and a solo recitalist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His performances have been hailed by audiences and the press for their penetrating intellectual insight as well as for their emotional urgency and communicativeness.
Takács has performed as guest soloist with major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, as well as at important summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Music Mountain, Chautauqua Institution, ARIA International, Schlern Music Festival in the Italian Alps, Tel Hai International Master Classes in Israel, and Sweden’s Helsingborg Festival. Since 2008, he has been a member of the faculty at the Montecito Summer Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California. He has performed and recorded the cycle of 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, which were released on the Cambria label to critical acclaim in 2011.
Takács’ success as a teacher is attested to by the accomplishments of his students, who have won top prizes in competitions in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South Africa. They have been accepted at major graduate schools such as the Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, and Peabody Conservatory, among many others. Takács has given master classes in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and has been a jury member at prestigious national and international competitions such as the San Antonio International Keyboard Competition, the Canadian National Competition, the Cleveland International Piano Competition, and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. He Takács has taught piano at Oberlin since 1976.
Photo of Professor Takács by Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97