SF State News {University Communications}

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Arts patron Jane Hohfeld Galante passes away at 86

Dec. 7, 2010 -- Jane Hohfeld Galante, emeriti trustee of the University's Morrison Chamber Music Center and longtime champion of chamber music and the arts at SF State, passed away Dec. 1 at age 86.

A photo of Jane Galante

Jane Galante at the 1998 Commencement ceremony.

A native San Franciscan, Galante influenced the growth of the arts and chamber music in the Bay Area. A classically trained pianist, Galante performed across the U.S. and Europe during a performance career that spanned five decades. She was also a driving force for the Morrison Chamber Music Center and Morrison Artists Series, which provides the public with free access to world-class chamber music.    

Galante's father, Edward Hohfeld, was administrator of the May Treat Morrison Trust, which was endowed by funds from the estate of Alexander F. Morrison and May Treat Morrison. In 1952, Hohfeld founded the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center at SF State with the goal "to offer the finest music in the most accessible way." He believed that students should have the opportunity to learn from master teachers and hear chamber music performed by world-class musicians. The Morrison Artists Series at SF State debuted in 1955, allowing tens of thousands of students and music lovers in the Bay Area to enjoy free concerts put on by the world's finest chamber musicians.   

Galante's work helped chamber music at SF State reach new heights. She played a leading role in an innovative collaboration that brought the internationally renowned Alexander String Quartet to SF State in 1989. The University's quartet-in-residence has enriched music education at SF State, as well as schools around the Bay Area through lectures and demonstrations.    

Galante was also the founder and director of the Composer's Forum of San Francisco, honorary trustee of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, trustee of San Francisco Performances, and co-founder of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. A widely published music historian, she was decorated Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her scholarship and service to French music. For her years of work with SF State, Galante was honored at the 1998 Commencement ceremony by President Robert A. Corrigan with the President's Medal, the highest honor the University itself can bestow.

"Jane Galante was the sustaining heart and hand behind one of the treasures of the San Francisco musical scene, the Morrison Artists Series at SF State," President Robert A. Corrigan said. "She was an exemplar of engagement with the arts and with community, and a rare combination of artist, teacher, scholar and advocate. Above all, she was a dear and valued friend. Her contributions to the arts at San Francisco State will continue to be appreciated for years to come."

A memorial service  and celebration of Galante's life will be held Dec. 11 at 2:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building.

-- Michael Bruntz


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