Mattiwilda Dobbs sings Debussy songs - LIVE!

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Geoffrey Parsons was born to a working-class family. He had two older brothers. He originally intended to study architecture, but his love of music prevailed. He studied with Winifred Burston at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music from 1941 to 1948. He won the ABC's Instrumental and Vocal Competition in 1947. He toured Australia with Essie Ackland in 1948, and in 1950 travelled to Britain to perform with bass baritone Peter Dawson. Parsons remained in London, earning a living initially as a cocktail lounge pianist.

A performance of Schubert's Winterreise with Gerhard Hüsch in his first London concert since World War II led to Parsons being invited to Munich to be Hüsch's permanent accompanist, where they worked together almost daily. There he studied with Friedrich Wührer in 1956. In 1961, he made his first appearance with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf at the Royal Festival Hall at the invitation of Walter Legge, and later became her principal accompanist.

Geoffrey Parsons also accompanied some of the world's greatest instrumentalists. Artists whom he partnered quickly appreciated his exemplary standards of musicianship, and a level of pianistic command that was totally new to the accompanist's role. This led to his increasing recognition as the ideal accompanist in a career that saw him perform in over 40 countries in six continents. He also recorded widely throughout his career.

His partnership with Australia was an essential part of his entire career and he became the means for bringing some of the world's most important singers and instrumentalists to his native country. He toured Australia 31 times between 1957 and 1993.

In 1973 he accompanied Birgit Nilsson in the first lieder recital at the Sydney Opera House. He also accompanied Wanda Wiłkomirska in the first violin and piano recital in that venue.

His last performance in Australia was with Olaf Bär in Winterreise in the University of Melbourne's Melba Hall in 1993.

He became an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in 1975, and the Guildhall School of Music in 1983. He was named the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist of the Year in 1992.
He was appointed an Officer (OBE) of the Order of the British Empire in 1977 and an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in 1990.

Geoffrey Parsons shared his life and his home with the singer and teacher Erich Vietheer. His untimely death on 26 January 1995 was caused by cancer. Source: Wikipedia

Usual Name Geoffrey Parsons
On Wikipedia Geoffrey_Parsons_(pianist)
Links Hyperion Page


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Mattiwilda Dobbs sings Debussy songs - LIVE!

From a Town Hall recital in Sydney, 1959, here is Mattiwilda Dobbs with pianist Geoffrey Parsons in three songs by Claude Debussy. 1. Pantomime 2. Apparition 3. Pierrot Here is a link to my Mattiwilda Dobbs playlist:

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