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Dame Fanny Waterman an inspiration - a true powerfully petite woman

Posted on January 11 2021

Dame Fanny Waterman, who died just a couple of weeks ago, was a fantastic example of a powerfully petite woman. This amazingly talented and driven individual standing at 5’ 2”, came from a modest background in Leeds and went on to found the Leeds International Piano Competition. This triennial event become one of the world’s foremost classical music competitions. It attracted some of the greatest pianists of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of this century, including Murray Perahia, Mitsuko Uchida and András Schiff. 
At only 22 Fanny Waterman played in the Proms under the baton of Sir Henry Wood in the Royal Albert Hall. When she had her first child she gave up her concert playing career and turned to teaching at which she excelled. She became one of the country’s leading private piano tutors and together with Marion Harewood wrote a seminal series of piano tutor books.
Dame Fanny Waterman was undoubtedly a feisty individual - described variously as a ‘force of nature, a one-off’, ‘a combination of human dynamo and bulldozer’ she had vision and determination. We are honoured to include her in our Powerfully Petite Series.

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