Francis King Carey Madeira (1917 - 2017)

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  • "Very sad to learn about the passing away of our friend..."
    - Andreas Weiss
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    - Adrianne Cady
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Francis K.C. Madeira, 100
FALMOUTH - Francis King Carey Madeira, orchestral conductor and founder of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, died on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, after a hundred years of active life.
Mr. Madeira was born in Jenkintown, Pa., on Feb. 21, 1917, spending most of his childhood in Philadelphia. His father was a banker and amateur archaeologist; his mother an advocate for mental health care. Mr. Madeira's musical abilities were evident at age 6 when he began playing the piano; he was performing by age 8.
After graduating from Avon Old Farms, he attended the Julliard School, where he studied piano with Olga Stokowski and orchestral conducting with Albert Stoessel.
He continued his conducting studies with Pierre Monteux, in Hancock, Maine.
Francis met his wife, Jean Browning Madeira, while at Julliard. A contralto, she sang with the Metropolitan Opera from 1948-1971, as well as many leading opera houses in Europe, accompanied by her husband when their schedules permitted, until the time of her death, in 1972. They had no children.
In 1943, Mr. Madeira accepted a faculty position in music at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; at this time he began to build an orchestra for the city.
This orchestra, starting with 31 musicians in 1945, grew to become the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Mr. Madeira led the orchestra for 33 years, occasionally guest conducting with the Portland Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and others until 1978, when concern for hearing loss led him to retire.
Mr. Madeira's accomplishments with the Rhode Island Philharmonic include securing a permanent home for the orchestra at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, founding a Youth Philharmonic program, and providing community outreach concerts for school children.
His awards include The Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, 1972; The John F. Kennedy Award for Service to the Community, 1978; The Citizen Citation Award from the Mayor of Providence, 2003; and induction into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, 2014.
Upon retirement, Mr. Madeira moved to Maine, where he maintained an active life, serving on the music panel of the Maine Arts Commission, the board of the Maine Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, and as an advisory trustee of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
He was an avid outdoorsman, particularly enjoying canoe trips on the Allagash, climbing and skiing in the White Mountains, and hiking in the Alps, Yellowstone, and the Canadian Rockies with the Appalachian Mountain Club.
A funeral service will be held at St. Luke's Cathedral, State Street, Portland, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Arrangements are under the direction of the
Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home,
172 State St., Portland. To view Mr. Madiera's memorial page, or to share online condolences, visit:

Memorial donations may be made:
St. Luke's Cathedral
143 State Street
Portland, ME 04101

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Funeral Home
Conroy Tully Walker Funeral Homes and Cremation Services
172 State Street
Portland, ME 04101
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Aug. 31, 2017
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