Walsh, Stephen 1942- (Michael Stephen Walsh)

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Walsh, Stephen 1942- (Michael Stephen Walsh)

PERSONAL:

Born June 6, 1942, in Chipping Norton, England; son of Michael (an accountant) and Ethel May Walsh; married Mary Sophia; children: one son, one daughter. Education: Attended St. Paul's School, 1956-60; Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, M.A., 1963. Hobbies and other interests: Singing, playing piano, chess, reading.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Caerleon Gwent, Wales. Office—Cardiff School of Music, Cardiff University, Corbett Rd., Cardiff CF10 3EB, England. Agent—David Higham Associates Ltd., 5-8 Lower John St., Golden Sq., London W1R 4HA, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Freelance music critic. British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), London, England, producer, gramophone department, 1964-65; Listener, London, England, music critic, 1965-67; Observer, London, England, assistant music critic, 1966—. Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, School of Music, senior lecturer through chair, 1976—.

MEMBER:

Critic's Circle.

WRITINGS:

The Lieder of Schumann, Cassell (London, England), 1971.

Batroc Chamber Music, British Broadcasting Corp. (London, England), 1982.

The Music of Stravinsky, Routledge (New York, NY), 1988.

Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor, with Amanda Holden and Nicholas Kenyon) The Penguin Opera Guide, Penguin (New York, NY), 1996.

Stravinsky: A Creative Spring; Russia and France, 1882-1934, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1999.

(Editor) The New Grove Stravinsky, Grove (New York, NY), 2002.

Stravinsky: The Second Exile; France and America, 1934-1971, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to London Times.

SIDELIGHTS:

Stephen Walsh is a writer, freelance music critic, and a lecturer on the subject of twentieth-century music, serving on the faculty of Cardiff University in the School of Music, where he started as a senior lecturer in 1976 and eventually gained his own chair. He has written about music for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Listener, and the Observer, among others. In addition, he is the author of a number of reference books on music, with a particular focus on the life and works of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.

With Stravinsky: A Creative Spring; Russia and France, 1882-1934 and Stravinsky: The Second Exile; France and America, 1934-1971, Walsh offers readers a two-volume biography of Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky was a controversial composer who wrote in varied styles, garnering both accolades and harsh criticism over the course of his lifetime. Walsh struggled with Stravinsky's penchant for self-reinvention, something he did with each change in his musical style, rewriting his own history to better fit his current musical approach. David W. Moore, reviewing the first volume for American Record Guide, remarked that "altogether, Walsh's study seems to me to make a good stab at rectifying the errors while giving us a balanced view of the peripatetic life of this composer of some of the most important music of this century." Russell Platt, reviewing for Opera News, noted that "in the end, it is Stravinsky's music that makes the best case for his personal salvation, and Walsh tracks down each of his style phases in fascinating detail." Reviewing the second volume of the biography for Spectator, Alexander Waugh praised Walsh for his detailed investigation and commented that "most arresting is Walsh's careful unfolding of the character and spirit of the man himself." Regarding his own personal anticipation for this second half of Walsh's work, he remarked that "it exceeds even my loftiest expectations."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Record Guide, January, 2000, David W. Moore, review of Stravinsky: A Creative Spring; Russia and France, 1882-1934, p. 249.

Opera News, May, 2000, Russell Platt, review of Stravinsky: A Creative Spring, p. 105.

Spectator, August 26, 2006, Alexander Waugh, "An Exception to Most Rules."