Yesterday’s birthday recital was incredible. Here’s the “set list” Mr. Hokanson played:
Mendelssohn/Three Songs without Words
Schubert/Two Impromptus (G-flat and E-flat major)
Schumann/Two Fantasiestücke Op. 12 (Des Abends and In der Nacht)
Hokanson’s own compositions: two new songs: “Elegy” (Tennyson) and “Nightingales” (Robert Bridges)
Brahms Two Op. 119 Intermezzi (B minor and C major)
Chopin Mazurka in A minor Op. 59, no. 1
Debussy “Beau Soir” in Heifetz transcription
Albeníz tango in Kreisler transcription
Gershwin “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and Prelude for Piano 3 transcriptions by Heifetz
Guest soloists: mezzo Sarah Mattox and violinist Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi
Randolph Hokanson with pianist Judith Cohen – a day before he turned 100 (photo by Thomas May)
This is a belated birthday salute, as Mr. Randolph Hokanson’s actual birthday happened on 22 June. He’s now into his second century. Today I’ll be attending a recital by Mr. Hokanson. In honor of the occasion, here’s a profile I wrote a couple of years ago about this remarkable pianist (also at work as a composer these days):
“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.