Eileen Joyce (1908–1991) was an Australian piano prodigy whose international career spanned more than 30 years.
Born in Zeehan, Tasmania, she studied in Perth and at the Leipzig Conservatorium before making her professional debut in London in 1930.
In 1933, she made the first of her many recordings, Franz Liszt's ‘Transcendental Étude in F minor’ and Paul de Schlözer's ‘Étude in A-flat, Op. 1, No. 2’, for Parlophone.
Joyce had recorded the Liszt work at her own expense and Parlophone was sufficiently impressed by the recording to purchase it from her and request a side B.
This record, and her other early records for Parlophone, are noted for their precision and clarity of articulation, which became a hallmark of her performance and recording career.
During the 1930s and 1940s her recordings brought her international acclaim, particularly during the Second World War. When she performed in the United States in 1950, music critic and historian Irving Kolodin called her ‘the world's greatest unknown pianist’.
Image: Eileen Joyce, pianist. 1958. Courtesy Libraries Tasmania