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1952 Miles 2023

Miles Frederick Hoffman

June 16, 1952 — August 18, 2023

Miles Frederick Hoffman, known by many as Mike, died on August 18, 2023, in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. Born on June 16, 1952, in Queens, New York, Miles was a beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, colleague, teacher, and friend, whose passion for music and life left an indelible mark on all who knew him.

Miles is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Elaine Hoffman, his brother-in-law Anthony Reading, his father-in-law, Lafayette Herndon Boykin, Jr., his mother-in-law, Helen Boykin, and his brother-in-law L.H. (Pete) Boykin III. He is survived by his devoted wife, Susan Hoffman, his loving daughters, Eva Hoffman and Jillian Hoffman, his son-in-law, Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, his sister, Elisabeth Reading, his sister-in-law, Lisa Batts, his brother-in-law Reggie Batts, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and great-nieces and great-nephews. His life was enriched by many dear friends who became family.

Miles graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1973. He earned a Master of Music in Viola Performance from The Juilliard School in 1977. In 2003, Centenary College honored him with a Doctor of Humane Letters.

Miles's illustrious career in music spanned five decades. He performed internationally as a soloist, a chamber musician, and for years a member of the National Symphony Orchestra. He served as a National Public Radio commentator on Performance Today and Morning Edition from 1989 until his recent illness, and he was the host and writer of A Minute with Miles, a series of radio modules aired on South Carolina Public Radio. He founded the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival in 1982 and was the founder, artistic director, and violist of The American Chamber Players. He served as the Dean of the Petrie School of Music and as an Associate Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. He was the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University (Georgia). He is the author of two books and many essays and articles that aim to make classical music accessible to everyone. In addition to being a musician, Miles was a writer and a scholar.

Miles was a man of many interests and talents. He was bilingual in English and French, and he could converse (and tell jokes) in Italian, Hebrew, and Yiddish. A lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan, he played a beloved weekly softball game for years while living in the Washington, DC, area. (He batted L and threw R.) He was a goalie on his high school’s soccer team and played intramural soccer at Yale. His love for his family was evident in his support for his daughters' pursuits: he read their scientific papers with interest and attended every dance recital, art show, and college performance.

Miles's life was a symphony of love, laughter, and music. His memory will continue to inspire his family and friends. His contributions to the world of music will resonate for generations through the students he mentored, compositions he commissioned, and ideas he shared, as well as through his many recordings and publications. He will be deeply missed.

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