SPRINGFIELD CENTER – Sarah Cunningham Sumner, a noted violinist involved in the revival of Baroque music in the United States in the 1970s, passed away Aug. 26, 2020, at the Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing.
Sarah was born on Aug. 31, 1925, in New York City and spent her childhood there and in Springfield Center. She attended Harvard at the age of 16, studying music composition with Walter Piston, matriculating magna cum laude in 1945. She was then awarded a Harvard travelling fellowship, followed by a Fulbright scholarship to study composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger.
It was after World War II, and she taught music at a camp in France for war orphans. Her fellow teachers, who were from France, Italy, England and the U.S., became her lifelong friends. One of them, Caroline Manning, became her sister-in-law, marrying her brother, Frederic (Ty) Cunningham.