Frances Elizabeth Sherer Caldwell, 78, of White Plains, N.Y., died on November 25, 2020, in Ramsey, N.J., on the house of her daughter, Juliet. Born on August 30, 1942, in Mount Kisco, N.Y., to Mary Brown Sherer and Clark Grosjean Sherer, Frances grew up in Scarsdale listening to her mom play piano and her father sing together with the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts each Saturday. As she as soon as wrote of her early days studying the piano, “I used to be galvanized by Bach and Beethoven, and practiced a lot my mother and father would go away the home!”
After incomes her BA in music from Smith School (’64, Phi Beta Kappa), the place she studied piano with Robert Miller and composition with Alvin Etler, Frances stayed on at Smith for one yr as a school fellow in music, then entered the grasp’s program at UC Berkeley. She married Peter Devigne Caldwell in September 1966 and moved to Paris, France, the place Peter was practising legislation. There Frances accomplished her graduate research below the steering of pianist Nadine Vercambre, incomes a diplôme supérieur in piano efficiency from the Conservatoire Européen de Musique de Paris. She spoke lovely French and remained a lifelong Francophile.
Whereas dwelling in Paris, Frances (or “Francie,” as she was identified to many) gave start to a few youngsters — Nat, Nelson and Juliet — to whom she imparted a deep love of language and the humanities. In 1974 she and Peter returned to the U.S.; they raised their children in New York Metropolis and, later, in Pelham, N.Y. Frances additionally loved an extended profession as a piano trainer, holding school positions on the Faculty for Strings in Manhattan and on the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, in addition to instructing non-public classes to numerous college students, by whom she was a lot beloved and revered. She gave solo recitals through the years within the U.S. and France, although chamber music remained closest to her coronary heart — she known as it “intimate dialog in a common language.”
Frances was a splendid musician and a pianist of nice feeling and magnificence. She beloved to interpret the music of Chopin, Ravel, Debussy, Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Mozart, Brahms, and plenty of different classical and modern composers. She additionally had a razor-sharp mind and seemingly inexhaustible data of all issues literary, etymological, historic and musical; her household typically turned to her as an in-house reference as dependable as Merriam Webster’s or the Reader’s Encylopedia.
At first blush, Frances offered as correct and “by the e book,” each bit the straight-A pupil. However to those that knew her, she was playful and irreverent, even naughty at instances, with a streak of unfettered eccentricity. In her soul she was an artist, and each object in her clear, uncluttered house was positioned with care and aesthetic objective — a blue-glass bottle, a framed swatch of cloth, a yellow hat perched simply so. In motion, she had the poise and confidence of a dancer, which she had been from an early age. And in dialog, she was no shrinking violet — she knew her thoughts and appreciated that high quality in others.
In no explicit order, Frances beloved raspberries, lilacs and irises. Kandinsky, yoga, Heath Bars and middle-brow thriller novels. Concert events at Carnegie Corridor and Bargemusic on the East River. Poached eggs with bacon. The tango, mayonnaise, “Legislation & Order” (unique sequence) and quick walks with mates. A satisfyingly messy cheeseburger, a Coke with a wedge of lemon. And most of all her two grandchildren, August and Bernadette, who known as her “Nana.”
Frances was taken from us too quickly. On the time she contracted COVID-19 in March of 2020, she was wholesome, energetic and totally unbiased. Due to the care of many nurses, aides and docs toiling within the chaotic circumstances of the early pandemic — and due to the fixed private care of her MD daughter, Juliet — she managed to outlive the preliminary onslaught of the illness. All through eight lengthy months combating COVID’s bodily aftermath — 4 in hospital and 4 at Juliet’s house — Frances would name on a favourite quote attributed to Winston Churchill: “In the event you’re going by way of hell, hold going.” She saved going, and she or he fought arduous, daily, to dwell so long as she probably might. Throughout her closing months at Juliet’s, she was grateful and lucky to be surrounded by the love of her household. She wouldn’t have made it so long as she did with out her daughter’s care and that of many fantastic aides — particularly Camille Amorin, who was together with her to the final. She additionally benefited immensely from the hugs and giggles she obtained daily from her grandson, August, and from a continuing stream of affection within the type of letters, calls and digital visits with family and friends.
Frances was predeceased by her sister, Eugénie C. Sherer, and by her former husband, Peter D. Caldwell. She is survived by daughter Juliet and grandson August Caldwell (Ramsey, N.J.); son Nelson, granddaughter Bernadette Caldwell and daughter-in-law Polly Vanderputten (Burlington, Vt.); son Nathaniel (additionally of Burlington); and plenty of cousins, in-laws and expensive mates far and large. Particular point out goes to Sandy Schofield (Charlotte, Vt.); she and Francie have been lifelong friends from the day they first met on the age of 16. The household would additionally like to acknowledge and thank Thomas Maloney for his loving care of August and the family throughout Frances’ sickness.
A memorial service might be held sooner or later, when gathering is as soon as once more protected. If you want to honor Frances with a present in her reminiscence, please think about a donation to the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart, Meals on Wheels, World Wildlife Fund or one of many following music packages that have been near her coronary heart: Greenwood Music Camp, Carnegie Corridor, Bargemusic or the Smith School Music Division.