Category:English music critics
Pages in category "English music critics"
The following 87 pages are in this category, out of 87 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 87 pages are in this category, out of 87 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. John Amis – John Preston Amis was a British broadcaster, classical music critic, music administrator, and writer. He was a frequent contributor for The Guardian and to BBC radio, a serious bout of mastoiditis as a child left him deaf in his left ear. He began his working in a bank for five and a half weeks before leaving to earn a living in music. Amis had a number of roles, including gramophone record salesman and he was for several years manager for Sir Thomas Beecham, and also worked for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1948, William Glock invited Amis to run a school for musicians at Bryanston School. The summer school moved to Dartington in 1953, Amis short career as a tenor began with a minor role in the 1967 recording of Bernard Herrmanns cantata Moby-Dick. He made his debut in 1990 as the Emperor in Turandot. As a broadcaster, he is probably best known for his appearances as a member, from 1974 to 1994, on the BBC Radio 4 panel show, My Music. It was on show that he disclosed an unexpected talent as a skilled siffleur. His own radio show on Radio 3 interviewed musicians and contemporary witnesses such as Sir Isaiah Berlin, for many years he wrote a column on music in The Tablet, Englands best-known Catholic magazine. His friends in the music industry included Noel Mewton-Wood and Felix Aprahamian, Amis wrote a number of books, on his own Amiscellany imprint, with titles including My Music in London, 1945-2000. Amis spent much of his time giving talks and one-man shows, after dinner speeches, Amis was a patron of the Music Libraries Trust and the Tait Memorial Trust, and a vice-president of the Putney Music society. In 1949, Amis married the violinist Olive Zorian, founder of the Zorian String Quartet, the marriage was dissolved in 1955 and Zorian died in 1965. He was survived by his partner for his last six years, Isla Baring OAM and he once said that she gave him his Indian summer. His funeral was held on 20 August 2013 at the Musicians Church, John Amis official blog John Amis at the Internet Movie Database
2. Felix Aprahamian – Aprahamian, however, usually described himself as a music critic. He was considered an urbane, flamboyant and warm-hearted man, described by his old friend and colleague John Amis as a mixture of characters from Proust, Felix Aprahamian was born in London in 1914. Christened Apraham Felix Bartev Aprahamian, he changed his name by deed poll to just Felix Aprahamian and his father changed his surname from Hovanessian, deciding to take his own fathers Christian name, Apraham, and attach the patronymic –ian, to form Aprahamian, or son of Apraham. At the age of 17, Aprahamian became Assistant Secretary to the Organ Music Society, and he developed into a highly proficient keyboard player. He later recalled that it was his passion for music led him to fail his school matriculation, he was self-taught in almost every area of music, as well as literature. In 1933, he went to France with two friends to visit the ageing Frederick Delius in Grez-sur-Loing, and in Paris he met Charles-Marie Widor. In 1935 Aprahamian was made Secretary of the Organ Music Society, in 1946 he joined United Music Publishers as a consultant and, with Mayer at the French Embassy, played a central role in bringing French music to post-war British audiences. In 1948 he became Deputy Music Critic of the Sunday Times and stayed for 41 years, his reviews were notable for their prose and they developed a warm friendship which lasted until the composers death in 1992. The two became friends and Aprahamian often visited Poulenc in Paris. His talent for making such as these led to many memorable events at his house in Muswell Hill. Poulenc first played through his Elégie in memory of Dennis Brain there, for much of the 20th century Aprahamian occupied a pivotal position in the organ world and, most notably, the Organ Reform Movement from its earliest years in the UK. Arguably its most noteworthy achievement, the organ of the Royal Festival Hall, is due to him and he was consulted by the London County Council to recommend a consultant for the proposed organ for the new Royal Festival Hall. His immediate nomination was Ralph Downes who was appointed and both designed the organ and saw its construction through to completion, thereafter remaining curator of the organ until his death. Downes initiated a series of concerts which brought the organ to a new, wider audience. For these concerts Aprahamian provided brilliantly-written programme notes which were at the same elegant, concise. He also reviewed the performances in his column as deputy music critic of The Sunday Times. Organ music was an enthusiasm of Aprahamian, and his vast library of organ music is now at the Royal College of Organists. He was Membre dHonneur of the Centre International Albert Roussel, aside from music his passions included tropical fish, Proust and his Japanese garden
