Sunday, 4 July 2010

Local Faces - Dame Fanny Waterman

Dame Fanny Waterman was mentioned briefly in the 3rd March 2010 entry but she stars today as the guest on Desert Island Discs this week. Repeated next Friday, you will also have a week on iPlayer after that to catch up with her favourites and her personal story.

Dame Fanny Waterman, DBE (born 22 March 1920) is a piano teacher, and the founder, Chairman and Artistic Director of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition.

Waterman was born in Leeds; her father, Myer Waterman, a Russian Jew, had emigrated to England to work as a jeweller. She began to study with Tobias Matthay when she was 17; she started giving public performances, and in 1941 opened the concert season in Leeds with the Leeds Symphony Society. She won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and studied under Cyril Smith. In 1944, she married Dr. Geoffrey de Keyser and in 1950, with the arrival of her first child, gave up her concert career and concentrated on teaching. By the early 1960s, Waterman felt that young British pianists needed a goal to give them a competitive edge with foreign pianists.

In 1961, with the help of her friend Marion Thorpe (then Countess of Harewood) she jointly founded the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. She is artistic director of the competition and, since 1981, chairman of the competition jury. Her contribution to the city of Leeds was recognised in April 2006, when she was given the Freedom of the City of Leeds.

Waterman was Director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Piano Performance at Leeds College of Music until 2006.

The above is courtesy of Wikki.

Beverley Silverman embroidered and hand painted this piece using the techniques of raised work and applique.

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