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Eileen Joyce and her contemporaries

Eileen Joyce was also a pupil of Tobias Matthay. According to her contemporary pianists, this was a fact which she was reluctant to admit. His other pupils included Harriet Cohen, Sir Cliffford Curzon, Dame Myra Hess, Moura Lympany and Nina Milkina.

Another pupil was Solvig Hartley who lived together with her two sisters in Diana Lodge, Snatt’s Hill, Limpsfield. She made her debut at the Wigmore Hall but decided that her temperament was best suited to teaching. She was a pupil at St. Paul’s Girls School to where she returned to work in the music department under Gustav Holst.

Two music contemporaries were the pianist Hilda Bor, who arranged the wartime concerts at the Royal Exchange and Myra Hess who arranged those at the National Gallery. Solvig played with with both of them. Hilda Bor was a frequent visitor to Limpsfield. She was the youngest Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music but was beaten for the title by her sister, Margot, a few years later. In the 1930s their father was Director (the first?) of the de la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill. Hilda became the piano teacher to both Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

The writer attended Hilda’s 80th Birthday celebration in Cambridge. Despite suffering a stroke which had paralysed one of her arms, she still managed to play duets with Margot. The violinist Edward Dusinberre now of the Takacs quartet, played movements from the Cesar Franck violin sonata. He was a reluctant piano pupil of Hilda buit they had a very good relationship! Prince Charles sent a greeting and a bouquet of flowers. A very special occasion.

Hilda frequently played and recorded with the Amadeus Quartet. Another player was Hans W Berge who was interned with Norman Brainin, Siegmund Nissel and Peter Schidlof at the beginning of WWII. They were driven out of Vienna but classified as aliens when they arrived in Britain. Hans Berge was taught by Max Rostal. The link with Limpsfield is that he was the writer’s violin teacher.

The writer corresponded with Margot until two years ago. She had some fascinating tales about singing Britten (including Rejoice in the Lamb) under the direction of Imogen Holst. Their brother Teddy was a violinist. He became a renowned teacher of the instrument. His pupils came for all over the world.

A contemporary at St. Pauls was Nora Day. She and Vally Lasker helped Holst with his composition of the Planets. All movements except Neptune were written for two pianos. They assisted with the orchestration which came in 1917. Their two-piano recording is still available. Nora was a very frequent visitor to Limpsfield and played the Hartley’s Bechstein.

They all knew Eileen Joyce but were overwhelmed by her flamboyant style!

The last of the three sisters passed away in Oxted 1989.

The Bechstein on which they all played is still in Limpsfield.