3. Charles Avison – Charles Avison was an English composer during the Baroque and Classical periods. He was a church organist at St John The Baptist Church in Newcastle and he is most known for his 12 Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti and his Essay on Musical Expression, the first music criticism published in English. He composed in a style that alternated between Baroque and Classical idioms. The son of Richard and Anne Avison, Charles Avison was baptised on 16 February 1709, at St John the Baptist Church, according to The New Grove Dictionary, he was also born in this city. His educational history, though unclear, could have been at one of the two charity schools serving St Johns parish, some sources claim that Charles was the fifth of nine children, while others claim that he was the seventh of ten children. Regardless, Avison was born into a family with a rate of infant mortality. His father was a musician and was likely to have been Charles’s first teacher, when Charles was 12, his father died, leaving his mother widowed with at least one and possibly two children at home. In his twenties, Avison moved to London to further pursue his career as a musician and it was during this period of his life that he met and began to study with Francesco Geminiani. Avisons first documented performance was a benefit concert in London on 20 March 1734. This was also his only concert in London and probably contained some of his early compositions written under Geminiani. Avison left London and, on 13 October 1735, was appointed organist of St. John’s and this appointment took effect once the church had installed a new organ in June 1736. Avison then accepted a position as organist of St. Nicholas Church in October 1736 and he remained at these two posts until his death. Avison also taught harpsichord, flute, and violin to private students on a weekly basis, much of Avisons income was generated through a series of subscription concerts which he helped organise in the North East region of England. These were the first concerts of their type to be held in Newcastle, despite numerous offers of more prestigious positions later in life, he never again left Newcastle. Avison was married to Catherine Reynolds on 15 January 1737, the couple had nine children, of whom only three – Jane, Edward, and Charles – survived to adulthood. Edward succeeded his father as both the director of the Newcastle Musical Society and the St Nicholass organist after his father’s death, Charles was also an organist and composer. Avison died in May 1770 of unknown causes, according to his will, he had become a very wealthy man between his collection of books, musical instruments, and his stock holdings, which were left to his children. Avison was one of the subjects in Robert Brownings Parleyings with Certain People of Importance in their Day and he tenders evidence/That music in his day as much absorbed/Heart and soul then as Wagners music now
4. Danny Baker – Danny Baker is an English comedy writer, journalist, radio DJ and screenwriter. Since the late 1970s, he has worked for a range of publications and broadcasters including NME, LWT. Baker was born in Deptford in south east London to Fred Spud Baker, a dock-working, union-leading father and Betty and he attended Rotherhithe Primary School and then instead of taking up a grammar school place he went to the nearby West Greenwich Secondary Boys School, Deptford. He left the school in 1973 at the age of 16 and initially worked in One Stop Records, Baker initially began working as the office receptionist, but was soon contributing regular articles and reviews before progressing to interviews. He often refers to these times during his shows, regularly citing examples of the ridiculous behaviour exhibited by his rock star interviewees. In the later 1990s, Baker wrote a sports column for The Times and was briefly a columnist for early issues of film magazine Empire. Other editions also featured appearances from the likes of Spandau Ballet. During his stint on The Six OClock Show, Baker was filmed having an altercation with a British Rail press officer and this clip is often resurrected for clip shows and can be seen on YouTube. The series was released on DVD. Baker began writing for television programmes in 1992 after being asked to prepare a piece for one of the first archive clip shows, TV Hell, which was a collection of the worst TV programmes ever. In one episode of TV Heroes, a clip was shown of Baker leaping around to a performance of Ooh What A Life by the Gibson Brothers in 1979, which was captioned as Danny Bakers first TV appearance. During an edition of his own later series TV Heroes featuring the audiences from Top Of The Pops, film critic Mark Kermodes band The Railtown Bottlers was the shows house band. Later he fronted television adverts for Daz washing powder and Mars bar confectionery, Baker parodied his Daz ads by appearing as himself on the sitcom Me, You and Him. Baker was a writer on Chris Evans TFI Friday show, as well as contributing material for such as Angus Deayton. During the late 1990s he made guest appearances on shows including Have I Got News for You, Shooting Stars. During this period he appeared in the press as a result of nights out with friends Chris Evans, Gascoigne was under media scrutiny for drinking and socialising while preparing for tournaments. After Gascoigne was left out of the 1998 World Cup squad, Baker went on Have I Got News For You to defend his friend and criticise the omission. He also appeared on The Terry and Gaby Show from 2003 to 2004 and has appeared on BBC Two quiz show QI, Baker worked again with Charles Shaar Murray on the Ramones documentary End of the Century, The Story of the Ramones, providing an audio commentary
