Death of a noted harpsichordist, 78

The harpsichordist Elizabeth de la Porte has died aged 78.

Born in Johannesburg in 1941, she studied at the Vienna Academy and the Royal College of Music and was one of the first wave of concert harpsichordists in the 1970s, giving recitals in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK.

Her particular affinities for JS Bach and Couperin were widely praise. John Duarte wrote of her 1976 Bach recording for Saga: ‘she plays as a good orator speaks… she carries you in one sweep from beginning to end.’

Elizabeth de la Porte held posts at Morley College and at the Royal College of Music Junior Department – the latter for 55 years.

She married Dr Paul Dawson-Bowling in 1966 and had three children.

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  • Eloquent, strong and muscular playing. De La Porte was a real stalwart of the harpsichord – though arguably not as recognised as she might have been for her contributions to the instrument’s mainstream re-establishment. A remarkable point to note: she taught the harpsichord at the Royal College of Music Junior Department for 55 years! That has to be a record…?
    Thank you, Elizabeth de la Porte.

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