Joan has been playing the piano since the age of 4. She won her first prize at the age of 9, awarded by the eminent composer Herbert Howells. He described her playing as ‘very musical’.
She was performing at music clubs in the English Midlands from the age of 14, won the concerto prize at Birmingham Conservatoire at 15, and played with orchestras in Birmingham Town Hall. She was a pupil of the eminent concert pianist, Lilian Niblette, who was herself taught by Clara Schumann’s most distinguished English student, Fanny Davies.
Joan was an Associate of the Royal College of Music at 18 and continued to study Music at Oxford University, where she won the Kathleen Major Prize.
Gerald Moore invited her to his London Master Classes and partnered her with the Mezzo-Soprano Ann Murray, with whom she made many broadcasts on Radio 3, Radio London, also giving recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room.
Joan has combined a flourishing concert career with coaching and lecturing in London. Her recent CD with Tenor John Upperton (Dvořák Gypsy Songs and Janáček Diary of One who Vanished) has received very favourable comments from the Dvořák Society. Her playing has been described as ‘impeccable, full of wonderful lyricism’.
In 2015 she attracted international attention for her repetiteur work in the preparation of Zaid Jabri’s Cities of Salt at the Royal Opera House. And her most recent accompaniment of songs by Fanny Hensel, with Bryan Jenner, was described as “most polished and sensitive”.
Future plans include further recitals of the work of Fanny Hensel with Bryan Jenner in London and Oxford.