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Bernice Geiringer
Geiringer, Bernice (nee Abrams) Previously Shapiro, beloved mother of Beverly Shapiro, David Shapiro and Dr. Michael Shapiro, and beloved wife of Burton Klein, passed away June 11, 2001 in Santa Barbara, California. Born in Minneapolis, April 24, 1918, to parents unable to care for her, Bernice was adopted by a family who brought her to Los Angeles when she was four. Bernice began piano lessons when she was seven studying with Alfred Mirovitch and Victor Aller. In her teens, she auditioned for Arnold Shoenberg who gave her a scholarship and made her his protege. She went on to win awards and competitions. Returning to Minneapolis for a visit, she played for Dmitri Mitropolous who invited her to perform with the Minneapolis Symphony under his direction. Her marriage to Monroe Shapiro and the start of a family halted a promising career but Bernice remained dedicated to music and continued to play occasional recitals and concerts throughout her life. Bernice and Monroe moved to Santa Barbara in 1959 when doctors advised the climate would be better for their daughter Cathy who was ill with Cystic Fibrosis. They had already lost three children at birth then suffered the loss of Cathy and their daughter Judy when they were 22 and 12, respectively, from CF. Monroe and Bernice divorced in 1984. Bernice was an active participant in the Santa Barbara community. Among other things, she collaborated with the legendary soprano Lotte Lehman in presenting some of her gifted singers. She raised funds for philanthropic organizations and at annual concerts, presented promising young musicians such as Josef Szigeti, Ruth Slenczynska, Daniel Pollock, Horatio Gutierrez, Nathaniel Rosen, Glenn Dicterow, Judith Aller and most recently, the pianist, Vasilly Primakov. In 1987, Bernice married Dr. Karl Geiringer, one of the twentieth century's most distinguished and influential musicologists and Professor Emeritus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. After Karl's death, Bernice endowed the University in her late husband's name. Geiringer Hall on the campus of UCSB is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Geiringer. Burton Klein and Bernice were childhood friends. They re-met and were married in 1994. Klein received his doctorate in Economics from Harvard, is a highly decorated WWII veteran, was financial adviser to Robert McNamara, a member of the Rand Think Tank, and taught Economics at Cal Tech until his retirement. Bernice was a past-President of Hadassah and The Sisterhood, a member of The Music Club, and a patron of the Music Academy of the West. She continued to be an active and enthusiastic supporter of the Arts to the end of her life. A memorial in her honor will be held Sunday, June 17th, at 10AM at Congregation Bnai Brith, 900 San Antonio Creek Road, Santa Barbara. The family requests donations be made to any of the following: the Music Academy of the West, the Department of Music at UCSB, the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Published by Los Angeles Times on Jun. 15, 2001.
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