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Randolph Hokanson

American pianist and teacher Randolph Henning Hokanson was born in Bellingham, Washington State on 22 June 1915, into a family of Swedish emigrants. He began to play the piano at eight, and to give regular recitals at fifteen. He studied in London with Carl Friedberg, Myra Hess and Harold Samuel.

He appeared as a piano soloist with conductors including Thomas Beecham, Arthur Fiedler, Milton Katims, Pierre Monteux and Walter Susskind, played a complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas, and gave over a hundred performances. He was noted for his recordings of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Schubert.

From 1949 until 1984 he taught in the music faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle. Melinda Bargreen, writing in The Seattle Times, called Hokanson 'a perfectionist at the keyboard and a musician who never lost his sense of wonder', and said that he carried his high musical standards from the concert hall to the classroom.

Hokanson enjoyed a very active retirement - at ninety-two he gave a set of lecture demonstrations based on Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, and on 21 June 2015, the day before his one hundredth birthday, he gave a recital of music by Bach, Chopin and Mozart in Seattle.

Randolph Hokanson died on 18 October 2018, aged 103.


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