Headington, Christopher (John Magenis)

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Headington, Christopher (John Magenis)

Headington, Christopher (John Magenis), English pianist, writer on music, and composer; b. London, April 28, 1930. He studied piano with Percy Waller and composition with Lennox Berkeley at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and also received private instruction in composition from Britten (1947–54) and studied piano with Lefebure and composition with Lutoslawski at the Dartington International Summer School (1963). He then devoted much time to teaching, and was active with the BBC in London (1964–65). He toured as a pianist in Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East, and also was active as a broadcaster.


The Orchestra and Its Instruments (1965); The Bodley Head History of Western Music (1974; 2nd ed., rev., 1980); Illustrated Dictionary of Musical Terms (1980); The Performing World of the Musician (1981); Britten (1981); Listener’s Guide to Chamber Music (1982); Opera: A History (1987); Sweet Sleep (lullaby anthology; 1990); Peter Pears: A Biography (1993).


dramatic: Ballet: Chanson de l’éternelle tristesse (1957). ORCH.: Variations for Piano and Orch. (1950); Introduction and Allegro for Chamber Orch. (1951); Violin Concerto (1959); Sinfonietta for Chamber Orch. (1985); Piano Concerto (1990). CHAMBER: Cello Sonata (1953); 3 string quartets (1953, 1972, 1982); Piano Quartet (1978); Bassoon Sonata (1988). piano: 3 sonatas (1955, 1974, 1985). VOCAL: Towards a Pindaric Ode for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, and Piano (1965); A Bradfield Mass for Chorus, Congregation, and Organ (1977); The Healing Fountain: In memoriam Benjamin Britten for Medium Voice and Orch. (1978).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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