Custance, Barbara

Barbara Custance. Pianist, teacher, b Vancouver 20 Jun 1909, d there 8 Apr 1985; LAB 1923, honorary ARAM 1948. After early training in Vancouver she went to England in 1924 on an AB scholarship, studying at the RAM with York Bowen, Claude Pollard, and Frederick Moore. She made her debut in 1928 at Wigmore Hall and returned to North America for further study 1929-33 with Sigismund Stojowski in New York. She made her Town Hall debut in 1943, and her first US tour (in 1955) culminated in her fifth recital at that same hall. She toured widely in Europe and North America, both as recitalist and as orchestral soloist, appearing with the TSO, the Winnipeg and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, the Little Symphony of Montreal, the Seattle SO, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. She was heard on the BBC and NBC networks and performed regularly on the CBC. Her playing was strong, fresh and sensitive. She was a faculty member 1960-8 of the University of British Columbia. In 1968 she travelled to the USSR to attend the Moscow May Festival of Music and observe Soviet teaching methods and in subsequent years returned several times to that country. In addition to teaching and performing she adjudicated many competitions. In 1974 she began to spend most of her time in New York, but in 1978 she returned to Vancouver. She recorded works by Beethoven and Brahms (Hallmark RS-7). Her pupils included Harold Brown, Robin Chow, Maria Pappas, and Lyn Vernon.