Remembering Sam Golden
Sam and Paula Golden founded Chamber Music at Sleepy Hollow in the fall of 1969. Sadly, Sam passed away in March of 2016. Read a tribute from coordinators Alison Edwards and Tom Morgan and "Daniel Golden Remembers His Dad" below.
A Tribute From Alison and Tom
“A mountain of a man.”
“Sleepy Hollow changed my life.”
“He seemed like he should just go on forever.”
“When I am in a stressful, conflicted situation, it helps to ask myself, ‘What would Sam do?’ ”
These are typical tributes pouring in since Sam Golden, founder and mentor-in-chief of the Sleepy Hollow Chamber Music weekends, died at home at age 89 (almost 90), after a long illness. He and Paula birthed and nurtured this unique community for close to 50 years, and we are the beneficiaries.
Both of us, like so many others, picked up long abandoned or at least dormant instruments after happening upon a weekend at Sleepy Hollow. Sam had a gift for taking everyone seriously, both as a player and as a person. With a unique mix of authority, reserve, and quiet humor, he made us all feel welcome and valued.
Sam worked tirelessly, often waking up at 3 o'clock in the morning to work out playing schedules for the day. For reasons we cannot figure out, chronic sleeplessness never stopped him from playing all seven sessions, or dropping into any party that might pop up along the way. Sam just loved music and loved to share it. He also loved justice, books, and ideas. Most of all, he loved his family. He shared all these gifts widely. To his many communities, he was a voice of moral authority.
If there is a single moment that captures the spirit of Sleepy Hollow that Sam and Paula built, it is the session the weekend just after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Planes were grounded, so Eric Lewis, the coach from New York, could not participate, and border closings prevented a few others. But everyone else showed up, ready to play. To a person, we agreed there was no place we’d rather be than at Sleepy Hollow, together with our musical family, comforted by friends and the timelessness of music.
We are remembering Sam here, but Sam to most of us was and still is SamandPaula. One name. It is through their very large “extended family” that many of us know each other. Along with the music, there are friendships that will last for the rest of our lives. It is hard to express how immense it all is, but we all feel it.
Thank you, Sam. You are sorely missed. Thank you, SamandPaula. We love you both.