On This Day 27 January 1913 Rosemary Brown was born. She was a pupil at Rosa Bassett School, Streatham and lived in Balham
Rosemary Isabel Brown (27 July 1916 – 16 November 2001) was an English composer, pianist and spirit medium who claimed that dead composers dictated new musical works to her.
She created a small media sensation in the 1970s by presenting works purportedly dictated to her by Claude Debussy, Edvard Grieg, Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, Frédéric Chopin, Igor Stravinsky, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann and Sergei Rachmaninoff
Born in Stockwell, Rosemary Dickeson was the daughter of an electrician and a catering manageress. Though her great love was dancing, when she left Rosa Bassett school, Streatham, at the age of 15, her father saw to it that she went to work for the Post Office.
Professor of psychology John Sloboda wrote that Brown's music offers "the most convincing case of unconscious composition on a large scale."
Was she a fraud? The late composer and former Streatham-resident Ian Parrott argued not. He believed she wasn’t clever enough to fake what she transcribed, he told the BBC documentary. “In my view,” Parrot wrote in her Guardian obituary in 2001, “the limitations of her training [she took a few piano lessons] left her unfettered by too much formal apparatus, and so better placed to receive music from others.”