Obituary for Raymond D. Hanson
Raymond D. Hanson, beloved father, devoted husband, concert pianist and teacher, died peacefully of natural causes in his home in Heath, Massachusetts on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the age of 98. Born October 5, 1919 to David and Martha Hanson of Evanston, Illinois, Raymond began studying piano at the age of 12. By the age of 15, he appeared as a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Raymond attended Northwestern University until the beginning of WWII, and his commitment to non-violence and peaceful protest led him to become a Conscientious Objector. This eventually brought him to Middletown, Connecticut. After the War, in 1945, Raymond met Moshe Paranov and was offered a teaching job at Hartt College of Music. While at Hartt, Raymond worked with the renowned pianist and pedagogue, Harold Bauer, who took him under his wing and mentored him. Raymond was promoted to full Professor of Piano and eventually served as Head of the Piano Department where he remained for over 40 years. Throughout this time, he performed as a soloist with Hartford Symphony, Boston Symphony and Boston Pops; performed concerts and world tours with noted artists such as Roman Totenberg , Pinchas Zukerman, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf; and he appeared on his own weekly television program, Piano Pops, with Leonard Seeber. In addition, he created the piano series En Blanc et Noir, which featured young and upcoming pianists. In 1973, he married pianist Anne Koscielny. For generations thereafter, their home was a center of laughter and inspiration for family, friends and students. Raymond is survived by his children, Krystyn Kelley (from his first marriage to Cesidia DiPillo) and spouse, Dana (Maine); Cecile Audette and spouse, James (Maryland); his grandchildren, Heather LaCasse, David Veslocki, Michael Picard, Renee Audette and great grandchildren, Olivia and Drew LaCasse. He is pre-deceased by his wife, Anne Koscielny, and two daughters from his first marriage, Karen Hanson and Lisa Picard. Visiting hours will be held on Friday, November 3, 2017 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home; 1084 New Britain Avenue; West Hartford, CT 06110, and funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017, 10:30 a.m. at the Covenant Congregational Church; I Westminster Dr. West Hartford, CT 06107. The Hanson family would like to express their gratitude for the loving Care Team, the members of the Emergency Firefighter Association, and Compassus Hospice Care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Heath Firefighter Association; 1 East Main Street; P.O. Box 45; Heath, MA 01346. Online condolences may be made at wwwSheehanHilbornBreen.com.