Monday, October 30, 2017

Obituary for Raymond D. Hanson

Raymond D. Hanson, beloved father, devoted husband, concert pianist and teacher, died peacefully of natural causes in his home in Heath, Massachusetts on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the age of 98.

Born October 5, 1919 to David and Martha Hanson of Evanston, Illinois, Raymond began studying piano at the age of 12. By the age of 15, he appeared as a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Raymond attended Northwestern University until the beginning of WWII, and his commitment to non-violence and peaceful protest led him to become a Conscientious Objector. This eventually brought him to Middletown, Connecticut.

After the War, in 1945, Raymond met Moshe Paranov and was offered a teaching job at Hartt College of Music. While at Hartt, Raymond worked with the renowned pianist and pedagogue, Harold Bauer, who took him under his wing and mentored him. Raymond was promoted to full Professor of Piano and eventually served as Head of the Piano Department where he remained for over 40 years. Throughout this time, he performed as a soloist with Hartford Symphony, Boston Symphony and Boston Pops; performed concerts and world tours with noted artists such as Roman Totenberg , Pinchas Zukerman, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf; and he appeared on his own weekly television program, Piano Pops, with Leonard Seeber. In addition, he created the piano series En Blanc et Noir, which featured young and upcoming pianists.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Hartt Hall of Fame - Inaugural Class Induction

In 2016, the Board of Trustees of The Hartt School created The Hartt Hall of Fame.  As created by the Board:

The Hartt Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the accomplishments and contributions of individuals associated with The Hartt School who have helped in significant ways to further the mission of the School and showcase the best of the School to external audiences.

The Inaugural Class consists of the following people:
Samuel Berkman
Edward Diemente
Alfred C. and Primrose Fuller
Raymond Hanson
Julius Hartt
Irene Kahn
Jackie McLean
Elemer Nagy
Elizabeth Warner Paranov
Moshe Paranov
Imanuel Willheim

The induction ceremony for the Class of 2017 will take place on November 30, 2017 at 12:15 p.m. in Millard Auditorium during Paranov Hour (previously known as Musicianship Class).  The ceremony will be streamed live on the internet.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Remembering Brenda Lewis

Brenda Lewis passed away on Saturday in her home in Westport, CT.  She was born on March 2, 1921.  After a long and critically acclaimed career singing and acting on Broadway and, among others, at City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, she was a professor of voice and acting at Hartt.

Here is the obituary that appeared in the NY Times.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

March 1964 issue of International Musician, cover article re Moshe Paranov and Hartt

The March 1964 edition of International Musician, published by the American Federal of Musicians, featured an article about Moshe Paranov and the new Hartt building - the Fuller Building.  Moshe and a photo of the building appeared on the cover.  There are lots of interesting things in this article, including the fact that the original building cost a total of $2.6m to build.

Check out Uncle Moshe's quote about his decision to not strike out for Europe or other major metropolitan center early in his career as was the typical path.

"I hope that I have demonstrated that it is possible for a student of music to become a musician by the unorthodox method which I selected.  Less of glamour, yes; more of heartache, decidedly; but great satisfaction, definitely."

I also like the 1964 advertisements.

As we move toward the completion of the renovation of Millard Auditorium, it is amazing to think about the original dedication concert, with performances by Marian Anderson, Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose.  I would have liked to be in attendance!

Special thanks to Seth Bogdanove, Uncle Moshe's nephew who used to vacation with the Paranov family in Maine.  Seth saved this article and sent me the digital copy. 

(By the way - If anyone is in need of photo restoration and digital archiving skills, please reach out to Seth at Digital Archiving and Photo Restoration by Bogframe, 17 Bay 31st Street, Apt 2, Brooklyn, NY 11214, (718) 373-7575,

Monday, July 3, 2017

Allen Memorial Library Moves Into New Space

The Allen Memorial Library, a/k/a the Hartt Music Library, has moved into a new space.  What was formerly known as the main library on campus, the Mortensen Library, has been renamed the Walter Harrison Libraries, which now includes a section called Mortensen Library.  The Harrison Libraries now houses the Allen Library in what used to be the lower level of Mortensen.  The back wall of this space was blown out, new floor to ceiling windows were installed, and the space was reconfigured to serve Hartt's music, dance and theatre students and faculty.  Although still a work in progress, here are some photos.

