Mordden, Ethan, American writer on music; b. Heavensville, Pa., Jan. 27,1949. He studied piano at an early age, and was educated in Quaker schools, including Friends Academy in Locust Valley, N.Y. He then studied at the Univ. of Pa. (B.A. in history, 1969). He worked as a musical director and coach in N.Y. (1971–74), then was asst. ed. of Opera News (1974–76) and a visiting fellow at Yale Univ. (1980). He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, winning a National Magazine Award in 1989; also wrote for the N.Y. Times and Christopher Street, among other publications. In addition to his numerous books on music, film, and theater, he publ. fiction on gay life, especially the Buddies Trilogy (I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore , Buddies , and Everybody Loves You ). He also composed Reminiscences de Mahagonny for Piano (1986).
Better Foot Forward: The Story of America’s Musical Theatre (1976); Opera in the Twentieth Century (1978); That Jazz!: An Idiosyncratic Social History of the American Twenties (1978); A Guide to Orchestral Music (1979); The Splendid Art of Opera: A Concise History (1980); The Hollywood Musical (1983); Demented: The World of the Opera Diva (1985); Opera Anecdotes (1986); A Guide to Opera Recordings (1987).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire