A West Side Story – by the Sea

“My father grew up in the South Bronx in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood.  His parents owned and managed a bagel shop in the neighborhood,” recalls Sara Goldsmith Schwartz of her late father, Philip Goldsmith.  “He attended Bronx Science High School and then enlisted in the Army.  While serving in Korea, my dad applied to college and received a full scholarship to Cornell, which is where he met my mother.  He graduated from Cornell in three years and received another full scholarship to attend Harvard Medical School. I arrived two years later.”

“Dr. Phil” to his patients, Phil Goldsmith was a primary care physician in private practice in Brookline, MA and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He fell in love with Cape Ann on a trip with medical school friends early in his career, eventually buying a house in Lanesville when his daughter Sara was just twelve years old.  Over the next two decades, the Goldsmith family grew to include three children, a boy and another girl, all of whom reveled in magical summers by the sea.

Following Phil’s retirement from medicine in 2013, or “redirection” as he called it, Phil became even more active in the Cape Ann community, serving as an enthusiastic volunteer at the Thacher Island Association, Lane’s Cove Historical Association and Rockport Music.

“Rockport Music was incredibly important to my father,” says Sara. “Music was a key part of his life starting from his childhood in the Bronx.  He loved musicals and reminisced that ‘West Side Story’ reminded him of his childhood.  It was the world he grew up in.”

Over time, Phil’s taste in music became very diverse.  While he always loved Rogers & Hammerstein and later Gilbert & Sullivan and opera in general, he told Sara that his favorite pieces were Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas.

“My father loved Cape Ann and he loved music.  The idea of making a planned gift to Rockport Music appealed to him because he wanted to give access to both music and the ocean to everyone, especially lower income kids.  He believed in giving back,” notes Sara.

Rockport Music was honored to receive a generous gift earlier this year through Phil’s IRA after his passing in late 2019.  His bequest during this unprecedented time has helped Rockport Music offer broadcast concerts free of charge to all this past summer and keep the Shalin Liu Performance Center ready to resume a robust schedule of live concerts in the future.  Surely Phil’s presence can be felt in each note of soaring music.

For more information on becoming a Linden Tree Society member by making a bequest through your will or trust or naming Rockport Music as a percentage beneficiary of your IRA, please visit Rockport Music’s Planned Giving webpage or contact Lori Correale at 978-546-7391 X103 or lcorreale@rockportmusic.org.

Top Photo: Phil Goldsmith (holding his dog Alfie) shown here at the family’s home in Lanesville with his children (from left to right) Caroline, Willy and Sara.