Gordon Alfred Hardy, a former faculty member and associate dean of Juilliard and the longtime head of the Aspen Music Festival, died on January 7 at the age of 94. His wife, Lillian, son Christopher, and daughter, Susan, and many other family members and friends survive him. He was predeceased by his sons Gordon, Jack, and Jeff.
Hardy (B.S. ’52, piano) arrived at Juilliard in the summer of 1947 to study composition with Bernard Wagenaar and piano with Beveridge Webster in the Summer School before enrolling full-time to study piano with Joseph Bloch. Hardy joined the faculty as a teaching fellow in the 1952-53 school year and became a full-blown Literature and Materials of Music faculty member in 1954, staying at Juilliard through 1974 with a one-year return engagement in 1979-80. Hardy was also a director of the Juilliard Repertory Project in the 1960s, and the associate dean from 1963 to 1977.
While at Juilliard, Hardy and faculty member Arnold Fish (M.S. ’49, composition) wrote a two-volume anthology of music for study and analysis that would be the primary source for L&M classes through the mid-1980s. After Fish died, in 1967, faculty member Hugh Aitken wrote in The Juilliard Review that the anthologies “helped to extend the idea which is at the heart of the approach to theory at Juilliard, that the proper study for musicians is music itself, not the verbalization we call textbooks.”
In 1962, Hardy was hired as the assistant dean of the Aspen Music Festival and school—and a week later was promoted to dean. He was made president of the festival in 1977 and retired in 1989. At Aspen, Hardy was lauded for many achievements, but especially for his “deep devotion to the music students,” current Aspen C.E.O. Alan Fletcher (M.M. ’79, D.M.A. ’83, composition) wrote in a memorial that appeared in The Aspen Times. “Together with Lillian, he shaped a festival and school that to this day inspires uncommon passion and loyalty.”