William Sterling

Mrs Eleanor Purce

From 1976 to 1980 I had piano lessons from Eleanor Purce at Keele University.  She had been a pupil of the great Alfred Cortot and as his writing on music did not include his method she decided to write her own version of how she taught based on the wisdom he passed on to her.  Although Cortot was never able to endorse her book, he died in 1962 and her book was not published till 1976, I am sure he would have been proud that his teaching method had not been completely lost to posterity.  Another of his pupils, Gina Bachauer, who was a friend and piano duo partner of Mrs Purce, endorsed the book and wrote a brief introduction.  The book has long been out of print and it was always Mrs Purce’s hope that it would be republished some time in the future.  I cannot manage a real print version but have digitised it using her original illustrations and so it is available for anyone to read or download.  Even if you are not a pianist or do not agree entirely with her method it is an interesting link back to the past and her final chapter is worth reading and taking note of for any musician or music lover.

EP’s book doc