Lajos Bárdos - Biography

Lajos Bárdos (1899-1986), a composer, music teacher, and choir director was one of the most influential figures in twentieth century Hungarian music.

Lajos Bárdos was born in Budapest, Hungary on October 1, 1899. He studied music composition at the music academy with Albert Siklós for one year and with Zoltán Kodály for four years. While he was a music teacher at a secondary school he conducted the Cecília Choir at the Városmajor church, which, under his leadership, became an internationally recognized choir. At the age of twenty-eight he was invited by Artúr Harmat to teach at the Church Conductor Faculty of the Music Academy. Later he also taught as a member of the Secondary School Teachers and Conductors Faculty and with the Music Theory Faculty. He had to create most of his teaching materials.

In 1929 he became the conductor of the Palestrina Choir which mainly performed oratorios. In 1941 he combined the Cecília and the Palestrina Choirs to create the Budapest Choir.

From 1942 until 1962 he conducted the choir and orchestra of the Matthias Church.

In 1931 together with György Kerényi and Gyula Kertész he started the Magyar Kórus publishing firm. In the following 20 years they published 2,000 works of old masters and modern composers. Many schools organized concerts with this rich supply of music. With this they started the "Singing Youth" movement, bringing fresh blood into Hungarian choir life.

In the Scout movement he spread the singing of folk songs among the young men of the towns. They published booklets of folk songs for this purpose.

His rich composing work included folk song arrangements, Choral Masses, motets, secular pieces based on poems, theatrical accompaniments, songs, and instrumental music (about 800 pieces altogether).

He was also interested in music theory. He wrote school books, essays, and theoretical books. His investigations of Bartók, Kodály and Liszt are famous.