Death of a noted American pianist, 103

Death of a noted American pianist, 103


norman lebrecht

October 19, 2018

We have been notified of the death of Randolph H. Hokanson, widely recorded pianist and professor emeritus at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Born in the state of Washington in June 1915, he studied with Harold Samuel, Myra Hess and Carl Friedberg and performed as a soloist with Thomas Beecham, Pierre Monteux, Arthur Fiedler, Walter Susskind and more.

On the eve of his 100th birthday, Hokanson gave a recital of Bach, Mozart and Chopin in Bayview Manor Albertson Hall, Seattle.

Lovely artist.


  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    Three years ago when Norman posted about the 100th birthday concert, I made a posting about how to purchase a copy of Randolph Hokanson’s autobiography:
    With Head to the Music Bent: A Musician’s Story.

    It appears as if the book is currently unavailable for purchase (either from the University of Washington bookstore or on Amazon). But that might change.

    Here is a blog posting online about the autobiography:

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Beautiful performance of Chopin’s 4th ballade! Thank you for posting.

    Any relation to the fine pianist Leonard Hokanson (1931-2003)?

  • lori says:

    He was a beautiful soul, a gentle and profound musician. I played Beethoven 109 for him in a master class back in the late 80’s. His sweet sound was memorable. BDE.

  • Oddly enough, I just read his autobiography last week. A student of Harold Samuel, Myra Hess, and Howard Ferguson, a fine pianist with a wonderful sound. After reading the bio, I ordered an old cassette copy of four Beethoven Sonatas paired with lectures he recorded in the 1980s. It was very evident in the book that he was proud of his performance of the complete Beethoven cycle in the 1960s, and the cassette performances justify that pride. RIP! (He mentions in the book that he is no relation to Leonard Hokanson.)

  • Borah Kang says:

    Sure he was a lovely pianist. Me as a pianist, I really respect amd admire him. I will miss him greatly.