RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
British concert pianist Anne Naysmith was born Anne Smith at Southend in 1937. She studied with Harold Craxton and Liza Fuchsova at the Royal Academy of Music in London and gave a well-reviewed Wigmore Hall recital in 1967. She also performed at St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James Piccadilly and Leighton House.
But a successful performing career failed to materialise, and in the early 1970s, following an unsuccessful romance and developing financial problems, she was evicted from her home in Chiswick, West London, and then slept in her car nearby for twenty-six years, initially as a protest against her eviction, and was cherished by most of the neighbours.
When her car was removed in 2002 following complaints from one particular neighbouring couple who were trying to sell their house, other, more supportive neighbours provided Naysmith with a replacement, but that was quickly vandalised. She then lived in a handmade shelter in the bushes next to Stamford Brook Underground station, but when that was removed by Transport for London, Annie Naysmith began to attract media attention.
She died on 10 February 2015, in her late seventies, after being hit by a lorry in Chiswick High Road.