Raskin, Judith

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Judith Raskin was born June 21, 1928, daughter of Harry Raskin and Lillian Mendelsohn Raskin. Both her parents were public school teachers and instilled in their only child a love of music, the subject Judith Raskin majored in when she came to Smith College in 1945. She graduated from Smith in 1949 and received an honorary degree in 1963. While at Smith, Raskin studied with Anna Hamlin, continuing her lessons with Hamlin even after graduation as she began pursuing her career in opera. In 1948, Raskin married a distant cousin, Raymond Raskin. They had two children, Jonathan, born 1951 and Lisa, born 1953. She made her professional debut on both the stage and on television during the 1950s at the same time that she was raising her family. Even after undergoing a radical mastectomy in 1962, Raskin continued her operatic career, specializing in Schubert, Mozart, lieder and Yiddish songs on both the stage and in numerous recordings with major labels. During the 1970s she turned to teaching while still performing. In 1982 Raskin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died December 21, 1984.

For more detailed biographical information, see the entry on Raskin in Current Biography (April 1964) and the entry by Paula Eisenstein Baker in Jewish Women in American: An Historical Encyclopedia (1997). There is also a small folder of materials on Raskin in the Smith College Archives, in 80.Cla 1949 and in 12.HD.

From the guide to the Judith Raskin Papers MS 126., 1911-2000, (Sophia Smith Collection)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Vera Zorina papers, 1910-2001 (inclusive), 1933-2001 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn The Bell Telephone Hour collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1940-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Judith Raskin Papers MS 126., 1911-2000 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Hamlin, Anna M. person
correspondedWith Maxwell, William, 1908- person
associatedWith Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Ormandy, Eugene, 1899-1985 person
correspondedWith Sills, Beverly person
associatedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Smith College corporateBody
correspondedWith Zorina, Vera. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Singers--United States--History-20th century--Sources
Opera--United States--History-20th century--Sources


Birth 1928-06-21

Death 1984-12-21



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