Birnie, Tessa (Daphne)

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Birnie, Tessa (Daphne)

Birnie, Tessa (Daphne), New Zealand pianist and conductor; b. Ashburton, July 19, 1934. She studied piano with Paul Schramm in Wellington, then took lessons with Lefébure in Paris and K.U. Schnabel in Como. She subsequently toured as a pianist in Australia and Asia, and also played in the U.S. She organized the Sydney Camerata Orch. in 1963, appearing with it as both pianist and conductor. She was founder-president of the Australian Soc. of Keyboard Music and founder of the journal Key Vive Music. In 1985 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire