Moving Tribute

Then and Now: Kristin Bergfeld ’66 and mentor Ken Wentworth (music, emeritus) share a meeting of the minds.

When Kristin P. Bergfeld ’66 learned that her former mentor Ken Wentworth (music, emeritus) and his wife Jean (music, emerita) were getting ready to move from their four-story Scarsdale home of 56 years to an apartment near their children, Bergfeld saw an opportunity. “I wanted to honor and thank these fabulous teachers who shaped me as a performing musician,” she says.

As founder and owner of BERGFELD’s Clearance Service (est. 1987), Kristin offered her expertise to plan, organize, and manage their move. Ken gladly accepted.

They first met in 1964, when he was often the pianist for her flute recitals. “In music, the notes and the ensemble constantly change,” Bergfeld says. “He taught me to hear everything and always adjust my playing, whether as a soloist or blending with other parts.”

In preparing for the move, Bergfeld helped the Wentworth family decide which belongings to take with them. As they sorted through memorabilia from the couple’s teaching and performing days—Ken and Jean catalog a combined 83 years at Sarah Lawrence—they reminisced together over old copies of four-hand compositions that colleagues, such as Meyer Kupferman, had written for the duo.

Bergfeld orchestrated all the logistics with the other players: movers; charities; piano dealers; carting, recycling, and shredding companies; and real estate brokers. Honoring the family’s wishes was central to her process, she says. Bergfeld heard the Wentworths’ needs and adjusted to changes—drawing on skills developed when Ken was her teacher.

With all her clients, Bergfeld remains sensitive to the enormity of the task and pays homage, in her way, to major changes in their lives. Now settled in his new home, Wentworth calls Bergfeld magnificent. “What a marvelous example of how a Sarah Lawrence student creates something special and necessary,” he says.