Joyce, Eileen (1912—)

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Joyce, Eileen (1912—)

Australian pianist popular in Great Britain and the English-speaking world. Born Eileen Alannah Joyce in Zeehan, Tasmania, on November 21, 1912.

Gave the British premiere performances of Dmitri Shostakovich's two piano concertos; can be heard on the haunting soundtrack for the film Brief Encounter, playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #1.

A prodigy, Eileen Joyce was born in Zeehan, Tasmania, in 1912, and brought to the attention of Percy Grainger while still young. She went to Europe where she studied with Max Pauer, Tobias Matthay, and Artur Schnabel. From the late 1930s through the 1950s, Joyce was frequently heard and admired in the United Kingdom and several European countries. Giving countless concerts for British commonwealth troops during World War II, she delighted her audiences by changing gowns between selections or concertos, adding a glamorous touch to her stage presence. She gave the British premiere performances of Dmitri Shostakovich's two piano concertos, in 1936 and 1958 respectively. Her recordings reveal a clear and cool musical intellect. Her discs of the Schubert E-flat Impromptu, Grieg's Brooklet, and Fauré's F minor Impromptu, gave pleasure because of their musical clarity and balance. At mid-career she began to perform on the harpsichord. In 1981, she was awarded the rank of Companion to the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Joyce has appeared in several films, including one based on her childhood, Wherever She Goes.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Joyce, Eileen (1912—)

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