The most sought after accompanist to some of the most famous singers in modern-day international opera - Australian Geoffrey Parsons.
Filled with the personal tributes by renowned singers with whom he worked including Jessye Norman, Victoria de Los Angeles, Thomas Allen, Janet Baker, Barbara Bonney, Olaf Bar and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, this life of Geoffrey Parson is engagingly told by biographer Richard Davis. Talented pianist Parsons, brought up in a loving, working-class family, studies at Sydney's Conservatorium of Music at the same time as a potential young diva, Joan Sutherland, and worked under the tutelage of Sir Eugene Goossens. Following the well-worn trail to London, he has to take work where he can find it, from the concert hall to vaudeville until at last he finds respect and even fame not as a concert pianist but accompanying singers - bringing out the best of their talent with his own unique musical gift. He toured the world with the singers he worked with and returned to Australia to tour many times for the ABC. Parsons won high critical regard not just in the UK but in Europe, Asia and in America, where on his retirement he was given his own gala concert at the famed New York Metropolitan Opera. Richard Davis tells the absorbing story of Geoffrey Parsons, a modest man with a major talent for working musically with others, bringing the world of music and theatre in the latter half of the twentieth century as much to life as he does his subject.
Richard Davis is the author of earlier books about Australian musicians: Eileen Joyce: A Portrait about one of Australia's foremost concert pianists, and Anna Bishop: The Adventures of an Intrepid Prima Donna, each extraordinary labours of love, filled with wonderful research and fresh insights into musicians' lives. Geoffrey Parsons: Among Friends is a fully authorised biography.