Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer and pianist Joan Trimble, who studied piano in the RIAM with Annie Lord and Claud Biggs, and composition with Herbert Howells and Vaughan Williams in the Royal College of Music in London.

Joan Trimble, along with her sister Valerie, made her name as part of a two-piano duo that would give premiere performances in the UK and Ireland of leading new repertoire in that genre, such as Bartok’s Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion, and Stravinsky’s Sonata for 2 Pianos.

She was also highly regarded as a composer, with works for 2 pianos, piano trio, string orchestra as well as vocal music. In 1957 the BBC commissioned her to write the music for a television opera Blind Raftery, which was well received at the time.

Trimble received the Fellowship of the RIAM in 1985 and in 1996 became a Vice President of the institution, a position she held until her death in 2000.

The RIAM library was fortunate to receive Trimble’s personal music library including her very extensive collection of 2-piano music, which captures her performance career with her sister Valerie. The collection also attests to her keen interest in Irish traditional music, containing many original editions of the Bunting and Petrie collections.

View the catalogue of Joan Trimble’s 2 piano music in the RIAM library

View the catalogue of the complete Joan Trimble collection in the RIAM library 

An excerpt from the MS of Trimble’s Phantasy Trio (1940) (RIAM Archives, Trimble Collection)
opera over the cooking stove
Contempoary feature article on Joan Trimble’s opera Blind Raftery (1957) (RIAM Archives: Trimble Collection)