Cynthia (Bartlett) Barnett, 93, a former resident of Stowe, VT, died on October 6, 2022 in Westford, MA.
She was born in Milwaukee, WI on May 21, 1929, and was the daughter of the late Julia (Foster) and Edwin Ball Bartlett. As a child she enjoyed horseback riding and playing tennis. She began her lifelong study of piano at the age of 12.
Following her graduation from the Shipley School, she attended Smith College, where she received a BA in Music in 1951. Through a junior year in Paris, she developed her love of the French language and literature and enjoyed outings to the theater and opera. She went on to earn an MA from the Manhattan School of Music, and then taught music theory at the school. A highlight of her musical career was her solo performance at Carnegie Hall in 1955.
In 1959, she moved to Stowe, Vermont with her then-husband Ted Barnett, with whom she shared an adventurous spirt and a love for the mountains, skiing, travel, and languages. They had two children to whom she was devoted. She remained in Stowe after their divorce until 2019, when ill health forced her to move to Massachusetts to be closer to her daughter.
She dedicated her life to piano. From the early 1980s through the late 2010s, the centerpiece of her musical life were lessons with Elaine Greenfield and performing with the Greenfield Piano Associates, a group that “meant the world to her,” according to Elaine. And, since the early 1990s, she greatly enjoyed playing in chamber-music gatherings, principally with violinist Nancy Emple, and often joined by other players. She took pleasure in her annual attendance at Vermont Music and Arts Camp, a summer chamber music camp. She taught piano for a number of years and had a steady stream of children walking up the hill after school to play with toys in her front room while waiting for their turn next to Cynthia at the piano. On occasion she served as accompanist for Stowe High School musicals.
Another of her passions was hiking. She loved her many outings in the Green Mountains with friends, family, and her beloved dog Pepi. In fact, her Shipley yearbook senior page listed “The untrodden summit of Mt Everest” as her “senior destiny.” In 1971, she fulfilled this dream by climbing to the basecamp with her dear friends Dotty Perry and Bill Kirby. In 1973 she joined them again to climb around the Annapurna Range in Nepal.
Skiing was a constant pursuit over the years, particularly after her move to Vermont. She made occasional trips to the Alps and the Rockies and was a regular on Stowe slopes through age 83. It was only at that point that she realized she had to choose between skiing and piano, and piano won out, as it always did.
She is survived and dearly missed by her children Charles Barnett of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Susan Barnett of Watertown, MA, and her grandchildren Sarah and Julia Greim. Ted’s three other children, Will, Carolyn and Rick, also loved her dearly as a gentle and loving presence in their lives and will miss her.
Much appreciation goes to the kind and caring staff at Bridges by Epoch where she spent the last three years, keeping her safe even during Covid. They often commented on her cheery disposition and ready smile.
Donations in Cynthia’s memory may be made to the Greenfield Piano Associates Scholarship Fund (made out to the GPA Scholarship Fund and mailed to Elaine Greenfield, 47 Proctor Avenue, South Burlington, VT 05403.)
A celebration of Cynthia’s life will be held in Stowe in the summer. An announcement will be published in The Stowe Reporter.