Blanche Burton-Lyles, Concert Pianist Protege of Marian Anderson, Dies at 85


Blanche Burton-Lyles, a live performance pianist who was mentored by pioneering opera singer Marian Anderson, has died. She was 85.

Burton-Lyles died of coronary heart failure Monday at a rehabilitation middle, in line with Slater Funeral Home in Philadelphia.

Burton-Lyles was born and raised in Philadelphia. She discovered play classical piano on the age of three. Burton-Lyles was the primary African-American lady pianist to carry out at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, in line with The Marian Anderson Historical Society. She was 14 on the time.

Anderson gave Burton-Lyles a suggestion for early admission to the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1954, she grew to become the primary African-American lady pianist to graduate from the institute.

She went on to tour with Leroy Bostic and the Fellow Aires. Burton-Lyles managed the musical firm after Bostic died and renamed it Lady Blanche and Her Merry Men. She was extremely revered, giving live shows for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and first girl Eleanor Roosevelt.

Burton-Lyles met her husband Thurman Lyles in 1955 and the pair married a yr later. Lyles died in 2010.

Burton-Lyles toured till 1963, when she began instructing music within the School District of Philadelphia. She acquired a grasp’s diploma in music schooling from Temple University in 1971.

Anderson was the primary black singer to carry out on the Metropolitan Opera.

Burton-Lyles dedicated herself to preserving Anderson’s legacy, establishing a society in her title and turning the opera singer’s Philadelphia house right into a museum.