Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore

Gerald Moore CBE

The profession of concert accompanist was irrevocably changed by the arrival of Gerald Moore (1899 – 1987) on the musical scene.

Over a remarkable career, his exceptional artistry and eloquent advocacy drew much-deserved profile to everything that accompaniment entails, positively transforming impressions of it forever. His charm and winning humour were firmly underpinned by his renowned sense of proportion and fair play. He performed with many of the greatest singers of the 20th century, deftly establishing with each a sense of equality.

Indeed, the celebrated baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau once said of him, ‘There is no more of that pale shadow at the keyboard; he is always an equal with his partner.’ The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians stated ‘Moore’s strength lay not only in the vastness of his repertory nor even in the beauty of his playing and mastery of colour, but more especially in his chameleonic empathy with every musical partner and readiness to turn every partnership to musical advantage of a refreshing and inspiring nature.’ Words for all accompanists to take to heart.

He established prosperous collaborations with such vocal luminaries as Kathleen Ferrier, John Coates, Elena Gerhardt, Elizabeth Schumann, Victoria de los Angeles and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. His recordings with artists like Peter Dawson and John McCormack also added to his popularity. He memorably spoke about the art of accompanying to those who attended Myra Hess’ National Gallery concerts during the Second World War. His speech was later published and, among several books he wrote, his memoir Am I Too Loud (humbly-titled, give his renowned and impeccable sense of balance) proved a resounding success worldwide. In 1985, he was presented with Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society for his services to music.

We are pleased to present the Gerald Moore Award to a new generation of piano accompanists in dedication to this remarkable artist.