Mary Radcliffe 1927 - 2021

Mary Joanne Radcliffe, daughter of Alfonz and Elizabeth Weiss de Csepel, died on November 17, 2021. Mary was born in 1927 in Budapest, Hungary. She immigrated to the United States with her family in 1946 in the aftermath of the Nazi invasion of Hungary. After arriving in New York, Mary elected to attend her beloved Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she graduated with a major in piano. She subsequently earned a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She taught piano at the Drew School for Girls in Carmel, NY, the Hoff-Barthelson School in Scarsdale, and subsequently at the National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, DC. She met her husband, Richard Warner Radcliffe in 1955 in New York. Richard was then working for the investment management firm of A.W. Jones, the first hedge fund in New York. They were married in 1956. and moved to Riverside, CT in January 1958.

While raising their four boys, Mary started teaching piano in their home. She enjoyed working with a fine class of some 25 students over a period of 25 years. As a member of the Schubert Club of Fairfield County, she enjoyed playing in chamber music ensembles at area nursing homes and senior residences. Mary was a member of the Hungarian Cultural Society of Connecticut; she spoke the language fluently and participated in the organization's benefit events.

In 1971, a friend took Dick and Mary to a concert of the Greenwich Philharmonia, (as the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra was known at the time). They became subscribers, and the following year Mary was asked to serve on the orchestra's Board of Directors. Her first job was to organize and catalogue the orchestra's library of scores and parts, as assistant to Lowell Lacey, pianist, violist and librarian of the orchestra. For four years, she served as president of the Philharmonia Auxiliary (later renamed the Symphony Guild). In 1983 she was elected President of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, serving as its Executive Director, and working with a Board of Directors of more than thirty dedicated people who contribute their time and talents and professional expertise to the Greenwich Symphony. It was Mary's joy and privilege to work with and get to know the GSO's excellent professional musicians and former Music Director and Conductor David Gilbert.
Mary leaves her sister-in-law, Lenore de Csepel of Riverside, her goddaughter Angela Chambers of Greenwich. Surviving are her son Michael and daughter-in-law, Dena Ryane of Westport, CT, her son Richard and daughter-in-law Darla Radcliffe of San Francisco CA, her son Stephen Radcliffe and his husband Chris Rieks of Seattle WA, and her son Andrew of St. John, US Virgin Islands, and six grandchildren: Benjamin, Nicholas, Emily, Chloe, Beck and Henri Radcliffe.

A concert featuring GSO musicians, in a program designed by Mary some years ago, will be held in January. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra's Endowment Fund will be gratefully received and can be mailed to the Greenwich Symphony at PO Box 35, Greenwich, CT 06836.