MARGARET F. HOOD
Nov 19,1937-June 7,2008
MARGARET F. HOOD, fortepiano and harpsichord designer and maker, died June 7, 2008. Margaret was born Nov. 19, 1937 in New York City and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. She graduated from The Greenwich Academy in 1954 and continued her education at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts where she pursued her interests in philosophy, religion and art. Upon graduation cum laude from Mt. Holyoke in 1958 Margaret continued the pursuit of her intellectual and academic interests at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Along with her academic work Margaret did calligraphic and artifact restoration work for the Bade Archeological Museum at PSR. At graduation in 1961 she was awarded a Danforth Fellowship at Duke University for the following year. Margaret's youthful love of horses remained with her throughout her life. She developed her skills not only in riding but in training in the English traditions of jumping, cross country and dressage. Boxes of ribbons attest to the level of her success in horsemanship. Margaret came from a family of painters and she continued the tradition with an extensive repertoire of styles and techniques. She added to that tradition by applying her artistic talents and skills to the painting of historically appropriate paintings and decorations on the lids and soundboards of harpsichords. In the 1970s Margaret began a career as a builder of historically correct reproductions of early keyboard instruments, harpsichords, clavichords and fortepianos. She was for a time an agent for Zuckerman Harpsichords and then, after extensive research in Europe and the US, she founded her own company, Margaret Hood Fortepianos [http://fortepianos.pair.com].She proceeded to build instruments of her own design, based on her research and analysis of surviving original instruments and the written records from the time in which the instruments were built. Her instruments and her scholarship have earned her a national and international reputation as a builder of exceptionally fine instruments, particularly reproductions of the pianos of Nannette Streicher, whose instruments were highly praised by Beethoven and were his preferred choice to play in performance. Margaret also earned national and international recognition among Beethoven scholars and early music performers for her research and publications with regard to Beethoven and the instruments of his time. In addition, Margaret wrote and published two technical manuals, one on repair and maintenance of harpsichords, and one on repair and maintenance of fortepianos. Margaret was united in marriage with C. Ellsworth Hood in 1961. She is survived by her husband, Ellsworth, her daughter, Vivian Andrea, and her son, Thomas William. With her passing the world of music has suffered a loss of immense proportions and her family a loss greater still. A private memorial celebration of Margaret and her life will be held by the family at a later date."
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