Lydia Lecraw, featured as our “alum in the spotlight” in the 2007 edition of our newsletter, passed away in September of this year at the age of 97. Ms. Lecraw received her BA in Music in 1938, and went on to become a beloved elementary school teacher, featured in the “Teachers Count” campaign as the favorite teacher of CEO of American Express Kenneth I. Chenault. Ms. Lecraw’s obituary can be read here.
Thanks to the generous support of the Elkus Family and many friends, the Department of Music continues to maintain its tradition of excellence and accessibility to a wide range of musical performances made possible through the Elizabeth Elkus Noon Concert Fund. Elizabeth Elkus was the wife of Albert Elkus, longtime University Orchestra conductor starting in in 1931 and department chair from 1937 to 1951. The inaugural concert took place in Hertz Hall on Wednesday, September 18, 1996, with a capacity performance by faculty pianist Barbara Shearer performing the twenty-four Chopin Preludes as a tribute to Elizabeth,who loved to see patronage flourish and youngsters succeed. This year marks the 16th Annual Elizabeth Elkus Noon Concert featuring Gamelan Music of Java and Bali on Wednesday, April 25, with student musicians performing on beautiful antique instruments directed by Midiyanto and I Dewa Putu Berata with Ben Brinner and Lisa Gold.
Jane Michiko Imamura, who was in charge of the music practice studios at UC Berkeley’s Department of Music during the late 1950s and 1960s, died December 26 at her Berkeley home of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. A memorial service was held January 7 at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple. She was married to the late Reverend Kanmo Imamura of the Berkeley Buddhist Temple. Reverend Imamura worked at the University’s Lowie Museum of Anthropology (now the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology) from 1947 to 1967. He became the museum’s head curator. In 1940 Jane Imamura attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she majored in music. But her university education was cut short in 1942, when she and her husband were relocated to the Gila River internment camp in Arizona.
In 1958, Jane Imamura joined the staff of the UC Berkeley Music Department. She was in charge of publicity for concerts, supervising student staff, making posters and flyers for events. “The music faculty and students came to rely on her for the smooth and cooperative functioning of the department,” said Reverend Ryo Imamura, son of Jane Imamura. “She was loved by everyone.” (The black and white portrait of Jane Imamura was made in 1972 while the Imamuras were working in Hawaii. The color photograph below is of her at the practice desk in the late 1960s.)
Wendy was born on March 15, 1943, in Hagerstown, Maryland, and passed away on July 15, 2010, from cancer. She graduated from Vassar College with a degree in classics. She earned a Ph.D. in music history from Stanford University in 1974. Her doctoral dissertation became the basis for the book Rhythmic Gesture in Mozart (University of Chicago Press, 1983), in which she demonstrated that Mozart’s music integrated references to the social practices and dances of his period. She wrote that this is what gave the music its tremendous power to “move audiences through representations of its own humanity.” Wendy’s work has influenced stagings of Mozart operas and provides a standard critical tool for opera studies today. Her book The Secular Commedia: Comic Mimesis in Late 18th-Century Music is near completion, and will be published by the University of California Press.
From 1969 to 1995, Wendy taught at St. John’s College in Maryland. She served as assistant dean from 1987 to 1990 and again from 1992-1994. She joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1994 as the Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor of Music and was made a permanent member of the faculty in 1995. She was chair of the department from 1997 to 2003, during which time she oversaw the construction of the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library.
She received numerous awards and fellowships, including those from the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2008, Wendy received the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowship. She was elected president of the American Musicological Society in 2003, but had to resign during her first year in office because of the onset of cancer.
She is survived by a son, John Allanbrook of Oakland, a step-son, Timothy Allanbrook of New York, New York, and two sisters, Stephanie Jamison Watkins, of Los Angeles, and Martha Page Martineau of Shepherdstown, W.Va.
The Department of Music at Berkeley has established a fund in Wendy’s honor as a way to remember her very special contributions to musicology and the department. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wendy Allanbrook Memorial Fund, c/o Roia Ferrazares, 104 Morrison Hall, Department of Music, University of California, Berkeley 94720-1200.
Jane Hohfeld Galante (1924-2010), a leading chamber musician and prominent San Franciscan, died at her home in San Francisco Wednesday morning. She was 86. She had been a leader in San Francisco’s chamber music scene for more than 60 years as a pianist, scholar, board member, and vigorous advocate of music and education. Click here to read more
The Department of Music honored a Berkeley professor, composer and important figure in American music, Ernest Bloch (1880-1959), on the 50th anniversary of his death, with a series of events, including a symposium and concert of his works on October 10, 2009, and a performance competition on October 5, 2009.
The symposium featured scholars Davitt Moroney (UC Berkeley), speaking about the history of the Department of Music, Klara Moricz (Amherst University), who earned her PhD at Berkeley and gave the keynote address about the composer’s work “America,” as well as graduate composer Nils Bultmann (UC Berkeley) performing a new piece in homage to Bloch, and Jonathan Elkus (UC Davis) speaking on “Growing up with Bloch.” Elkus’s father Albert was a friend of Bloch’s, and chairman of the Department of Music for many years.
The concert in Hertz Hall on October 10 featured cellist Irene Sharp and pianist Betty Woo, as well as student performers, performing works by Bloch, including his Piano Quintet No. 2, written for the opening of Hertz Hall in 1958. In attendance at the symposium and concert was the composer’s grandson, Ernest Bloch II.
The performance competition on October 5 featured music majors and other Berkeley students performing works by Bloch. First prize winners were April Paik (violin), Jessica Ling (violin), Jeff Kuo (viola), Kevin Yu (cello) and Tony Lin (piano) performing the Piano Quintet No. 2. Second prize winner was pianist Elaine Laguerta, performing Visions et Propheties, I & IV for solo piano.