Did you know that Hartt alumni have use and borrowing privileges in the Allen Library?  See the library website for details.

Here is your mini virtual tour.

As you walk down the stairs from the main level of Mortensen, here is the entrance signage to the new Allen Library.
Turn left and a staff workspace is visible through the window and you can see through the library space out the back windows.
In we go through the entrance and turn right to the circulation desk.

Looking past the work tables and the computer study stations.  (Bonus if you can identify the Hartt alumnus just beyond the computers from the back of his head.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Two Hartt Alumni to Be Featured at Tanglewood

A pair of Hartt alumni, Phillip Boykin and Ryan Speedo Green, will be among the featured soloists at this seasons' Tanglewood performances.

On July 8, Phillip will perform with the Boston Pops Orchestra in a program titled Sondheim on Sondheim.  This follows Phillip's recent run on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George.  More information on this performance can be found here.  Boykin Performance

PHILLIP BOYKIN (Bass-Baritone) is a 2012 Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominee for his work in THE GERSHWIN'S PORGY AND BESS. He is the 2012 Winner of a Theatre World Award as well as the International Reviewers of New England Awards and The Distinguished Alumni Award from The Hartt School. Phillip is a native of Greenville, SC who now resides in NJ. Other performances include; the Broadway Revivals of ON THE TOWN and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, the roles of Joe in the National Tour SHOW BOAT and at several Regional theaters including Sacramento Music Theater, The Pirate King/Samuel in PIRATES OF PENZANCE NY City Center and Barrington Stage, Ken in AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', Crown/Jake in the Opera PORGY AND BESS, Tarquinius in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, Caiaphas in JCS, and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR GOSPEL, the HARLEM GOSPEL SINGERS, Fred in SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ, and Don Alfonso in COSI FAN TUTTI to name a few. Phillip performed as Booker T. Washington in the Anniversary Concert of RAGTIME at Lincoln Center. He also made is Carnegie Hall debut in BROADWAY CLASSICS. Mr. Boykin portrayed the role of Big Hand in the movie FREEDOM starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and Sharon Leal. Recently The Driver in TOP FIVE a movie starring, written and directed by Chris Rock, Caiaphas in John O'Boyle's EASTER MYSTERIES and was featured as the cover story of Classical Singer Magazine. He's a graduate of the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music in CT; he also studied Jazz and Vocal Performance at SC State University, Howard University and the NC School of the Arts. Phillip has toured throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Russia, Poland and North America. Mr. Boykin is the Founder, Director and Manager of the NYGOSPEL BROTHERS. For more information or to purchase his CD/DVD entitled "You Believed In Me" please visit


Ryan Speedo Green will perform on July 30 with the BSO Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus as a featured soloist in William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast.  Additional information on this performance can be found here. Green Performance 

Bass-Baritone Ryan Speedo Green, a native of Suffolk, Virginia, recently completed the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. Praised by Anothony Tommasini for his "robust voice," Ryan will join the Wiener Staatsoper as a company member in the 2014 - 2015 season member and will be featured as Sparafucile in a new production of Rigoletto, as well as Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia among several other assignments. He will also appear as Rambo in the Met premier of The Death of Klinghoffer conducted by David Robertson. The 2013-2014 season saw a return to the stage of the Met to sing the Bonze in Madama Butterfly and the Jailer in Tosca. The same season also saw his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Second Soldier in Salome under the baton of Andris Nelsons and a debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra singing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Other appearances included Son Beau-Pere in a new production of Milhaud's Le pauvre matelot and Zuniga in Carmen with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap Opera. Ryan made his Metropolitan Opera stage debut in the 2012-2013 season.