Grove, Sir George

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Grove, Sir George

Grove, Sir George, eminent English music and biblical scholar and lexicographer; b. Clapham, South London, Aug. 13, 1820; d. Sydenham, May 28, 1900. He graduated in 1839 from the Institution of Civil Engineers, and worked in various shops in Glasgow, and then in Jamaica and Bermuda. He returned to England in 1846, and became interested in music; without abandoning his engineering profession, he entered the Soc. of Arts, of which he was appointed secretary in 1850. In 1852 he became secretary of the Crystal Palace. He then was an ed., with William Smith, of the Dictionary of the Bible, traveled to Palestine in 1858 and 1861 in connection with his research; in 1865 he became director of the Palestine Exploration Fund. In the meantime, he accumulated a private music library; began writing analytical programs for Crystal Palace concerts; these analyses, contributed by Grove during the period 1856-96, established a new standard of excellence in musical exegesis. His enthusiasm for music led to many important associations; with Arthur Sullivan he went to Vienna in 1867 in search of unknown music by Schubert, and discovered the score of Rosamunde. In 1868 he became ed. of Macmillan’s Magazine; remained on its staff for 15 years. He received many honors for his literary and musical achievements, among them the D.C.L., Univ. of Durham (1875), and LL.D., Univ. of Glasgow (1885). In 1883 he was knighted by Queen Victoria. When the Royal Coll. of Music was formed in London (1882), Grove was appointed director, and retained this post until 1894. He was the author of Beethoven and His 9 Symphonies (London, 1896; 3rd ed., 1898). His chief work, which gave him enduring fame, was the monumental Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which Macmillan began to publ. in 1879. It was first planned in 2 vols., but as the material grew, it was expanded to 4 vols., with an appendix, its publication being completed in 1889. Grove contributed voluminous articles on his favorite composers, Beethoven, Schubert, and Mendelssohn; he gathered a distinguished group of specialists to write the assorted entries. The 2nd edition was ed. by J. Fuller Maitland (5 vols., 1904-10), an American suppl. by W. Pratt and C. Boyd (1920; expanded, 1928), the 3rd(1927-29) and 4th (1939-40) editions by H. Colics, and the 5th edition by E. Blom (1954). An entirely new 6th ed. was edited by S. Sadie as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (20 vols., 1980). Sadie and J. Tyrrell edited an exhaustive revision with publication expected in 2000.


C. Graves, The Life and Letters of Sir G. G. (London, 1904); P. Young, G. G., 1820-1900 (London, 1980).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Grove, (Sir) George

views updated May 23 2018

Grove, (Sir) George (b Clapham, 1820; d Sydenham, 1900). Eng. writer on music and teacher. Trained as civil engineer, constructing several railway stations and also taking part in building of Crystal Palace, of which he was secretary 1852–73. From 1856 became increasingly involved in mus., writing programme notes for Crystal Palace concerts for 40 years. Went with Sullivan to Vienna in 1867 on successful quest for missing items of Schubert's Rosamunde mus. and at the same time propounding the now disproved theory of a ‘lost’ Gastein sym. by Schubert. In 1873 began work on compilation of vast Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, pubd. in 4 vols. at intervals from 1879 to 1889. First dir. of RCM 1882–94. Also wrote Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies (1884). Among his other activities were building lighthouses in W Indies, founding Palestine Exploration fund, ed. biblical dictionary, primer of geography, and Macmillan's Magazine (1868–83). Knighted 1883.

Grove, Sir George

views updated May 11 2018

Grove, Sir George (1820–1900). Civil engineer and writer on music. After embarking on a career building lighthouses in the West Indies, Grove became secretary to the Society of Arts (1850) and the Crystal Palace (1852), for whose concerts he wrote numerous programme notes. Interested in biblical studies, he co-founded the Palestine Exploration Fund and co-edited Smith's Dictionary of the Bible; he also wrote on many other subjects including geography and was editor of Macmillan's Magazine. He became the first director of the Royal College of Music in 1883. His Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1879–89), has remained the foremost English-language musical dictionary. Its most recent sixth edition, published in 20 volumes as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), was rewritten under the editorship of Stanley Sadie. Grove also published Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies (1896).

Eric Cross

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