Fanny Waterman, Doyenne of the Leeds Piano Competition, Dies at 100

Ms. Waterman was born on March 22, 1920, in Leeds, the second baby of Mary (Behrman) Waterman and Meyer Waterman (the household identify was initially Wasserman). Her mom was an English-born daughter of Russian immigrant Jews. Her father, born in Ukraine, was a talented jeweler.

Though the household struggled financially, her dad and mom got here up with sufficient cash to supply younger Fanny with piano classes as soon as her expertise turned clear. She practiced on an outdated upright piano and studied with an area trainer, whereas her brother, Harry, took violin classes.

At 18, she turned a scholarship scholar at the Royal College of Music in London, finding out with Cyril Smith. She carried out Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in 1941 with the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, the identical 12 months she met Dr. de Keyser, then a younger medical scholar, whom she would marry in 1944. With the beginning of her first baby, Robert, in 1950, Ms. Waterman determined to dedicate herself to educating.

Robert de Keyser survives her, as do one other son, Paul, a violin trainer, and 6 granddaughters. Her husband died in 2001.

Once the Leeds Competition obtained going, Dr. de Keyser turned intimately concerned, each in recommending lists of repertory and in writing up guidelines. “He was a doctor, but his knowledge of music was second to nobody,” Ms. Waterman stated in 2010.

In 1966 Ms. Waterman and her husband purchased Woodgarth, a powerful eight-bedroom Victorian home in Oakwood, a suburb of Leeds. She saved two high-quality pianos in its spacious drawing room, the place she taught, made plans for the competitors and presided over full of life musical soirees that included company like the composer Benjamin Britten and the tenor Peter Pears, in addition to Prime Minister Edward Heath. Ms. Waterman bought the home this 12 months.

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