On the weekend the Australian newspaper published my review of Destiny, the Extraordinary Career of Eileen Joyce. I’m so delighted the incredible piano playing of Eileen Joyce is being celebrated again. In the Review magazine she looked like this:
Australian pianist Eileen Joyce stunned London’s musical world with her first recording for Parlophone in the 1930’s. “Never before have we heard such clarity of detail and absence of piano ‘twang’,” marvelled Gramophone magazine. The Broadcaster described her as the Menuhin of the piano. Her debut album became a bestseller and eighty years later the speed and lucidity of her playing is still jaw-droppingly impressive.
Joyce became one of the top ranking pianists in the mid-twentieth century yet despite achieving superstar status during her lifetime she has faded from view. Australians are not particularly good at celebrating our musical history. Fortunately Joyce has found a champion in musicologist Victoria Rogers who, inspired by her association with the Eileen Joyce Collection bequeathed to the University of Western Australia, rallied musicologist David Tunley and Cyrus Meher-Homji (general manager of Universal Music Australia) to document the pianist’s musical legacy. Destiny; The Extraordinary Career of Eileen Joyce was published in November coinciding with the release of the complete set of Joyce recordings on the Decca Eloquence label.