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Donington, Robert

Donington, Robert (b Leeds, 1907; d Firle, Sussex, 1990). Eng. author, composer, musicologist, and authority on old instruments. Expert player of viola da gamba; worked with Dolmetsch at Haslemere. Played in Eng. Consort of Viols 1935–9, London Consort 1950–60, Donington Consort 1956–61. Prof. of mus. at several Amer. univs. 1961–71. Comp. 12-note works. Several books on early mus. but most famous books are his Wagner's ‘Ring’ and its Symbols (1963), a detailed exposition of the psychological basis of Der Ring des Nibelungen; and two major books on performance practice in early mus., The Interpretation of Early Music (London, 1963) and Performer's Guide to Baroque Music (London, 1973). He also wrote The Rise of Opera (London, 1981). OBE 1979.

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