Evelyn Suart

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Evelyn Suart, from a 1900 publication.

Evelyn Suart, Lady Harcourt (30 April 1881 – 26 October 1950) was an English pianist.

She was born in 1881 in Sindapore, India, the daughter of Brigadier-General W. H. Suart,[1] and she spent some of her early childhood there. She also lived for periods in Gibraltar and England.[2] Her piano studies were with Storck in Brussels, Raoul Pugno in Paris and Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna. She made six tours and appeared in Vienna, Brussels, London, and with the Berlin and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras. In London she often played at the St. James's Hall, under conductors such as Hans Richter and Sir Henry J. Wood, and appeared with violinists of the calibre of Eugène Ysaÿe and Karel Halíř, and other artists.

Her British premieres included the original version of Sergei Rachmaninoff's 1st Piano Concerto (under Wood, 4 October 1900),[3][4] Max Reger's Violin Sonata No. 5 in F-sharp minor (with Halíř), and pieces by Debussy, Ravel, H. Balfour Gardiner, and most particularly Cyril Scott. She met Scott in 1902 and soon became his champion, frequently playing his works, and introducing him to his publisher, Elkin.[5][6] Scott dedicated his Scherzo, Op. 25, to her.[6][7]

She was also a Christian Scientist,[8] and interested in metaphysics. It was through her that Cyril Scott began his lifelong interest in such matters.[6]

Evelyn Suart was a President of the Society of Women Musicians. She died in London in 1950.

Private life[edit]

In 1910, Evelyn Suart married Gerald Gould, an Irish-born civil servant with the Foreign Office, who died of typhoid fever in 1916. They had one son (also named Gerald Gould) and two daughters.[2] The elder daughter Diana Gould became a noted ballerina and was the second wife of Yehudi Menuhin.[9] The younger, Griselda, became the second wife of the pianist Louis Kentner.[10]

Evelyn Suart had no time for her children, and had so little understanding of the world that Diana found it hard to imagine how she and her siblings had been conceived. She told Griselda, "Don't think of her as a mother, think of her as a fascinating woman".[11]

In 1920 she married a second time, to a naval officer, Cecil Harcourt.[2] He had a prominent career, rising to the rank of admiral in 1949. He was Head of the Military Government of Hong Kong in 1945-46, and became Second Sea Lord in 1948. He was knighted on 18 December 1945, and Evelyn Suart became Lady Harcourt.[1]


  1. ^ a b Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-45 at unithistories.com, accessed 3 April 2018
  2. ^ a b c Harcourt Articles 2 Lady Evelyn Harcourt, nee Suart - Information Provided by Rebekah Coombs: A Talented Concert Pianist who pioneered modern music. at members.iinet.net.au, accessed 3 April 2018
  3. ^ BBC Proms[dead link]
  4. ^ Programme notes for SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2 in E minor Op. 27 (1907) (Complete) 'First Piano Concerto had received its London premiere... Queens Hall... Evelyn Suart... Henry Wood' at chandos.net, accessed 3 May 2018
  5. ^ Cyril Scott, Composer, Poet and Philosopher, accessed 3 April 2018
  6. ^ a b c Leslie De’Ath, Cyril Scott as Composer, Pianist and Author at musicweb-international.com, accessed 3 April 2018
  7. ^ Music:Cyril Scott Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine 'Scherzo, op 25 -dedicated to Evelyn Suart -London: Elkin, 1904', accessed 3 April 2018
  8. ^ Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th ed., 1954
  9. ^ 'Letters... to Evelyn Suart (later Mrs Gould)' 'SOLD ON BEHALF OF... THE LATE LADY MEHUHIN' at artfact.com, accessed 3 April 2018
  10. ^ LOUIS KENTNER (1905 - 1987), at Naxos.com, accessed 3 April 2018
  11. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, She chose to be a great fiddler’s moll (Lady (Diana) Menuhin, Ballerina 1912-2003) at smh.com.au, accessed 3 April 2018


  • Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th ed., 1954