WANDA LANDOWSKA, Polish harpsichordist (d. 1959); Landowska is considered responsible for the restoration of the harpsichord to popularity during the 20th century. Not only was she the foremost keyboard artist of ancient music on this instrument, but the first modern works for harpsichord were written especially for her (both of them, incidentally, by Gay composers, Manuel de Falla and Francis Poulenc). Landowska performed and taught first in Berlin, then in Paris, and finally in New York and Lakeville, Connecticut. She has left behind a legacy of great recordings and scholarly publications.
Landowska, though married, was always known in the world of music as a Lesbian, although the fact was first recorded by W.G. Rogers in his book about female patrons of the arts, Ladies Bountiful (1969). The great harpsichordist apparently had no illusions about the number of homosexuals in music. She is reputed to have startled an American performer who had come to study with her, by asking him, without batting an eyelash, “Et vous êtes un pédéraste, naturellement?”