Dorothy Swetnam

Dorothy Swetnam (m Hare). Pianist, teacher, accompanist, examiner, adjudicator, b Glace Bay, NS, 27 Mar 1911, d Calgary 8 Jun 2002; B MUS (Mount Allison) l933. She studied with James Noel Brunton, a pupil of Godowsky, at Mount Allison University.

Swetnam, Dorothy

Dorothy Swetnam (m Hare). Pianist, teacher, accompanist, examiner, adjudicator, b Glace Bay, NS, 27 Mar 1911, d Calgary 8 Jun 2002; B MUS (Mount Allison) l933. She studied with James Noel Brunton, a pupil of Godowsky, at Mount Allison University. In l934 she went to Japan to head the piano department at the Canadian Academy in Kobe and also studied in Tokyo with Leonid Kreutzer. She returned to Canada in l941. She taught at Mount Allison University, Mount Royal College in Calgary, the Banff SFA, and the Victoria Summer School of Music, which she co-founded with her husband, Clayton Hare, in l963. She lived 1955-70 in the USA (her husband taught 1955-65 at the University of Portland, Ore), and during those years she accompanied a number of singers, including Betty Allen, Elisabeth Söderström, and Ernst Haefliger. She returned to Canada in l970 and settled in Calgary, where she taught privately until the 1990s. Swetnam was an examiner for the National Guild of Piano Teachers (USA), the Washington State Music Teachers' Association, and the University of Alberta and adjudicated at festivals in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the four western provinces. She toured in Canada, the USA, the Orient, and Bermuda and performed in concert and on CBC broadcasts with her husband.

A survivor of the 1917 Halifax explosion, in the 1990s she returned annually to Halifax to educate others about the disaster. A photo of her is displayed in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Swetnam Hare was honoured in 1996 by the Friends of Esther Honens; she was a member of the ARMTA.


Further Reading

  • Dawson, Eric. 'Early musical years tough but rewarding for city pianist,' Calgary Herald, 24 Feb l979

    Conrad, Rick. "'I'm one of the lucky ones', says 86-year-old Dorothy Swetnam Hare," Halifax Herald, 5 Dec 1997

    Hanson, Cheri. "Talented musician had eccentric spirit," Calgary Herald, 12 June 2002