Raymond Page, violinist/violist and former faculty member at Penn State, passed away on January 4, 2016 at the age of 82. He was committed to practicing his violin every day of his life, whether preparing for a performance, or simply perfecting his technique. He continued to practice until the very last days of his life.
He began studying the violin at the age of four and became a pupil of Ivan Galamian at Meadowmount at age 13. He also studied with Joseph Gingold. He continued working with Galamian at Juilliard, and studied ensemble with Hans Letz. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1955 from Juilliard School of Music. During 1957-58, he studied at the Akademie fur Musik in Vienna and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg as a Fulbright Scholar. He was a member of the quartet chosen to represent Austria at the Brussels World's Fair. In 1960, he received a master’s degree in music theory from the Ohio State University.
Page joined the Alard String Quartet as violinist in 1958, becoming the violist in 1960. The quartet was in residence at Wilmington College until 1962, when they moved to Penn State. As a member of the faculties in both schools, Raymond played concerts with the quartet and taught violin/viola and coached chamber music groups. The quartet toured extensively around the northeast, and did a US Information Service month-long tour of Mexico, playing concerts in large cities and small towns. They spent the summers of 1961 and 1962 in residence at the State University of New York at Potsdam. In 1963, the quartet was invited to the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, to be in residence there. They spent portions of 1963, 1964, 1981 and 1982 in New Zealand, playing for enthusiastic audiences throughout the country. In 1967, the Alard Quartet performed at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. The New York Times reviewer's comment about the concert was, "four admirably balanced instrumentalists, who brought vitality, cohesion, and solid musicianship to their readings."
Raymond served as a faculty member of the Yale Summer School and performed with the Yale String Quartet, with whom he played at the International Music Festival in Spain. He performed at the Claremont Music Festival at Pomona College in California and played and coached at the Bennington (Vermont) Chamber Music Conference. He was a member of the Harrisburg (PA), Dayton, Springfield, & Columbus (OH) Symphonies at various times, and taught many private pupils as well.
After his retirement, he and his wife Joan enjoyed windsurfing and camping, traveling throughout the country as well as to their winter home in Melbourne, Florida. In the early 1990's, Ray and Joan became interested in helping to rescue retired greyhound racing dogs. They were loving caregivers to their greyhounds, always owning at least one or two from that time on.
Raymond Page was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Ethel Page, his brother Lewis Page, and sister Ellen Glover, and his wife Joan. He is survived by his sister Tillie Freeman (and husband Jack) of Glens Falls, NY, and nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his two children, Kenneth Page of Palm Bay, Florida and Annie Hovis-Williams (and husband James), of Nyack, New York, former wife Overda Stonerock (mother of Kenneth), grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
To honor and commemorate his life and contributions to the music community of State College, friends and family are planning a special recital in his memory. Since his first love was chamber music, the recital will mirror the gathering of friends sharing music and socializing as was the tradition in the days of Baroque musicians. Musicians who knew Ray are invited to play as part of this musical tribute, and anyone interested in contributing to the program is asked to contact Annie Hovis-Williams (daughter) or Donald Hopkins (friend and former quartet member) to express their desire to be added to the program to occur sometime this spring. A private burial will be held in State College, where Raymond will be laid to rest with his wife at Spring Creek Cemetery.
This article was abstracted from the obituary which appeared in the Centre Daily Times on January 10, 2016.