Jack Esslinger creates memorial to Paul Schwartz

Paul Schwartz, a pioneering musician who founded Kenyon's Department of Music in 1947, had a long and prosperous career at the College. When he died in 1999 at the age of ninety-two, members of the music faculty wanted to dedicate something in his memory that would be as lasting as his own contributions to Kenyon.

Thanks to memorial contributions made to the College in Schwartz's name, that goal was made possible this spring with the completion of a specially crafted oak table that has been placed in the seminar room of the music department's new home, James P. Storer Hall.

"When we thought about how we wanted to memorialize Paul, we wanted to come up with something that generations of students would enjoy," says Benjamin R. Locke, the James D. and Cornelia W. Ireland Professor of Music. "This table characterizes the dignity, charm, and warmth that typified Paul. The majestic nature of the table is very fitting to his memory."

Designed and built by local craftsman Jack Esslinger, husband of Professor of Art Claudia Esslinger, the table seats sixteen. It was made from wood salvaged from a one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old tree that fell in the yard of George McCarthy, Kenyon's National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology. Just as Schwartz is remembered for his high standards, the table reflects Esslinger's exquisite craftsmanship.

A native of Austria who came to the United States in 1938, Schwartz graduated from the Vienna State Academy of Music and the University of Vienna. In 1947, he became the College's first full-time faculty member in music. Although Schwartz remained the sole member of the department until 1960, he oversaw the expansion of the faculty to four full-time members and a large number of part-time "associates in applied music."

Schwartz led the department for twenty-five years, concluding his tenure at Kenyon as a composer-in-residence.