5. Joseph Bennett (critic) – Joseph Bennett was an English music critic and librettist. After an early career as a schoolmaster and organist, he was engaged as a critic by The Sunday Times in 1865. Within five years he was appointed music critic of The Daily Telegraph. Bennett was born in Berkeley, Gloucestershire and he attended the local church, and became a member of its choir, and joined a local musical society in whose orchestra he played the viola. He embarked instead on a career as a teacher, and studied for a year at a college in London in 1853. He remained there for three years, before moving in 1857 to the Weigh House Chapel in the City of London as precentor and he soon resigned the precentorship, while retaining his teaching duties, to allow himself time to work as an organist at Westminster Chapel. In addition to his work as a teacher and organist, Bennett conducted two choral societies in the London area. In 1865, one of the members of the choir he conducted at Blackheath recommended him to Henry Coleman, music critic of The Sunday Times, who was in need of a deputy. In 1870, J W Levy, proprietor of The Daily Telegraph and it was agreed that Bennett would not write for any rival newspapers, but he was free to contribute to strictly musical journals. He remained with the paper until 1906, Bennett, except, perhaps, acting as a war correspondent, has dealt with every conceivable subject, including Parliamentary reports. I believe he holds the record for attendance at Musical Festivals, for he has, shall I say and he has been, among other things, one of the most sympathetic of – as the journalistic phrase runs – undertakers. One almost envies those who have been enough to have had their funerals described by him. There are the touching and graphic records of the Irish Famine in 1880–81 to point to, and to come to more recent times, do we not remember that splendidly-descriptive series of articles on Palestine when he visited the East in 1899. They are still fresh in my memory, Bennett was inadvertently responsible for naming a long-lived movement in British music, known as the English Musical Renaissance. In 1882, in a review of Hubert Parrys First Symphony, Bennett developed the theme in 1884, singling out for praise Frederic Cowens Third Symphony and operas by Arthur Goring Thomas, Charles Villiers Stanford and Mackenzie. This idea of an English musical renaissance was taken up with zeal by the critic of The Times. As well as his work, Bennett was highly regarded for the analytical notes he wrote for the programmes of the Philharmonic Society. From these, he progressed to supplying libretti for cantatas and other choral works
6. Neville Cardus – Sir John Frederick Neville Cardus, CBE was an English writer and critic. His contributions to two distinct fields in the years before the Second World War established his reputation as one of the foremost critics of his generation. Although he achieved his largest readership for his reports and books. Carduss opinions and judgments were often forthright and unsparing, which caused friction with leading performers. Cardus spent the Second World War years in Australia, where he wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald and he also wrote books on music, and completed his autobiography. After his return to England he resumed his connection with The Manchester Guardian as its London music critic and he continued to write on cricket, and produced books on both his specialisms. In his last years, he became a guru and inspirational figure to aspiring young writers, Neville Cardus was born on 3 April 1888 in Rusholme, Manchester. Throughout his childhood and young adulthood he was known as Fred, there has been confusion over his birth date, some sources give it as 2 April 1889, and Cardus himself hosted a dinner party on 2 April 1959 believing this to be his 70th birthday. His birth certificate, however, confirms the earlier date, Nevilles mother was Ada Cardus, one of several daughters of Robert and Ann Cardus of 4 Summer Place, Rusholme. On 14 July 1888, when the baby was three months old, Ada left her parents home and married John Frederick Newsome, a blacksmith. Apart from their shared forenames, there is no evidence that Newsome was Nevilles father, the Newsome marriage was short-lived, and within a few years Ada and Neville had returned to her parents home in Summer Place. In his autobiographical writings, Cardus refers to his home environment at Summer Place as sordid, unlettered and unbeautiful, yet enlivened by laughter, Humour kept breezing in. Robert Cardus, though