In Memoriam

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Arthur P. Wilson ’45

March 7, 2017, in Monroe Township, New Jersey.

In his own words, Arthur taught “music as the piano” to children and adults, with occasional performances with serious singers. Born in Portland, he graduated from Reed with a BA in mathematics and wrote his thesis, “The Centro-Surface of a Hypocycloidal Surface,” with Prof. Frank Griffin [math 1911­–56] advising. His favorite class was History of Modern European Thought with Prof. Rex Arragon [history 1923–62, 70–74], and throughout his life he favored history as reading material, for which he thanked Prof. Dorothy Johansen ’33 [history 1934–84].

“Being widely read is a good background for a musician,” he said, “but at the time I attended Reed there was no music instruction available. The broad subject matter at Reed was a beginning of life-enrichment.”

Arthur studied music at Westminster Choir College and the New School for Music Study in Princeton. From 1949 to 1966, he was an accompanist for soloists and groups in San Francisco, where he founded the Repertory Opera Workshop. He was a consultant to piano teachers for National Keyboard Arts Associates and headed its regional office in Millbrae, California. He partnered in operating Keyboard Arts Studio in West Windsor, New Jersey, where he taught piano for many years. In the ’90s, he found a mentor who encouraged him to perform as a soloist. “One’s life keeps beginning over and over again,” Arthur said, “I love what I am doing. In this field, one does not retire.” Arthur was predeceased by his wife, Doris.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2017

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