Fanny Waterman occupies a pre-eminent position in the world of piano teaching and musical competitions- a position recognised with the award of a CBE in the Queen`s birthday honours in June 2000 and followed by a DBE in the New Years honours list in 2005. She was also awarded The Distinguished Musician Award of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and a unique Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Federation of International Music Competitions presented at the Federation`s General assembly in the historic Italian city of Reggio Emilia.
The holder of honorary doctorates from the universities of Leeds and York, Fanny Waterman was born in Leeds on March 22nd 1920. In 1941 she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music to study with Cryil Smith. In 1943 her studies were curtailed by the war and she left the RCM with an outstanding testimonial from Cyril Smith- “a brilliantly gifted pianist and musician who will be a source of inspiration to her pupils”.
Her solo career flourished at national level after the war and she appeared in a number of BBC recitals and concerts. Following the birth of her first child in 1950, she decided to concentrate on teaching and established a national and international reputation with many of her pupils making successful international careers.
With her friend Marian Harewood, she has compiled and written over thirty tutorial volumes which are widely used educational material for budding pianists. She has given masterclasses on five continents and on television and radio.
In 1961 with the late Marian Thorpe, then Countess of Harewood, she founded the Leeds International Piano Competition and, over the years, through Fanny`s inspiration, sheer determination and energy, the Leeds has become established as one of the world’s premier music competitions.