Curtis Mourns the Passing of Beatrice S. Rossman, Former Friends Board Chair

Curtis mourns the loss of pianist, music teacher, travel agent, and philanthropist Beatrice S. Rossman, who died on Saturday, October 29, at age 102. A former Friends of Curtis board chair, she also endowed a generous student fellowship in 2002 to honor her late husband. Currently held by piano student Nachuan Tao, the Dr. Samuel R. and Beatrice S. Rossman Fellowship has assisted numerous musicians in their studies here at Curtis, including violinist Maia Cabeza (’12) and pianist Lang Lang (’02). Mrs. Rossman also served as a member of the Leadership Society at Astral Artists, a nonprofit that sponsors mentoring programs for developing classical musicians.

Born July 3, 1920, in Philadelphia, Mrs. Rossman grew up in a musical household in the historic Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of the city and graduated from Simon Gratz High School in 1938. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and music at Temple University in 1941 and went directly from her undergraduate studies to teaching in Philadelphia classrooms. In 1944, she married Sam Rossman, whom she had met through his cousin, and had two sons, Louis and Fred.

A longtime music teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, Mrs. Rossman taught middle school students for twenty-three years and retired in the mid-1960s. She was an accomplished pianist, classical composition, and music history expert, and she led the choirs at Woodrow Wilson Middle School and the school district’s all-city music program before forging a successful career as a travel agent. Later in life, she was a volunteer guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and attended concerts throughout Center City. Mrs. Rossman played an electronic keyboard in her suite at the Hearth at Drexel and was active in its music therapy program.

“Music can most certainly uplift, inspire and heal,” she once said in an online story for the Hearth at Drexel, and her impactful presence here at the school will continue to be felt for years to come. The Curtis community extends heartfelt sympathy to the friends and family of Mrs. Rossman.

A tribute to the life of Beatrice S. Rossman can be read HERE in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Photo credit: 1.) Banner image, courtesy of 2.) Mrs. Rossman (left) was recognized in 2009 for her service to the Astral Artists mentoring program as founder Vera Wilson looks on; The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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