MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Portrait of the Artist as a Young-at-Heart Man

Randolph Hokanson, 2013; photo by Thomas May

Randolph Hokanson, 2013; photo by Thomas May

The pianist, composer, and sage Randolph Hokanson is a font of wisdom and a remarkable human being — with much to teach us as he approaches the age of 99 this June. Here’s my new profile of the artist for Crosscut:

“I’ve seen it all!” announces Randolph Hokanson before losing himself in a mischievous gale of laughter. With someone else, you might be tempted to indulge that as hyperbole. With Hokanson, who was born in 1915 in Bellingham, it’s tempting to take it literally.

This gifted pianist and teacher has witnessed almost a century of not just ceaseless but accelerating change: epochal shifts in technology, in education, in how music and the arts are valued.

Yet underneath the maelstrom, the things that really matter have managed somehow to endure.

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