Merrick, Frank, English pianist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Clifton, Bristol, April 30, 1886; d. London, Feb. 19, 1981. He studied piano and composition with his father; made his debut in 1895, then studied piano with Leschetizky in Vienna (1898–1901; 1905). Returning to England, he taught at the Royal Manchester Coll. of Music (1911–29), then became a prof, at the Royal Coll. of Music in London. In 1956 he joined the piano faculty of Trinity Coll. of Music in London. In 1928 he entered a rather ill-conceived contest launched by the Columbia Phonograph Co. to nail down the centenary of Schubert’s death by finishing his “Unfinished” Sym. Merrick did finish it, and won a prize. He was married to the pianist Hope Squire and gave duo-piano concerts with her. He championed the music of British composers in his concerts. In 1978 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Somewhat off-center in his propensities, proclivities, and predilections, he learned Esperanto and wrote songs to his own texts in that artificial language. He also composed 2 piano concertos and some instrumental pieces. He publ. a didactic vol., Practising the Piano (London, 1958), and ed. John Field’s piano concertos.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire