Frances Bedford 95th Birthday Celebration

Published: September 10, 2019

SOMERS – The University of Wisconsin-Parkside will honor emerita music professor Frances E. Bedford at her 95th birthday celebration on campus on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 3 p.m., in Bedford Concert Hall, which is named in her honor. Several of Professor Bedford’s favorite musicians have been invited to play a concert, which is free and open to the public. The audience will be regaled by harp, violin, cello, and accordion, and much more.

Professor Bedford taught piano and harpsichord at UW-Parkside for 25 years, beginning in 1970. During those years, she also performed with the “Parkside Baroque Players” and with her son Monte, an oboist, in the “Bedford Duo.” As a performer, she toured the Midwest and Europe extensively. She served as harpsichordist for symphonies in Racine, Kenosha, and Waukesha, as well as several others.

To add to her impressive list of accomplishments, she also penned the definitive bibliography—some 600 pages—on harpsichord music and composers, entitled: “Harpsichord and Clavichord Music of the 20th Century,” spanning the period from 1902 to 1993. One reviewer referred to her book as “magisterial;” another wrote that it was invaluable to all students and lovers of harpsichord. It remains today an essential reference tool for those interested in this repertoire.

Throughout her career at UW-Parkside, Professor Bedford witnessed tremendous growth at the university that included the construction of the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. Thanks to her generous and significant gift, the Music Department was finally to get its own acoustically designed performance space: the Frances Bedford Concert Hall, which opened in 2012.  

Through her example and generosity, she enacts the spirit of one of her favorite Latin phrases—Life is short; Art lasts forever. Professor Bedford has created an extraordinary legacy that both supports music students’ education and offers the community an extraordinary venue in which to make music.

To see more information about upcoming performances at UW-Parkside, visit the Rita webpage:

The Rita


Lesley Heins-Walker
Dean and Professor, College of Arts and Humanities

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