Dr. M. Robert Aborn, Professor Emeritus of Castleton State College, died May 27, 2012, in Rutland, Vt. He was born in New York City on May 25, 1930, son of Julius and Adele (Kravitz) Aborn. Bob grew up in Yonkers, N.Y., and graduated from the Barnard School for Boys (now the Horace Mann School). After spending a year at Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), he got his Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College. On June 11, 1954, he married Natalie (Levin). They moved to Bloomington, Ind., where, in 1956, he earned his Master of Music degree from Indiana University. While at IU, Bob studied piano with Sydney Foster and Dr. Bela Boszormenyi-Nagy. Following his graduation, Bob and Natalie spent the following year in France and England where Bob studied piano with Louis Kentner. They returned to IU in 1958 when Bob began work on his Ph.D. The subject of his dissertation was "The Influence on American Musical Culture of Dvorak's Sojourn in America." Through his research, he became one of the leading authorities on Antonin Dvorak, and was often asked to discuss Dvorak on a national level with leading scholars and conductors, and was often quoted in books. Bob recently donated all his research and original documents to the Lilly Rare Books Library at Indiana University.
In January 1960, Bob became the chairman of the music department at Castleton State College where he remained until his retirement in 2001. While at CSC, Bob brought several internationally known musicians to Castleton through the Artist Series. His Castleton Festival Chorus, which included students, faculty and staff, alumni and fellow musicians from throughout Vermont and beyond, performed master works year after year. In 1996, Dr. Aborn was awarded the Vermont State College Faculty Fellow. The subject of his presentation was the music of Anton Bruckner. In 1999, he received the Alumni Association's Outstanding Faculty Award.
In addition to his wife of 58 years, Bob leaves his daughter, Jennifer Hart, her husband, Brad, grandchildren, Samantha Hart, Madeleine, Mariette and Simon Aborn, and their mother, Melissa Michaud, his grand-dog, Feller, cousins, brother-in-law Bill, nieces and nephews.
Dr. Aborn was predeceased by his parents, his son, Peter Scott Aborn, and his brother, Harold Lincoln Aborn, who was killed while serving in World War II.
A private burial was held in the Rutland Jewish Cemetery on May 29.
A public memorial service will be held in the CSC Chapel on Thursday, June 14, at 7:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be sent to Castleton State College Development Fund, Castleton State College, Castleton, VT 05735.
Published in Rutland Herald on June 6, 2012