uneducated, was not illiterate, and was instrumental in awakening his grandsons literary interests, theatres, libraries and other cultural facilities were easily accessible from the Cardus home. This experience did not curb Nevilles intellectual curiosity, at a young age he was expanding his cultural horizons, through the worlds of reading and of music hall. The second group should be avoided as soon as detected and his earliest creative writing took the form of a handwritten magazine, The Boys World, full of articles and stories he had written. He circulated it among his schoolmates, until it was discovered, after Robert Carduss death in 1900 the family moved several times, eventually breaking up altogether. Cardus left school in 1901 and took a variety of short-term and he lived for a time with his Aunt Beatrice with whom, according to Brookes, he had at an early age embarked on a lifelong love affair. In his eyes she could do no wrong and she also bought him his first cricket bat
7. Henry Chorley – Henry Fothergill Chorley was an English literary, art and music critic, writer and editor. He was also an author of novels, drama, poetry, Chorley was a prolific and important music and literary critic and music gossip columnist of the mid-nineteenth century and wrote extensively about music in London and in Europe. His opera libretti and works of fiction were far less successful and he is perhaps best remembered today for his lyrics to The Long Day Closes, a part song set by Arthur Sullivan in 1868. Chorley was born in Blackley Hurst, near Billinge, Lancashire, Chorley was the youngest of four children of Quaker parents, John Chorley, an iron worker and lock maker, and Jane Chorley, née Wilkinson. Chorleys father died, leaving his mother alone with young children, Jane Chorley moved her family to Liverpool to help take care of her half-brother, Dr Rutter, when he became ill. Chorley was educated by tutors in Liverpool and then the school of the Royal Institution. He began working in offices, hoping to become a musician. However, Chorley soon took to musical and literary criticism and he began to write for the Athenaeum in 1830 and remained its music and literature critic until 1868. While there, he reviewed approximately 2,500 books and wrote reviews and musical gossip columns discussing composers and performers in Britain, in this position, he had much influence. He had strongly conservative views and was a persistent opponent of innovation, in 1850 and 1851, Chorley edited the Ladies Companion, which covered fashion and domestic womens issues. In the Athenaeum and elsewhere, Chorley often criticised the music of Schumann, in addition to criticism for journals, Chorley wrote voluminously on literature and art. He expanded the German section of book and published it 1854 as Modern German Music. His masterpiece was Thirty Years Musical Recollections, which covers, year-by-year, in the work, he blames the autocratic manager of Her Majestys Theatre, Benjamin Lumley, for a decline in the quality of performances there. On the other hand, he praises the efforts of Giulia Grisi, Mario and Michael Costa, together with a group of journalists, for successfully creating the Royal Italian Opera at Covent Garden in 1847. He also wrote the well-received Memorials of Mrs. Hemans, Handel Studies, Chorley also wrote, with far less success, novels, stories, drama and verse, and various librettos. His works of fiction included Sketches of a Seaport Town, a collection of stories, essays, the next year, he wrote Conti the Discarded. His plays, Old Love and New Fortune and Duchess Eleanour and he wrote two novels, Roccabella and A Prodigy, a Tale of Music. Chorley wrote the English libretto for Gounods Faust, for its first presentation in London in 1863, during rehearsals, it was found that the lines were unsingable
8. Bernard van Dieren – Bernard Hélène Joseph van Dieren was a Dutch composer, critic, author, and writer on music, much of whose working life was spent in England. Van Dieren was the last of five children of a Rotterdam wine merchant, Bernard Joseph van Dieren, details of his education are unknown but it seems that his early training was as a scientist, as a research assistant in a laboratory. Gifted in science, extremely intelligent and with a memory, he was also well-versed in literature as well as an able violinist. His career as composer began when he was twenty when some of his works were published in the Netherlands. His early music was influenced by Delius, in 1909 he relocated to London with his wife-to-be, Frida Kindler, a very gifted concert pianist whom he married on 1 January 1910. By this time he had decided to study music seriously, a son, Hans Jean Jules Maximilian Navarre Benvenuto Bernard van Dieren, was born the same year. He was largely self-taught, though he spent 1912 in Europe where he met the composers Busoni and his early contact with the music world was as a musical correspondent for several European newspapers and periodicals. During the First World War he was for a time involved in secret service in the Netherlands. He suffered most of his life from ill health and had operations for kidney-related