Shawe-Taylor, Desmond (Christopher)

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Shawe-Taylor, Desmond (Christopher)

Shawe-Taylor, Desmond (Christopher), eminent Irish music critic; b. Dublin, May 29, 1907; d. Long Crichel, Dorset, Nov. 1, 1995. He was educated at Oriel Coll., Oxford (1926–30). Through the years he contributed literary and musical criticism to various newspapers and periodicals. After service in World War II, he was engaged as music critic of the New Statesman in 1945, retaining his post until 1958; from 1950 to 1958 he also served as phonograph record reviewer for the Observer. In 1958 he was named music critic of the Sunday Times; he retired in 1983; also was a guest critic for the New Yorker (1973–74). He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1965. His writings are notable for their unostentatious display of wide learning. He publ, the vol. Covent Garden for the World of Music Series (London, 1948); also, with Edward Sackville-West, The Record Guide (London, 1951, and later rev. eds.). He contributed a number of insightful biographies of singers to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire