In Remembrance: Burton F. Hatheway ’52 Died on June 13 2023

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Burton Foote Hatheway died peacefully on June 13, 2023, at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the same city where he was born. Other than earning further degrees at the Manhattan School of Music and a few trips to Europe, his dedication to teaching piano kept him close to home. Yet over a 65-year career, he had a lasting impact on generations of students, many of whom have also gone on to teach, while others have become professional pianists, including one multi-Grammy winner. At the time of his death, he was completing a book on his theories on the best piano technique to produce the purest sound based on the laws of physics and human anatomy—a summation of his years of teaching.

Burton came to Yale from Mount Hermon School for Boys, along with his close friend Charles “Pete” Bailey ’52. A work-study scholarship and a society matron known for sponsoring promising youths helped to underwrite his Yale education, the full $1,300 annual cost of attendance being beyond his family’s modest means. After freshman year on Old Campus, he roomed in Silliman College with David Ingalls ’52 and Frederick Jarvis ’52, who had similar artistic interests; Charles Slanetz ’54, a pre-med student, later joined them. Burton had especially fond memories of coursework with Professors Paul Hindemith (in his major, music history) and Richard Sewall (English); the latter sparked his love of Emily Dickinson’s poems, some of which he later set to music. The broad liberal arts education that he received at Yale enabled him to make connections across disciplinary lines not only in his teaching, but also in his volunteer work writing the program notes for the Greater Bridgeport Symphony for 44 years.

—Submitted by the family.

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