Chissell, Joan Olive 1919-2007

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Chissell, Joan Olive 1919-2007


See index for CA sketch: Born May 22, 1919, in Cromer, England; died January 31, 2007. Educator, musician, author. Chissell was a longtime music critic for the London Times, as well as a noted scholar of Robert Schumann. A talented pianist herself, she attended the Royal College of Music (RCM) on a scholarship. However, she suffered an injury that prevented her from performing at concert pianist level. Therefore, after graduating, Chissell pursued a teaching career. She lectured at the universities at Oxford and London in the 1940s and also taught at the RCM from 1943 to 1953. In 1947, she joined the Times staff as assistant music critic, where she would remain until 1979. As a critic, Chissell was respected for her fair and knowledgeable reviews. She contributed articles not only to the Times but also to a variety of music periodicals, such as Gramophone. In addition, she could often be listened to on BBC Radio as a regular broadcaster. Her expertise on classical music led her to pen several books, including Schumann (1948; revised edition, 1967), Chopin (1965), Brahms (1977), and Clara Schumann, a Dedicated Spirit: A Study of Her Life and Work (1983). Her last book was the coauthored A Companion to the Concerto (1988).



Times (London, England), February 5, 2007, p. 53.