Pianist Jane Hawkins (1950-2017), Professor of the Practice and former Chair of the Department of Music

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Department of Music mourns the passing of Jane Hawkins (September 17, 1950—November 27, 2017). A member of the piano faculty since 1978, she was Chair of the Department of Music from 2010-2014. She also served two terms as Director of Performance.


Born in Swansea, South Wales, Jane Hawkins began her career in the United States after graduating with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied both cello and piano. Recognized as an inspired and significant collaborator in her work with instrumentalists, vocalists and artists of various disciplines, in recent years she appeared in the United States with the Dorian Wind Quintet, the Chicago Symphony Chamber Players, and the American Chamber Players at the Library of Congress, among others. She concertized in Europe and China with Duke University’s Ciompi Quartet. Other tours included South Africa and Canada.

A beloved teacher and mentor, Professor Hawkins taught both piano and chamber music, sharing her love of music with generations of Duke students. She was a founding member of Durham’s Mallarmé Chamber Players and an active and enthusiastic contributor to the North Carolina musical community.

“Jane will be remembered in so many ways,” said Stephen Jaffe, Interim Chair of Music.  “At Duke, she was a teacher-performer admired by countless students of piano and chamber music, and she was also admired as a funny and very agreeable colleague, who when the time presented itself, took on the role of leading the Department of Music, the first performer and first woman to do so in forty years. She had a way of bringing us together by reminding us that our enterprise could be shared and celebrated.  Especially, Jane was a fine musical artist—a superb collaborative pianist in chamber music and in the intimate song literature at which she excelled—I can think of her performances of Fauré’s Piano Quartet Op. 15, Schubert’s Winterreise, and Mozart’s ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio, K. 498, for clarinet, viola and piano among many other works she set her hands to playing. Taken together, perhaps it was all of the elements of her generous personality–the talent, the loving-kindness, and the humor that attracted so many friends to want to work with her.”

“We are heartbroken by this loss, and send our warmest wishes to Fred Raimi, her daughter Lisa, and son Daniel and their families. Jane will be sorely missed by her students, friends, and colleagues.”

Professor Hawkins is survived by her husband Frederic Raimi of Durham, also a member of Duke’s faculty in Music; daughter Elise Raimi and her husband Jeremy Graham of Spokane, Washington; son Daniel Raimi and daughter –in-law Kaitlin Raimi of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and two grandchildren, Hayden and Zeni Jane Graham.

…. Memorial donations may be sent to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, or a charity of your choice in Jane’s honor.

(Reprinted with the permission of Duke’s Department of Music.)


Memorial details announced Dec. 17 by Daniel Raimi:

“…On Saturday, January 6th [there wil be] a memorial service celebrating the life of … Jane Hawkins Raimi. We will begin in Nelson Music Room at Duke University with a brief program of music and a few speakers. We will then move downstairs to the reception area where there will be time to eat, drink, and share some of your favorite memories of Jane.
“In line with what she would have wanted, we are going to keep things fairly informal. However, it is important that you RSVP using the link below so we can plan for the proper amount of food and drink. We also invite you to share this … with others who would like to be there to celebrate Jane. Please RSVP by Dec. 30th.
3:00 – 5:00 PM
Nelson Music Room
East Duke Building
1304 Campus Dr.
Durham, NC 27705
“Hope to see you on January 6th.”