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Austin, Frederic

Austin, Frederic

Austin, Frederic, English baritone and composer, brother of Ernest Austin; b. London, March 30, 1872; d. there, April 10, 1952. He studied with Charles Lunn. After working as an organist and music teacher in Liverpool, he appeared as a singer in London in 1902. In 1908 he made his debut at London’s Covent Garden as Gunther in the English-language mounting of the Ring cycle. He subsequently was principal baritone of the Beecham Opera Co. In 1920 he prepared a new version of The Beggar’s Opera for London, in which he scored notable success in the role of Peachum. He then brought out a new edition of its sequel, Polly (London, Dec. 30, 1922). After serving as artistic director of the British National Opera Co. in London (1924–29), he devoted himself to teaching voice. Among his other compositions were a Sym., a symphonic poem, and choral music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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