Eileen Joyce: A portrait
FACP, $24.95 pb, 264 pp
In my student days in Europe, I often heard the name Eileen Joyce bandied about as a figure of respect, eccentricity and past pianistic accomplishment. Geoffrey Parsons, one of my enduring musical mentors, regularly spoke of her; it came as no surprise to read in Richard Davis’s recent biography that Parsons collaborated in Joyce’s last major public appearance, at a fund-raising concert at Covent Garden, late in 1981. I rather doubt, however, that many familiar with Parsons’s pianistic stature would readily agree with Davis’s judgment that the ‘power and dexterity’ of the seventy-three-year-old Joyce, who had not performed in public for over a decade, ‘easily’ matched Parsons’s own.