Alice Brandfonbrener, M.D.

I recently learned that Alice Brandfonbrener passed away on May 31 of this year (2014). I was deeply saddened to learn this, as I’m certain were many, many other musicians and members of the arts community who had come to know her over her 83 years.

Here is a link to one obituary; here a link to another. They all tell the story of an amazing woman, working for musicians.

I first heard of Dr. Brandfonbrener in my capacity as Senior Editor at Polyphonic, but I know that she was a beacon of hope to so many musicians who’d experienced injuries during their professional life. I had the delight of having lunch with her at her Chicago apartment, overlooking the lake, when I attended a League conference in Chicago a few years ago. We had met online and over the phone, but this was the first time in person, and she just captivated me. I truly felt honored — I knew I was in the presence of someone incredibly special.

Her passion for music, and the musicians who make it, was so evident in her apartment, in her conversation, and in her life’s work. She truly put the concept of Music Medicine on the map, for all of us to reap the benefits now.

She wrote one of the first articles I was involved with for Polyphonic back in 2006. This article was my very first “Editor’s Choice” and I think it most appropriate to make it so again, as we honor her legacy. By being a musician herself, she opened so many medical doors, and explained away so many myths, that we all owe her a part of our professional health.

Rest in peace, Alice.

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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