As part of the exhibition "The Courtauld Collection: A Vision for impressionism", the Foundation invites the young pianist Filippo Gorini for a recital in honor of the remarkable series of concerts that Elizabeth Courtauld organized with the pianist Artur Schnabel in the 1920s.
Elizabeth Courtauld (1875-1931), or ‘Lil’ as she was known, shared her husband’s love of art. In fact, it was she who, in 1922, acquired the first two modern paintings to enter their collection. However, Lil’s greatest passion was music. Just as Samuel championed Impressionism, Elizabeth believed deeply in the public importance of great classical music, and she too was prepared to challenge the tastes and habits of the establishment to achieve her goals.
In the 1920s the Courtaulds’ magnificent London residence, Home House, was a showcase for music and art: ‘one of the most cultured and tasteful households, presided over by one of London’s most gracious hostesses’, in the words of one contemporary. In 1927, Elizabeth invited the celebrated Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel (1882-1951) to give a recital at Home House, initiating a warm and productive friendship. Schnabel’s experience of the Volksbühne, the workers’ concert societies in Germany, was an inspiration for Lil and in 1929 she launched the Concert Club. Based on a subscription model, its purpose was straightforward: ‘The object of this Club is to stimulate interest in music, and to obtain a wide and stable audience, drawn from lovers of music for whom the usual prices have been too high.’