Monday, March 8, 2021

Obituary of Nina Cornelia Brown

Name of Deceased Nina Cornelia Brown
Date of Death 03/28/2010
Date of Birth 11/14/1922
Funeral Home Loudoun Funeral Chapel

Nina Cornelia Brown (Trew), of Falcons Landing Retirement Community, Potomac Falls, Va., formerly of State College died on Sunday, March 28, 2010.

Nina Brown (Trew) was born in Paris, France on Nov. 14, 1922. Nina lived in England and was educated at St. Bernadine's Convent and boarding school (near London) and became interested in the arts at a very early age. Nina was an officer transport and ambulance driver (in England) during the later years of WWII. During the war years (1945) she met and married Raymond H. Brown (former Director of Choral Music, The Pennsylvania State University). Together they shared their love for music, theatre, dance, poetry and travel until he died on Sept. 4, 2001.

Nina was Music Librarian at the Peabody Conservatory until Raymond finished his studies. In 1953, Nina left Baltimore with Raymond who had joined the faculty of Penn State's Music Department. Under the inspired leadership of Albert Christ-Janer, director (1956-58) of Penn State's School of the Arts (now the College of Arts and Architecture), the Center for the Performing Arts began as the Artists Series in September of 1957. With a grant from the Board of Trustees and with the enthusiastic support of students, faculty and administration, an appointed committee initiated the Artists Series as an extension of education. Christ-Janer hired Brown in 1957 as the first director of the Artists Series. Brown saw that Christ-Janer's dream to enrich and enhance the lives of students and the community with a well-balanced season of performing arts programs for both the novice and the knowledgeable. These programs included everything from traditional to experimental as well as fledging to famous.

Through her long and distinguished tenure, Brown brought many great performing and literary artists to the Penn State Campus which include Rostropovich, Rubenstein, Perlman, and OrmandyÉLeontyne Price, Beverly Sills, Martha Graham, American Ballet, John Gielgud, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, Robert Frost, and ee cummings. She presented folk and jazz festivals and was instrumental in bringing Dr. Martin Luther King to Penn State. Brown formed the "Artists Series Affiliates" which was the first fund-raising effort of the Artists Series. Brown served on the Auditorium Advisory Board for Eisenhower Auditorium and played an active role in the research as well as ticketing and ticket price structuring. In 1974, when Eisenhower Auditorium opened Brown expanded programming to include more Broadway musicals theatre, music and dance and brought country music stars such as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette and Conway Twitty to the Eisenhower stage. Brown developed a long relationship with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and in 1978, she proudly introduced the Lively Arts for Young Audiences program. The Pittsburgh Symphony youth programs included "Babar the Elephant, Peter and the Wolf", and other children's classics. This started the programming of a children's series at Penn State. Brown was ahead of her time in the development of artist residencies, workshops and master classes for the benefit of Penn State students. Many Penn State students and graduate assistants worked closely with Brown and went on to distinguished careers in arts management.

On May 4, 1999, the 25th Anniversary Season of the performing arts, Brown returned to receive Penn State's Center for the Performing Arts Distinguished Service Award. Brown was described as the "major force" in the performing arts at Penn State from 1957 – 1985. On Oct. 26, 2006, Brown returned to Penn State again as the special honored guest of George Trudeau, Director and Penn State's Center for the Performing Arts as a tribute to recognizing the 50th Anniversary of presenting world-class performing arts at Penn State. Brown was interviewed for the Penn State release of "We Are a Strong Articulate Voice, A History of Women at Penn State. This book contained a tribute to Nina Brown entitled – Putting Penn State on the Cultural Map. Brown led the Artists Series from its inception for nearly three decades until her retirement in 1985 to the Washington, D.C. area. Brown was a life-time member of ACUCM (Association of College and University Concert Mangers, now APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters). She was a "Founding Donor" of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Shakespeare Theater and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Nina is survived by cousins, the Reverend Elizabeth D. Bradley and Philip Draper (England) and numerous friends across the United States. She will be remembered for her commitment and the pursuit of excellence in the performing arts.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pennsylvania State University, Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Auditorium, University Park, PA 16802. Attention: George Trudeau, Director. Please note this is a memorial contribution – Nina C. Brown. A Memorial Service will be scheduled at a later date. Arrangements by Loudoun Funeral Chapel.