The artistic education of great quality and at an impressive scale began in Tirgu Mures in 1908, when the mayor of that time, György Bernády founded the Civic Music School, which was the predecessor of the Music Conservatoire (1922). The school was directed by the famous violin player, composer, conductor and maestro Albert Metz who was followed by the well-known musicologist Costin Maximilian.
The Free Course of Fine Arts, founded in 1932 in order to spread and develop the culture of fine arts, as well as to teach those who intended to take up fine arts as a career, merged together with the Conservatoire to complete the content of the existing art education in the town. All the teachers of the Music School were instrumentalists of skilled reputation, trained in Europe’s great cultural centers such as Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Venice, Budapest etc. This community of dedicated and talented people also contributed to the foundation of the first symphonic orchestra in the town.
The Art School, as organized nowadays, was founded in 1949 as an institution of art education and continued with 17 teachers the traditions of the two above-mentioned schools. In the same year, due to the educational reform of 1948, five art high schools were founded in the country, among which was the one in Tirgu Mures, next to the ones in Bucharest, Iași, Baia-Mare and Cluj-Napoca.
The first principal of the school was the sculptor Marton Izsák (1949-1974), with the deputy director, the violoncellist and composer Géza Kozma. These two were followed by the pianist Sarolta Trózner (1949-1969) - Ferenc Erkel’s, the famous opera composer, great-granddaughter.
Since its foundation, the Art High School has been training students in music and other areas of the fine arts (with the exception of the choreographic department which functioned only for a few years). In the school, the professional art training has been functioning together with the general curriculum over the years. The first class graduated in 1953.
Beginning with the academic year of 1955-1956, the music high school classes were relocated to Cluj, so only the 1 – 8 grades remained in the institution. The fine art classes continued, but following the Soviet model, they were placed under the leadership of the Prentice School and functioned classified as Technical School.
In the academic year of 1959-1960, the classes from both departments were united again and the high school was founded again as the Music and Fine Arts Elementary and Secondary School.
From 1977 to 1990, the Art School maintained its activities in two separate buildings: Secondary School No. 18 with Additional Art Section (grades 1-8) and Pedagogic High School (grades 9-12, art section). The Art School was reestablished beginning with the academic year of 1990-1991, when the high school classes were coupled to the elementary and secondary school classes from the General School No. 18, adding levels to provide grades from 1 to 12.
Beginning with the first year of activity (1st Dec. 1949) the teachers were those who went in quest of young talents in the town as well as in the county, in the bordering counties and even further. From the initiation of the school until a building for the boarding school was found, students who had come from other places were accommodated in the Small Chamber of the Palace of Culture, specially fitted to accommodate. The whole vocational training was realized within the Palace of Culture: the music section on the first and second stories, while the art section was on the third floor.
This came to an end in 1978, when the Palace of Culture - built by the mayor György Bernády in 1913 in order to serve the artistic education, to advance art and culture and to form and teach the aesthetic sense of the citizens of the town - partially lost its function. In 1994, a new building with room for a vocational section and the administration was opened.
In 2008, the boarding school was closed, which represented a disadvantage for the students coming from other cities, but meanwhile the number of classrooms for instrumental and vocal practice increased. In 2016, the construction of an upper storey and rehabilitation of the building on Mărăști street (the former boarding school building) was finished, which was done with the help of Tg Mures City Hall and REGIO European funding. This has facilitated the qualitative and quantitative increase in rooms designated for individual musical study, the art of acting, visual arts workshops and architecture workshops. Thus, we support the specific education in conformity with the requirements of the specific educational activity from our educational offer for all our 960 students.
The Art High School has had a well defined role in the life of our city, our students’ performances attracting people to the cultural events: our students’ and teachers’ concerts and their exhibitions. Also, our students take part in various cultural activities in our city (exhibition openings, symposiums, literary – musical evenings, conferences, artistic talk – shows, visual arts workshops, exhibitions, national and international contests). All these events replenish the cultural life of our city.
The multicultural and integrating character of the creative and interpretative actions develop in our students a series of social and cultural aptitudes and communication competencies which help them integrate in the modern European society. This character also demonstrates the high educational level of our students who develop their creative side of personality and prove the acquirement of artistic abilities, becoming flexible, independent and more open to the changes around them.
Many of our students – after graduating the university – find themselves jobs in the orchestra or the choir of the Tirgu Mures State Philharmonics or work as teachers in artistic schools. Some of them have an intense soloist career. Others become university teachers in our city or sometimes even abroad. We are proud of our students who continued their studies abroad, in Moscow, Paris, London, Budapest, Germany, Sweden, the USA and who work there as well.
The graduates of the fine arts department become artists, well-known on national and international level, graphic designers, painters, clothes designers, sculptors, interior and product designers and architects. Some of them have become also great teachers who dedicate themselves to the formation of tomorrow’s artists. Our students bring prizes at national and international contests, by this confirming the quality of our school.