English concert pianist Moura Lympany was born Mary Gertrude Johnstone at Saltash in Cornwall on 18 August 1916. Taught piano initially by her mother, Lympany was then sent to a Belgian convent at the age of six, where her talent was spotted. She studied in Liège and played Mendelssohn's G minor concerto in Harrogate, aged 12. Basil Cameron, who conducted, advised her to glamorise her name ... hence Moura Lympany.
She won a scholarship to London's Royal Academy of Music, and furthered her studies with Paul Weingarten at the Vienna Hochschule, then (in London) with Mathilde Verne then Tobias Matthay. She came second to Emil Gilels in the 1938 Ysaÿe Piano Competition in Brussels, and made her début at La Scala in 1939. During World War II she became well-known for her concerto performances throughout Britain. When war ended, she was the first British musician to play in Paris following its liberation - she played Alan Rawsthorne's Piano Concerto - and quickly built an international career, making her US début in 1948.
Moura Lympany died in Menton, France on 28 March 2005, aged 88.
A selection of M&V articles about Moura Lympany
Ensemble. The Boys - Bill Newman was at Nettle and Markham's thirtieth anniversary recital
Outstanding and unforgettable - Lilya Zilberstein's recital at London's Wigmore Hall impresses Bill Newman
Profile. Tête-à-Tête - Bill Newman talks to British pianist Mark Bebbington
Dame Moura Lympany - A personal tribute by Bill Newman (concluded from last week)
Dame Moura Lympany - A personal tribute by Bill Newman (continued from last week)
Dame Moura Lympany - A personal tribute by Bill Newman