Davison, J(ames) W(illiam)

views updated

Davison, J(ames) W(illiam)

Davison, J(ames) W(illiam) , renowned English music critic; b. London, Oct. 5, 1813; d. Margate, March 24, 1885. He was founder and ed. of the Musical Examiner (1842–44) and ed. of the Musical World (1844–85), as well as a contributor to the Saturday Review, Pall Mall Gazette, and Graphic. From 1846 to 1878 he was the influential critic of the Times. In 1859 he married his pupil Arabella Goddard. He wrote the analytical program books for the Popular Concerts and the Halle recitals. He also composed a few songs, several piano pieces, and a dramatic overture (for Piano Duet) to Fortunatus, a fairy tale. His memoirs were publ. by H. Davison as From Mendelssohn to Wagner (1912).


C. Reid, The Music Monster: A Biography of J. W. D., Music Critic of the Times of London, 1846–78, with Excerpts from His Critical Writings (London, 1984).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire