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Moura Lympany (1916 - 2005)

Moura Lympany was born Mary Gertrude Johnstone. Her father, Captain John Johnstone, would appear to have been accurate when he told his wife that he would not make a good husband; at any rate it was she who had to support the family (two sons were born after Moura) and who single-handedly guided her daughter’s early career. An intelligent and cultivated woman, Beatrice Limpenny had been a tutor to the children of a banker in St Petersburg, Russia, but returned to England in 1915 during World War I. Wanting her daughter to receive the best education and to learn languages, Beatrice sent Moura to a convent in Belgium when she was barely seven years old. Young Moura could already speak French, and when the nuns noticed her talent for music and the piano in particular, they arranged for her to have lessons at the Liège Conservatory. By the age of nine Moura was practising five hours a day and playing Bach’s Das wohltemperierte Klavier in its entirety.




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