Gerald Moore (1899-1987) was often regarded as the 20th century's pre-eminent piano accompanist of great classical singers.

He was the eldest of four children of the owner of an outfitting company, and by his own admission, though he was intensely musical and blessed with perfect pitch, he was not the world's most conscientious pupil when it came to piano lessons.

However, reluctantly or otherwise, he persevered, and when the family emigrated to Canada he studied with a former pupil of the great pianist Anton Rubinstein. He was also deeply religious and toyed with the idea of entering the priesthood. However, in the end he devoted himself to music. He first came to prominence accompanying not a vocalist, but a cellist, foreshadowing his later work with Pablo Casals.

He did not live an entirely esoteric life, and had a spell as a cinema organist, though he did not look back on it with fondness.

Though he was highly regarded, he was establishing his career at a time when, though Clara Butt's infamous remark on the subject of accompanists - "Do I have one?" - may have been apocryphal, they certainly did not get the respect and recognition they deserved. It is to the credit of the legendary baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, whom Moore accompanied in many performances and recordings, notably of Schubert song cycles, that he made a point of referring to him as an equal.

He remained a modest man, though, calling his memoirs "Am I Too Loud?".

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