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Lympany, Moura (1916—)

Lympany, Moura (1916—)

English pianist who established an international career and whose many recordings from the 1950s were rereleased as classic performances in the 1990s. Born Mary Johnstone in Saltash, England, on August 18, 1916.

Mary Johnstone, who changed her name to Moura Lympany for artistic reasons, first studied piano in Belgium and Vienna, before returning to London to work with Tobias Matthay and Mathilde Verne . In 1938, she made her debut at age 12 with the Mendelssohn G minor Concerto, winning second prize in the Ysaye Competition in Brussels. After World War II, Lympany developed an impressive international career. Many of the recordings she made in the early 1950s were enthusiastically reviewed and quickly became modern classics; some of these were reissued in the 1990s in the new compact disc format. Her American debut took place in 1948. Long a champion of contemporary British music, in 1969 Lympany performed Cyril Scott's Piano Concerto, with the composer in attendance, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Margaret Anderson noted that the pianist's playing represents "a rare responsiveness to great lyrical music." In 1979, she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. When Lympany returned to Carnegie Hall in November 1981, after a long absence, her reputation was still so strong that a large audience turned out to hear her.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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