Barnetta Davis Lange

Barnetta Davis Lange

Barnetta Davis Lange / Pianist, Journalist/Professor Emeritus, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2012 at Forbes Hospice after suffering a stroke. She was 95.
According to her youngest son Jim Lange, her final days and hours were spent without pain, surrounded by her family, listening to Bach.
Barnetta’s love of music permeated every part of her life, from early childhood until her death. She received her B.A. in Music Education from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now CMU) in 1938. After graduation, she continued her studies with two of Pittsburgh’s preeminent piano teachers, Arthur Schnobel and Ferguson Webster. She lived on Inverness Avenue most of her adult life with a living room that housed two back to back Steinway parlor grand pianos. Having two parlor grands enabled her to attract some of Pittsburgh’s finest pianists to play “four hands, two pianos” with her.
She formed musical partnerships and played and performed with a number of them over the years. More recently, she resumed her studies, continuing her commitment of practicing for an average of one hour per day for over 85 years. In the latter stages of her life, she continued to perform, at a variety of retirement communities. Six months prior to her death, at age 95 Barnetta presented a well- received piano concert to an audience of 100 at Longwood at Oakmont, playing both Prokofiev and Gershwin.
Barnetta was also passionate about the written word. She was a staff writer for The Jewish Criterion (now The Jewish Chronicle) for many years. Her favorite task there was reporting Rabbi Freehoff’s book reviews. She then entered academia where she taught journalism courses at Point Park University for many years. Along the way, she attained her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. After retirement, she was awarded the honorary title of Professor Emeritus.
Following the example set by her paternal grandmother, Annie Jacobs Davis, Mrs. Lange forged strong ties to Pittsburgh and the Jewish community. In her Grandmother’s day, it was extremely difficult for Jewish doctors to find employment. Annie and a number of others decided that Pittsburgh needed a Jewish hospital, and at least partly due to her efforts, Montefiore Hospital was founded. In addition, Annie joined with others in the community to help found B’nai Israel, a temple formerly located on North Negley Avenue in Highland Park. Though the congregation eventually moved, the building still stands and if you walk into the sanctuary, you can see a plaque that reads “Barnett Davis Hall”. Barnett Davis was Annie’s husband and Barnetta’s grandfather.
Barnetta Davis Lange was the beloved wife of the late Arnold Lange; loving mother of three sons, Jeff, Jon and Jim; and devoted grandmother of Rachael, Jared and Erica. Additional information and a photo album can be found at