Fanny Waterman Best Books and Series:

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Birth Date: 22 March 1920
Birth Place: Leeds
Known as: | Dame Fanny Waterman |
Sex: female
Awards: | Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire | | Commander of the Order of the British Empire | | Officer of the Order of the British Empire |
Birth date: 22 March 1920
Birth place: Leeds
Death date: 20 December 2020
Death place: Ilkley
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Spouses: | Geoffrey Michael de Keyser |
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All languages: | English |
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Also known as: | Dame Fanny Waterman |
Native name: Fanny Waterman (English)
Birth name: None
Married name: None
Family name: | Waterman |
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Citizenship: | United Kingdom |
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Education: | Royal College of Music |
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Genres: - western classical music -
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Occupation: | music teacher | | pianist |
Employer: | Leeds College of Music |
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Fanny Waterman Biography and Interesting Facts

Dame Fanny Waterman (22 March 1920 – 20 December 2020) was a British pianist and academic piano teacher, who is particularly known as the founder, chair and artistic director of the Leeds International Piano Competition. She was also president of the Harrogate International Music Festival.

Early life, education and career as pianist

Waterman was born in Leeds to Mary (née Behrmann) and Myer Waterman (né Wasserman), a Russian Jew who had emigrated to England to work as a jeweller. She attended Allerton High School and began to study with Tobias Matthay. She won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where she studied with Cyril Smith.She started giving public performances, and in 1941 opened the concert season in Leeds with the Leeds Symphony Society. The following year, she appeared at The Proms as one of the soloists playing the Bach Concerto for three harpsichords in C major (BWV 1064), conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, but her concert career was disrupted by the Second World War. She played duos with the violinist Erich Gruenberg.

Leeds International Piano Competition

By the early 1960s, Waterman felt that young British pianists needed a goal to give them a competitive edge over overseas pianists. In 1961, jointly with her pianist friend Marion, Countess of Harewood (later Marion Thorpe), and Roslyn Lyons, she founded the Leeds International Piano Competition. She was artistic director of the competition and, from 1981, chair of the competition jury, holding the posts until 2015. Finalists of the competition who began an international career based on it include Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Sunwook Kim, Federico Colli, Eric Lu, András Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida, Lars Vogt and Denis Kozhukhin.She was a jury member for other international piano competitions, including the Tchaikovsky, Chopin, the Horowitz and the Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition.

Teaching, writing and societies

Waterman's notable students include Paul Crossley, Jonathan Dunsby, Benjamin Frith, Michael Roll and Allan Schiller; Roll won the inaugural Leeds competition and her students were also successful in other international competitions. She held strong views on piano pedagogy in the UK, blaming electronic keyboards, interruptive mobile phones and insufficient discipline for what she perceived as the country's weakness in generating top-class performers.She published a number of piano instruction books. This included the 30-volume Me and My Piano series, which was co-authored with Thorpe, and sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. She co-wrote Piano Competition: The Story of the Leeds with Wendy Thompson (1990). Her autobiography, My Life in Music, was published in 2015.She was Director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Piano Performance at Leeds College of Music until 2006, and a patron of The Purcell School for Young Musicians. She served as honorary vice-president of the British Society of Women Musicians and honorary ... Read full biography