In Memoriam: Harold F. Lewin (05.09.1929- 11.07.2014)
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our friend, fellow Board member and impresario, Harold Lewin who passed away at the age of 85 early Friday morning, November 7th. Harold founded Music & More at the Meeting House in 1991, passionately dedicating his uncompromising standards and deep knowledge of music to elevate the series and attract world class performers. Among them were the Shanghai, Lydian, Daedalus and Escher Quartets, Apollo Trio, flutist Carol Wincenc, violinist Daniel Stepner and pianist Robert Levin. Programs included the dancers of Berkshire Pulse, popular performers including Karen Akers and artists of the spoken word including Ben Luxon and Jonathan Epstein. Each season concluded with an evening of award winning authors, among them Roy Blount, Jr., Robert Massie, Siri Hustvedt and Margot Livesey.
In addition to seeking out each season’s performers, Harold wrote the program notes, supervised the program brochure and press releases and made sure that there were suitable guest quarters for all. In spite of failing health, Harold had concluded all of the plans for the 2015 season, which promises to be the largest and most impressive one ever.
Born in Boston, Harold studied piano at Manhattan School of Music and earned his Ph.D in theory and piano performance at Indiana University, studying with Menahem Pressler. Harold was a founding member of the Arioso Trio, debuting at Carnegie Hall in 1979. He performed at some of the world’s most prestigious venues including Lincoln Center, The Library of Congress, and Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. As president of the Sibelius Society for over 25 years, he was decorated with the Lion of Finland Medal for his contributions to Finnish Music. He was on the music faculties of Indiana University, University of Cincinnati and Manhattan School of Music where he founded the Doctor of Musical Arts Program.
“Harold was a multi-faceted musician and intellectual,” said Daniel Stepner, Professor at Brandeis University and Artistic Director of Aston Magna Festival. “He was a kindred spirit – someone who loved bringing great music to life more than merely putting on flashy performances – he was an authentic inspirational model, always remaining upbeat and thinking of the wonderful audiences he has built in the Berkshires.”
“Harold was passionately dedicated to Music and More, the series he started 23 years ago,” said Louise Yohalem, President of the New Marlborough Village Association. “Every bit an impresario, Harold brought world class musicians to our rural corner of the Berkshires, personally greeting the audience and introducing the program – which he had helped to set with the performers – at each performance. In spite of his failing health, Harold had already planned the entire 2015 season which promises to be the biggest and best yet. The Village Association Board will sorely miss its fellow member and the cultural community will be diminished by the loss of our friend.”
He is survived by wife Susan Grant Lewin, daughter Gabrielle Lewin and her husband Jim Nachlin, daughter Jeanne Lewin and her husband Craig Fox, son Adam Lewin and his wife Nicole, and granddaughters Lily Nachlin and Natasia DaSilva.
A memorial service is planned for a later date. To help assure the continuance his work, his family has established the Harold Lewin Endowment Fund For Music and More through the New Marlborough Village Association. Contributions can be sent to NMVA, 154 Hartsville-New Marlborough Road, New Marlborough, MA 01230.