James Pataki | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

James Pataki

Years of Residency: 1970-1988

Portrait of James Pataki

Before Coming to UNB

Born in Hungary in 1925, James grew up and received education in Toronto. As early recognizations of his talents, he had won numerous awards in Toronto including being presented the key to the city by the Mayor of Toronto at the age of 11.  He studied at the Toronto Conservatory of Music with Mignon Telgmann, Elie Spivek, as well as Kathleen Parlow as a select student. After World War II, he entered the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest on scholarship and got his diploma in music performance (viola) a few years later. He then started his career with the Budapest Opera, and later Philharmonia Hungarica in West Germany.

Residency at UNB

Also a student of Kathleen Parlow, then resident musician Joseph Pach invited James to also become a resident musician at UNB and form the UNB Pach String Quartet (later the Brunswick String Quartet). Then pricipal viola at the Philharmonia Hungarica, James moved to Fredericton with his family in 1970. He has since become the violist of the Brunswick String Quartet for 19 years until the group dissolved, during which they've given recitals, workshops, masterclasses, private lessons, school concerts across Canada, helped with the annual Summer Music Festival of Chamber Music and All That Jazz, and toured Canada, USA and Europe.

Members of the Brunswick String Quartet - Left to Right: Richard Naill, Paul Campbell, James Pataki and Joseph Pach. Courtesy of UNB Archives, PR6144

After Leaving UNB

After many years of music-making, James decided to resign in 1988 and become more involved in his lifelong love for visual arts. A few years after his coming to Fredericton, as a lifelong collector of fine arts, he and his wife Inge founded the now iconic Gallery 78 in 1976. The year he resigned from Brunswick String Quartet, the gallery was moving to its location now at 796 Queen St from their family home and growing, so he wanted to help with that. On January 27, 2004, James passed away at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital, at the age of 78.

Information from Inge Pataki with generous help from Nikki Thériault. Top photo courtesy of UNB Archives, PR5443d
Last Updated: 6 July, 2018 by Yiyang Shi