Kate Loder

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Kate Loder, Lady Thompson

Kate Fanny Loder, later Lady Thompson, (21 August 1825 – 30 August 1904) was an English composer and pianist.[1]


Kate Loder was born on 21 August 1825,[1] on Bathwick Street, Bathwick,[2] within Bath, Somerset where the Loder family were prominent musicians. Her father was the flautist George Loder. According to Grove, her mother was a piano teacher born Fanny Philpot, who was the sister of the pianist Lucy Anderson.[3] However, genealogical research suggests Kate's mother was Frances Elizabeth Mary Kirkham (1802–50),[4] daughter of Thomas Bulman Kirkham (1778–1845) and Marianne Beville Moore (c.1781 – 1810).[2] Frances Kirkham's step-mother was Jane Harriett Philpot (1802–63), second wife to Thomas Bulman Kirkham and sister of the Lucy Philpot who married the violinist George Frederick Anderson, becoming Lucy Anderson.[5][6][7] Kate was also the sister of conductor and composer George Loder,[1] and the cousin of composer Edward Loder.[8]

Kater Loder studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Her performance of Mendelssohn's G minor piano concerto at the Hanover-square Rooms on 27 May 1843, when she was aged 17, may have been her public debut.[9] The following year, in 1844, aged just 18, she became the first female professor of harmony at the Royal Academy.[10][11][12] On 16 December 1851 at St Marylebone Church, Westminster, she married Sir Henry Thompson[13] and soon afterwards, at her husband's insistence, gave up her public performing career. She remained active in music, continuing to compose, and taught pupils including Sarah Louisa Kilpack[14] who nowadays is better known as an artist.

On 10 July 1871,[15] the first British performance of the German Requiem of Johannes Brahms took place privately at Loder's home, 35 Wimpole Street, London. It was performed using a version for piano duet accompaniment which became known as the "London Version" (German: Londoner Fassnung) of the Requiem.[16] Brahms based it on an 1866 arrangement for piano of his first, six-movement version of the Requiem.[17] The pianists were Kate Loder and Cipriani Potter (who was then 79 years old; he died that September).[15]

She died on 30 August 1904 at Headley Rectory,[18] Headley, Surrey.[1]


Selected works include:[8][19][20]


  • String quartet in G minor (1846)
  • Sonata for violin and piano (1847)
  • String quartet in E minor (1847)
  • Piano trio (1886)


  • L'elisir d'amore (1855)


  • Overture (1844)


  • Six Easy Voluntaries. Set 1. (London: Novello, 1889)
  • Six Easy Voluntaries. Set 2. (London: Novello, 1891) – "for the most part fresh and genial in character ... somewhat suggestive of Spohr in the numerous chromatic progressions."[21][22]


  • Twelve studies (1852)
  • Three romances (1853)
  • Pensée fugitive (1854)
  • En Avant galop (1863)
  • Three Duets (1869)
  • Mazurka in A minor (1899)[23]
  • Scherzo (1899)


  • My faint spirit (1854), text by Shelley


  1. ^ a b c d Temperley, Nicholas (2001). "Kate (Fanny) Loder (b. Bath 21 August 1825 d. Headley, Surrey 30 August 1904))". In Sadie, Stanley (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. 15. London: Macmillan. p. 59. ISBN 0-333-60800-3.
  2. ^ a b "Kate Fanny Loder". Rootsweb. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  3. ^ Temperley, Nicholas (2001). "George Loder jr (b. Bath 1816 d. Adelaide 15 July 1868)". In Sadie, Stanley (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. 15. London: Macmillan. p. 58. ISBN 0-333-60800-3.
  4. ^ Find My Past: Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 4 September 1823: Mr. Geo. Loder, professor of music, of this city, to Frances, eldest daughter of Mr. Kirkham, of Pulteney-street.
  5. ^ Find My Past: Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 7 December 1820: Married. Mr. Thomas Kirkham, of Pulteney-street, to Jane, daughter of Mr. Philpott, of Bennett-street.
  6. ^ Find My Past: Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 20 August 1863: 13 Aug., in this city, Jane Harriet Kirkham, widow of Thomas Bullman Kirkham, Esq., and sister of Mrs. Anderson, Nottingham-place, Regent's-park, London.
  7. ^ "Lawleys of Bath Tree". Ancestry.co.uk. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  8. ^ a b Burton, Nigel; Temperley, Nicholas (1994). "Loder, Kate (Fanny) (b. Bath 21 August 1825 d. Headley, Surrey 30 August 1904)". In Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (eds.). New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. London: Macmillan. p. 285. ISBN 0-333-51598-6.
  9. ^ The Morning Post, Monday 29 May 1843
  10. ^ Smith, Alice Mary (2003). Symphonies.
  11. ^ Warrack, John Hamilton; West, Ewan (1996). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 295. ISBN 978-0-19-280028-2. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  12. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393034875. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  13. ^ "Henry Thompson". Roots Web. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  14. ^ Temperley, Nicholas (2016). Musicians of Bath and Beyond: Edward Loder (1809–1865) and His Family. Boydell & Brewer. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-78327-078-1.
  15. ^ a b Musgrave, Michael (1987). Brahms 2: Biographical, Documentary, and Analytical Studies. Vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 6. ISBN 0-521-32606-0.
  16. ^ "Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 (London version)". Gramophone. June 1997. p. 92. Retrieved 30 January 2012.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Swafford, Jan (1999). Johannes Brahms: a Biography. London: Macmillan. p. 311. ISBN 0-333-59662-5.
  18. ^ "England and Wales, National Probate Calendar". Ancestry.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  19. ^ Ballchin, Robert, ed. (1983). "Loder, afterwards Thompson (Kate Fanny), Lady". Catalogue of Printed Music in the British Library to 1980. Vol. 36. London: K. G. Saur. p. 87. ISBN 0-86291-333-0.
  20. ^ Fuller, Sophie (1994). Pandora Guide to Women Composers. London: Pandora. pp. 191–192. ISBN 0-04-440897-8.
  21. ^ The Musical Times, vol. 32, no. 579 (May 1, 1891), p. 297.[full citation needed]
  22. ^ Andrew Pink performs (2020) ‘Voluntary in B-flat‘. Set 2/vi in Exordia ad missam’ : my lockdown recordings. Online resource, accessed 8 March 2021.
  23. ^ Included in Piano Music by Women Composers Book 2, Hal Leonard (2023)

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