Remembering Marius Tabacu, a true Transylvanian

At the age of 68, Marius Tabacu has passed away. Over the course of his lifetime, he was a documentarist, pianist, literary translator, and founder and president of the Video-Pontes Foundation; Tabacu was also director of the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tabacu was born on January 13, 1952, in Tóti/Tăuteu, Bihar/Bihor County. He graduated as a pianist from the music conservatory in Cluj-Napoca, the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy, and obtained a literary translator’s certificate in Bucharest.

He was the embodiment of everything it means to be a real Transylvanist. It was well known that besides his Romanian mother tongue, he spoke perfect Hungarian, and as a true Transylvanian, he could instantly switch to German if needed. He was familiar with numerous fields of art and translated several contemporary Hungarian and Transylvanian works into Romanian.

After the change of regime, he was an editor at Territorial Television (its Hungarian editorial office in Cluj-Napoca) for the Romanian National Television, and also founder and director of the Video Pontes studio, part of the Hungarian National Media. From 2007 until his death, he served as director of the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra as well.

As a pianist, he played in Romania’s most significant concert halls, and, thanks to his work as a literary translator, 14 Hungarian works became available in Romanian, including the writings of Ádám Bodor, Attila Bartis and Péter Eszterházy. He directed more than 25 documentaries as well, among which were Living Judgements (1993), Stone Carved Witness (1995), The Passion of the Blazons I-II (1996), The Day of the Sun (1998) and Máramaros District (1999).

Tabacu was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit in 2017, followed by the Prize for Contemporary Transylvanian Hungarian Arts in 2019. For the translation of one of the most important works in Hungarian literature, The Transylvanian Trilogy, also called A Transylvanian Tale , written by Miklós Bánffy, just a couple days ago, he received the Best Translation Prize from the Romanian Writer’s Society.

In memoriam Marius Tabacu

Elhunyt Marius Tabacu, a VideoPontes alapítója. A transzilvanizmus igazi megtestesítője volt. Anyanyelve mellett tökéletesen beszélt magyarul és igazi erdélyiként – ha kellett bármikor németre váltott.

Posted by Video Pontes on Friday, October 9, 2020

Featured photo: Marius Tabacu 

Author: Blanka Székely