She was born in Burra-Burra, 160 km north of Adelaide, to parents of Scottish and Irish descent. Her father, Joseph A. Kennedy, was headmaster of Glenelg Primary School and president of the South Australian Public School Teachers' Union. For three years she was Elder scholar at the Adelaide Conservatory under Mrs. Alderman and Hermann Heinicke. She was a private pupil of Otakar Ševčík in Vienna for a year, and then studied for two years in the Meister-Schule there. She appeared in London in 1911 and toured widely in Europe and in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
On 15 April 1914 she married the Ukrainian pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch; their daughter, the theatre designer Tanya Moiseiwitsch was born in December the same year. After divorcing Moiseiwitsch, she married the English playwright and poet John Drinkwater.
- A. Eaglefield-Hull (Ed.), A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians (Dent, London & Toronto 1924), 267.
- "South Australian Violinist". The Register (Adelaide). LXXIX, (21,075). South Australia. 29 May 1914. p. 10. Retrieved 7 June 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- Peter Campbell, 'Kennedy, Irvine Robert Laurie (Lauri) (1896 - 1980)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, Melbourne University Press, pp 617-618.