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Rachelle Kolton Knapp 1922-2016


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Former Juilliard French teacher Rachelle Knapp—always known as Madame Knapp—died in January at the age of 93. Rachelle L. Kolton was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on July 25, 1922, and survived the Holocaust. Once she settled in New York, she married Sidney Knapp, raised a family, and received a bachelor's, master's, and doctorate from Columbia's department of French and Romance Philology; her doctoral research was on Voltaire. She taught French at Juilliard starting in 1971, eight years later expanding her portfolio to teach remedial English here as well. She retired after the 1985-86 school year. Knapp also taught for many years at Columbia as well as at the Beekman School in Manhattan and at the Aspen Music Festival. She's survived by her sons, grandchildren, and many generations of students.


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