The School of Music, Theatre & Dance was saddened to learn that Charles Raymond Fisher, (BM '50, MM '51, DMA '60) passed away on May 22, 2014. A beloved piano professor, Fisher was born in Oklahoma in 1929 and served in the United States Army from 1951-53 after his studies at U-M.
Charles Fisher spent a large portion of his professional career at SMTD. He joined the faculty as an instructor in 1953 and was promoted to assistant professor in 1960, associate professor in 1964, and professor in 1969. He would go on to serve as a member of the School's executive committee, as chair of the Department of Piano for 11 years, and as director of the Division of Keyboard Studies. He retired from active faculty status in 1991 and was named by the Regents as Professor Emeritus of Music. The Charles Fisher Scholarship in Piano was established in 1991 by the keyboard faculty and others to honor his legacy.
"Chuck was an historic professor at SMTD," said Louis Nagel, current professor of piano. "He was a devoted 'team player' whose love of his alma mater and employer never wavered."
For 16 years, Fisher joined colleague Eugene Bossart as the Bossart-Fisher Piano Duo, and performed in numerous concerts through the South and Midwest. His interests also led him to the harpsichord as a performer in the faculty-comprised Baroque Trio for several years. Fisher also developed an interest in the fortepiano, which led to the reconstruction of an instrument he later donated to SMTD.
From 1972-82, Fisher was the director of the Piano Division of the All-State Program at Interlochen. In 1985, he received the Harold Haugh Award in recognition of his outstanding abilities as a studio teacher.
"His students were often prize-winning performers and emerged from his studio as successful teachers, composers, and performers," said Nagel. "Chuck will be missed by those of us who had the pleasure of serving as colleagues with him."
In accordance with Fisher's wishes, there will be no memorial service. However, a celebration of his life will be held in early fall of 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to SMTD's Charles Fisher Scholarship in Piano, as per his famly's wishes. For more information, contact Ashley Lawrence at 734-647-2035.
As a special remembrance of his talent and humor, SMTD is delighted to share this audio recording of Siciliano, by an anonymous composer, performed in concert by the Bossart-Fisher Piano Duo. Fisher introduces the piece at the beginning of the recording.