Blyth, Alan 1929–2007

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Blyth, Alan 1929–2007

(Alan Geoffrey Blyth)


See index for CA sketch: Born July 27, 1929, in London, England; died August 14, 2007, in England. Music critic, journalist, broadcaster, and author. Blyth was not a professional musician, but he loved music, especially opera. He began his career as a freelance journalist and obituary writer for the London Times. An interest in music, which began in childhood and intensified at Oxford University, gradually emerged in his writings until, in the 1960s, he became a music critic for the Listener. He then became an assistant editor of Opera magazine. By 1967 Blyth was also reviewing record albums for Gramophone magazine, an affiliation he maintained for the rest of his life. He reviewed albums and compact discs for the British Broadcasting Corporation's Radio 3 network from 1966 to 1991 and worked as a staff critic for the Daily Telegraph from 1976 to 1991. By the time he joined the Telegraph, Blyth had made music the focus of all his journalistic endeavors and had begun his massive personal collection of sound recordings that he eventually bequeathed to the Britten Library at the Royal College of Music. Blyth also compiled and wrote contributions for several books, including Opera on Record (1979-84), Song on Record (1986-88), and Choral Music on Record (1991). He wrote books about specific operas, such as Richard Wagner's Lohengrin, and wrote a memoir of composer Benjamin Britten based on his interviews of people who had worked with Britten over the years. In 1992 Blyth published Opera on CD: The Essential Guide to the Best CD Recordings of 100 Operas.



Times (London, England), August 16, 2007, p. 56.