complaints. To relieve the pain, morphine was prescribed, and it is thought that in later life he became addicted to the drug. Because of these bouts of illness, his wife, a former pupil of Busoni, supported the family by teaching the piano. The latter two were drawn by his charismatic and powerful personality and gave untiring support for his cause by prompting performances. Heseltine made van Dieren his heir in his will, inspiring claims by Heseltines son Nigel that van Dieren had murdered Heseltine, in 1925 van Dieren worked for the Philips electrical company but recurring illness forced him to resign the following year. Some of his works were published in 1927 and in the year his fourth string quartet was performed at the Frankfurt Festival. In 1930 he completed his opera The Tailor and he also wrote a book on Epstein and published a collection of controversial essays entitled Down Among the Dead Men. Eventually two of his important works were broadcast by the BBC, Diaphony in 1934 and the Chinese Symphony in 1935. He died on 24 April 1936 in London, and is buried on the edge of the graveyard of St Laurences Church, Van Dieren was influenced by the early 20th century atonal composers. His writing is characterised by extremely complex contrapuntal elements and his compositions include a wide variety of works which have yet to be rediscovered
9. John Alexander Fuller Maitland – John Alexander Fuller Maitland was an influential British music critic and scholar from the 1880s to the 1920s. He encouraged the rediscovery of English music of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly Henry Purcells music and he also propounded the notion of an English Musical Renaissance in the second half of the 19th century, particularly praising Charles Villiers Stanford and Hubert Parry. He was also slow to recognise the worth of contemporary composers from mainland Europe such as Claude Debussy, Fuller Maitland was born at 90 Gloucester Place, Portman Square, London, the son of John Fuller Maitland and his wife Marianne. He attended Westminster School for three terms, but for most of his childhood he was educated privately, including musical instruction, starting in 1875, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was active in the Cambridge University Musical Society. There he became friends with Charles Villiers Stanford and William Barclay Squire and he had intended to follow a career in the Church of England but decided to instead to pursue a career in music. After leaving Cambridge he studied the piano with Edward Dannreuther and other aspects of music with W. S. Rockstro, Fuller Maitland became a musical journalist, as a critic for the Pall Mall Gazette from 1882, later for The Guardian and The Times. He also wrote many entries for Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians and was appointed editor of the second edition, more than a hundred of his articles survive, in revised form, in the online version of Grove available in 2010. In pioneering the revival of the virginals, Fuller Maitland published an edition of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and he was a member of the editorial committee of the Purcell Society, for which he edited several of Purcells works. With his relative Lucy Broadwood, he edited the collection English County Songs, at a time when music lovers generally admired either Richard Wagner or Johannes Brahms but not both, Fuller Maitland, according to the obituary notice in The Times, worshipped both Wagner and Brahms. His book English Music in the XIXth Century is subdivided into two parts, Book I, Before the Renaissance, and Book II, The Renaissance. He used the phrase English music to include that of the Irish Stanford, Stanford and Parry were both upper-middle-class Oxbridge graduates, like Fuller Maitland, and both were professors at music colleges. The writer Meirion Hughes describes Fuller Maitlands world as one of insiders and outsiders, Fuller Maitland rejected British composers who did not conform to his template. Sullivans frequent forays into what was viewed as the realm of operetta removed him from the equation at once. Elgar was never a contender, with his unacademic, lower-middle-class background coupled with progressive tendencies, the same writer suggests that Fuller Maitlands aversion to Sir Frederic Cowen was due to anti-Semitism. Fuller Maitlands integrity as a critic came under scrutiny, notably by Elgar in a lecture in 1905, Fuller Maitland had published a denigrating obituary of Sullivan in the Cornhill Magazine, which Elgar alluded to as the shady side of musical criticism … this foul, unforgettable episode. Later, it was shown that Fuller Maitland had falsified the facts, inventing a banal lyric, passing it off as genuine, Fuller Maitland gave up journalism in 1911, retiring to Borwick Hall near Carnforth in Lancashire. He continued to write books, including an autobiography, A Door-Keeper of Music and his aversion to modern music abated in his later years, and he recognised the importance of composers such as Richard Strauss and Claude Debussy. He received an honorary DLitt from Durham University in 1928, Fuller Maitlands wife died in 1931