Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Anderson, Lucy

ANDERSON, LUCY (1790–1878), musician, the daughter of Mr. John Philpot, a music-seller, was born at Bath in December 1790. She received her first musical instruction from her father, who intended her to adopt the harp as her instrument, but, in spite of the weakness of sight from which she always suffered, she soon made such progress with the pianoforte as to appear as a solo player at a very early age. She played at a concert at Weymouth for the benefit of Bannister in 1802, and soon after coming to London (about 1818) was regularly engaged at all the principal concerts. In 1820 she married George Frederick Anderson, a distinguished violinist, and for some time master of the queen's private band. In 1829 Mrs. Anderson played at the Birmingham festival, and continued to play in public until 1862. As a teacher she was much sought after, and numbered amongst her pupils the queen and other members of the royal family. Mrs. Anderson was the first female pianist who appeared at the Philharmonic concerts, and was also the first pianist to introduce into England many of the great works of Beethoven, Hummel, and other composers. Judged by the modern standard of pianoforte playing, she might have been considered deficient in executive power, but this was amply atoned for by the breadth of her style, her powers of expression and feeling, and her excellent touch and phrasing. She was on the best terms with Cherubini, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Hummel, and many other great musicians with whom she came in contact in the course of her long career. After amassing a considerable fortune, she retired from public life in 1862. She died 24 Dec. 1878.

[Grove's Dictionary, i. p. 65; private information from Mr. W. G. Cusins.]

W. B. S.