John Gardner

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Gardner, John (Linton)

Gardner, John (Linton), English composer and teacher; b. Manchester, March 2, 1917. He studied with Sir Hugh Allen, Ernest Walker, Thomas Armstrong, and R.O. Morris at Exeter Coll., Oxford (Mus.B., 1939). He pursued his career in London, where he was a repetiteur at Covent Garden, and a tutor (1952–76) and director of music (1965–69) at Morley Coll. He also taught at the Royal Academy of Music (1956–86) and was director of music at St. Paul’s Girls’ School (1962–75). In 1976 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. His extensive catalogue of works reveals a fine craftsmanship in an eclectic style ranging from dodeca-phony to popular modes of expression.


DRAMATIC Opera i A Nativity Opera (1950); The Moon and Sixpence (1956; London, May 24, 1957); The Visitors (1971; Aldeburge, June 10, 1972); Bel and the Dragon (1973); Tobermory (1976). M u s i c a 1 : Vile Bodies (1960). M a s q u e : The Entertainment of the Senses (1973; London, Feb. 2, 1974). B a l l e t : Reflection (1952); Dress Rehearsal (1958). Also incidental music. ORCH.: 3 syms.: No. 1 (1950; Cheltenham, July 5, 1951), No. 2 (1985), and No. 3 (1989); A Scots Overture (London, Aug. 16, 1954); Piano Concerto No. 1 (1957); Suite of 5 Rhythms (1960); Sinfonia piccola for Strings (1960); Concerto for Trumpet and Strings (1963); Occasional Suite (1968); An English Ballad (1969); 3 Ridings Suite (1970); Sonatina for Strings (1974); English Suite for Concert Band (1977); Oboe Concerto (1990). CHAMBER: 3 string quartets (1938, 1979, 1986); 2 oboe sonatas (1953, 1986); Concerto da camera for Recorder, Violin, Cello, and Harpsichord (1967); Chamber Concerto for Organ and 11 Instruments (1969); Sonata secolare for Organ and Brass Quintet (1973); Sonata da chiesa for 2 Trumpets and Organ (1977); Sonatina lirica for Brass Quintet (1983); Saxophone Quartet (1985); Pentad for Recorder Octet (1986); French Suite for Saxophone Quartet (1986); Chanson triste for Oboe and Piano (1989). Also piano pieces and organ music. VOCAL: Cantiones Sacrae for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1952); Jubilate Deo for Chorus (1957); The Ballad of the White Horse for Chorus and Orch. (1958); Herrick Cantata for Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1960); A Latter Day Athenian Speaks for Chorus (1961); The Noble Heart for Soprano, Bass, Chorus, and Orch. (1964); Mass for Chorus (1965); Mass for Mezzo-soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1983); A Burns Sequence for Chorus and Orch. (1993); numerous choral pieces; many songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Gardner, John (Linton) (b Manchester, 1917). Eng. composer and pianist. Dir. of mus. Repton School 1939–40. Mus. staff, CG 1946–52; tutor, Morley Coll. 1952–76, dir. of mus. 1965–9; dir. of mus. St Paul's Girls’ School 1962–75; prof. of comp., RAM 1956–75. Comps. incl. operas The Moon and Sixpence and Tobermory (1-act, 1977); orch.: sym. (Cheltenham 1951); Variations on a Waltz by Nielsen (1952); pf. conc. (1957); An English Ballad (1969); chamber mus.: str. qt. (1939); ob. sonata (1953); Sonata da chiesa, 2 tpt., org. (1976, rev. 1977); choral: Jubilate Deo (1947); Ballad of the White Horse, bar., ch., orch. (1959); A Latter Day Athenian Speaks (1962); Cantiones sacrae (1952); Mass in C (1965); Cantata for Christmas (1966); Proverbs of Hell (1967); Cantata for Easter (1970); The Entertainment of the Senses, 5 singers, 6 players (words by Auden and Kallman) (1974). Also th. and film scores. CBE 1976.

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John Gardner (John Champlin Gardner, Jr.), 1933–82, American writer, b. Batavia, N.Y. He was a teacher, lecturer, and prolific writer of fiction, children's books, poetry, radio plays, and scholarly medieval studies. He studied at Washington Univ., St. Louis (grad. 1955) and Iowa State Univ. (M.A., 1956; Ph.D., 1958) and taught creative writing and medieval literature at a number of American colleges. His novels include Resurrection (1966), The Wreckage of Agathon (1970), The Sunlight Dialogues (1972), Nickel Mountain (1973), October Light (1976), and Freddie's Book (1980). Among his volumes of short stories are The King's Indian (1974) and The Art of Living (1981).

Frequently exploring philosophical questions, his novels sometimes derive from literary sources. Gardner first gained notice with Grendel (1971), which recasts the story of Beowulf with the monster as the protagonist. In his controversial work of criticism, On Moral Fiction (1978), Gardner defends the importance of maintaining a high moral purpose in fiction and criticizes his contemporaries for indulging in cleverness at the expense of the traditional strengths of the novel. He also wrote On Becoming a Novelist (1983) and The Art of Fiction (1984). Many of his critical essays were collected in On Writers and Writing (1994).

See biography by B. Silesky (2004); studies by D. Cowart (1983) and L. Butts (1988).