Major General Julian Thompson, CB, OBE

George Fenton

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Were it possible to sum up a person's life in a word, then perhaps for Joanna that word is quality - for she instilled a sense of quality into every aspect of her life. From early childhood, a passion for classical music and reading were central to her expression and understanding of all that is beautiful; in maturity, she had a committed approach to all her relationships and her exceptional support was greatly admired.

Even mundane tasks were performed with care in what seemed to be an expression of love for family and friends; her embroidery, conversation, sense of humour and love of cooking were always appreciated.

To master a musical instrument requires a special dedication: Joanna had the dogged persistence to acquire and maintain technical ability. To add that magic touch, that necessary fair of intuitive inspiration that breathes life into notes on a page, Joanna can speak so powerfully and directly to each one of us.

Her friendship with Andrew Lancaster gave rise to an interest in English square pianos of the early 1800's; a connection that became apparent when she played a Broadwood for the first time. For her, it seemed to have an intensely personal resonance.

In 1991, David, her beloved husband at the time, conceived the idea of Athene Records for Jo's musical talents. Joanna, as artist, record producer and digital editor par excellence, along with Mike (her fourth and last husband), generously assisted in the realisation of other artists' aspirations, in the production of benchmark recordings and sponsored recitals. From composer John Pickard, Joanna commissioned a piano concerto that was performed by Andreas Boyde to a packed audience in Dresden Philharmonic Hall in 2000 and internationally transmitted by German Radio.

Jo will live on in our memories and beyond our time, through her recordings for others to enjoy. As she speaks to us in her playing, let us remember how she has enriched our lives in ways that made her such a special person to each of us.



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 Featured CD:

Scarlatti

16 Sonatas