Skip to main content

Porter, Andrew (Brian)

Porter, Andrew (Brian)

Porter, Andrew (Brian) , brilliant English writer on music; b. Cape Town, South Africa, Aug. 26, 1928. He studied music at Diocesan Coll. in Cape Town, then went to England and continued his education at Univ. Coll., Oxford; became a proficient organist. In 1949 he joined the staff of the Manchester Guardian, and then wrote music criticism for the Financial Times of London (1953–74); also served as ed. of the Musical Times of London (1960–67). In 1972 he became the music critic of the New Yorker. In 1992 he became the chief music critic of The Observer in London. He was made a corresponding member of the American Musicological Soc. in 1993. A polyglot, a polymath, and an uncommonly diversified intellectual, Porter expanded his interests far beyond the limited surface of purely musical studies; he mastered German, Italian, and French; made an exemplary tr. into Eng. of the entire text of Der Ring des Nibelungen, taking perspicuous care for the congenial rendition of Wagner’s words and melodic inflections; his tr. was used to excellent advantage in the performance and recording of the cycle by the conductor Reginald Good-all with the English National Opera. Porter also tr. texts of Verdi’s operas, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and some French operas. His mastery of English prose and his unostentatious display of arcane erudition make him one of the most remarkable music critics writing in the English language. Selections from his reviews have been publ. in A Musical Season (N.Y., 1974), Music of Three Seasons, 1974–1977 (N.Y., 1978), Music of Three More Seasons, 1977–1980 (N.Y., 1981), Musical Events: A Chronicle, 1980–1983 (N.Y., 1987), and Musical Events: A Chronicle, 1983–1986 (N.Y., 1989); also was co-ed, of Verdi’s Macbeth: A Sourcebook (N.Y., 1983).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Porter, Andrew (Brian)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 19 Sep. 2018 <>.

"Porter, Andrew (Brian)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (September 19, 2018).

"Porter, Andrew (Brian)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved September 19, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.