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Lowens, Irving

Lowens, Irving

Lowens, Irving, eminent American musicologist, music critic, and librarian; b. N.Y., Aug. 19, 1916; d. Baltimore, Nov. 14, 1983. He studied at Teachers Coll., Columbia Univ. (B.S. in music, 1939). During World War II, he served as an air-traffic controller for the Civil Aeronautics Administration. He continued in this capacity at the National Airport in Washington, D.C., and then took special courses in American civilization at the Univ. of Md. (M.A., 1957; Ph.D., 1965). In 1953 he began to write music criticism for the Washington Star; from 1960 to 1978 he was its chief music critic; received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for the best articles on music in 1972 and 1977. From 1960 to 1966 he was a librarian in the Music Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. From 1978 to 1981 he was dean of the Peabody Inst. of the Johns Hopkins Univ. in Baltimore; also wrote music criticism for the Baltimore News American. A linguist, he traveled widely on numerous research grants in Europe. He was a founding member of the Music Critics’ Assn., and from 1971 to 1975 served as its president.

Writings

The Hartford Harmony: A Selection of American Hymns from the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries (Hartford, 1953); Music and Musicians of Early America (N.Y., 1964); Source Readings in American Music History (N.Y., 1966); Lectures on the History and Art of Music at the Library of Congress, 1946–63 (N.Y., 1968); A Bibliography of American Songsters Published before 1821 (Worcester, Mass., 1976); Haydn in America (Washington, D.C, 1977); with A. Britton and R. Crawford, American Sacred Music Imprints, 1698–1810: A Bibliography (Worcester, Mass., 1990).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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