Lance Dossor (far right), February 1937
|Birth name||Harry Lancelot Dossor|
|Born||14 May 1916|
Weston-super-Mare, England, United Kingdom
|Died|| 3 December 2005 89) (aged|
|Occupation(s)||Virtuoso pianist, pedagogue|
Harry Lancelot "Lance" Dossor (14 May 1916 –3 December 2005) was a British-born classical music concert pianist and teacher who emigrated to Australia in May 1953.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
Harry Lancelot Dossor was born on 14 May 1916 in Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom,the third child of a jeweller who was also a distinguished amateur tenor. Dossor was educated at Seaford College and matriculated at the University of London. In 1932 he obtained an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he studied piano with Herbert Fryer and composition with Herbert Howells.
Weston-super-Mare, also known as just Weston is a seaside town in North Somerset, England, on the Bristol Channel 18 miles (29 km) south west of Bristol between Worlebury Hill and Bleadon Hill. It includes the suburbs of Oldmixon, West Wick and Worle. Its population at the 2011 census was 76,143. Since 1983, Weston has been twinned with Hildesheim, Germany.
Seaford College is an independent co-educational boarding and day school at East Lavington, south of Petworth, West Sussex, England. Founded in 1884, it is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The college is in Lavington Park, a 400 acres (1.6 km2) Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the South Downs. The land is owned by a charitable trust and the site is run by the Board of Governors who are the trustees. The college is the inspiration for the Jennings and Darbishire children's books, written by alumnus Anthony Buckeridge.
The University of London is a collegiate federal research university located in London, England. As of October 2018, the university contains 18 member institutions, central academic bodies and research institutes. The university has over 52,000 distance learning external students and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of students in the United Kingdom.
In 1936 Dossor was awarded the Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, given only every three years to the most outstanding student. He won the 1936 Franz Liszt Prize at the Vienna International Piano Competition, and in the following year the Sonata Prize and overall Fourth Prize in the 1937 International Chopin Piano Competition. In 1938 he was awarded fourth prize in the Ysaye Competition in Belgium - the first three places going to Emil Gilels, Moura Lympany and Yakov Flier.
The Worshipful Company of Musicians is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Its history dates back to at least 1350. Originally a specialist guild for musicians, its role became an anachronism in the 18th century, when the centre of music making in London moved from the City to the West End, and for more than a century it was a general guild for figures in the City, with no specific musical role. In the late 19th century, the musical element was revived, and the modern Company promotes all aspects of the art and science of music.
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The International Chopin Piano Competition, often referred to as the Chopin Competition, is a piano competition held in Warsaw, Poland. It was initiated in 1927 and has been held every five years since 1955. It is one of the few competitions devoted entirely to the works of a single composer, in this case, Frédéric Chopin.
He later recounted the tale that, while he was still a student, he obtained entry to a rehearsal of one of Sergei Rachmaninoff's concerts in London. He was introduced to Rachmaninoff afterwards by the British pianist Cyril Smith as "... a very promising young pianist who has recently been successful in the Chopin prize."Rachmaninoff responded in his heavy Russian accent "Ah, but who were the judges?"
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Cyril James Smith OBE was a virtuoso concert pianist of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and a piano teacher.
During the Second World War, from 1939, Dossor served in the Royal Artillery in the Middle East, Italy and Germany, where, because of health problems, he was transferred to Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) to help provide concerts of classical music for the services. In November 1940 he married Diana Levinson, a harpist, who had been a fellow student at the Royal College of Music.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
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The Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) was an organisation set up in 1939 by Basil Dean and Leslie Henson to provide entertainment for British armed forces personnel during World War II. ENSA operated as part of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes. It was superseded by Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) which now operates as part of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC).
After leaving military service in 1946, he became a member of the Royal College of Music's teaching staff.He resumed his performance career (solo recitals, concertos and chamber music) playing with various British Orchestras under the batons of Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Rafael Kubelík and Nikolai Malko. He was a soloist for the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts and, in 1950, he was invited to Israel for ten performances of the Brahms' Second Piano Concerto with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1947 he replaced Dinu Lipatti, who had been taken ill prior to his first London concert.
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In May 1953 Dossor accepted an initial three-year appointment as principal teacher of piano at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide,by which time he and Diana had two children. He remained at the conservatorium until his retirement in 1979. Dossor was known in Australia as a soloist and also in chamber music, including an 18-year partnership with expatriate British cellist, James Whitehead. Together with the violinist, Ladislav Jasek, they also performed as the Elder Trio. Dossor performed in a piano duo with Romola Costantino and served as president of the Adelaide Branch of the Australian Society for Keyboard Music.
His refined sense of colour was used to exquisite effect in his performances of Chopin, while his affinity with the Russian repertoire was revealed in his greatly admired performances of Rachmaninoff. His impact on the musical life of Australia, and Adelaide in particular, was considerable, both through his performances and his numerous students. He was associated with all the Australian state orchestras and took part in festivals in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.
He did not leave many recordings, as he felt that a recording was only how he had performed on a particular day, and not necessarily the best performance that he could give. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation recorded a number of his concert broadcasts, but few were issued on record.
Lance Dossor had very decided ideas on music. He loved Schubert and Brahms, but had no patience with Bruckner. His ideal composer was Bach. He said "If I had to make do with only one composer for the rest of my life, it would have to be Bach. His works are pure music". In 2003, the University of Adelaide gave him a Distinguished Alumni award "in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the university and to his profession as performing artist and teacher."
Although officially retired, Lance Dossor carried on teaching part-time and occasionally performing until 1999, when increasing deafness forced him to give up. He died on 3 December 2005 in Adelaide, at the age of 89.He was survived by Diana ( née Levinson) Dossor and their three children.
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