Mitchell, Donald (Charles Peter)

views updated May 23 2018

Mitchell, Donald (Charles Peter)

Mitchell, Donald (Charles Peter), eminent English writer on music and publishing executive; b. London, Feb. 6, 1925. He studied at Dulwich Coll. in London (1939–42) and with A. Hutchings and A.E.F. Dickinson at the Univ. of Durham (1949–50). After noncombatant wartime service (1942–45), he founded (1947) and then became co-ed, (with Hans Keller) of Music Survey (1949–52). From 1953 to 1957 he was London music critic of the Musical Times. In 1958 he was appointed music ed. and adviser of Faber & Faber, Ltd.; in 1965 he became managing director, and in 1976 vice chairman; became chairman in 1977 of its subsidiary, Faber Music. He also ed. Tempo (1958–62); was on the music staff of the Daily Telegraph (1959–64); in 1963–64 he served as music adviser to Boosey & Hawkes, Ltd. From 1971 to 1976 he was prof, of music, and from 1976 visiting prof, of music, at the Univ. of Sussex; in 1973 he was awarded by it an honorary M.A. degree; received his doctorate in 1977 from the Univ. of Southampton with a diss. on Mahler. He lectured widely in the United Kingdom, U.S., and Australia; contributed articles to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and other reference publications. As a music scholar, Mitchell made a profound study, in Vienna and elsewhere, of the life and works of Gustav Mahler; was awarded in 1961 the Mahler Medal of Honor by the Bruckner Soc. of America and in 1987 the Mahler Medal of the International Gustav Mahler Soc. His major work is a Mahler biography: vol. 1, Gustav Mahler: The Early Years (London, 1958; rev. ed., 1980); vol. 2, The Wunderhorn Years (London, 1976); vol. 3, Songs and Symphonies of Life and Death (London, 1985). His other publications include: ed. with H. Keller, Benjamin Britten: A Commentary on All His Works from a Group of Specialists (London, 1952); W.A. Mozart: A Short Biography (London, 1956); with H.C. Robbins Landon, The Mozart Companion (N.Y., 1956; 2nd ed., 1965); The Language of Modern Music (London, 1963; 3rd ed., 1970); ed. and annotated Alma Mahler’s Gustav Mahler: Memories and Letters (London, 1968; 3rd ed., rev., 1973); ed. with J. Evans, Benjamin Britten, 1913–1976: Pictures from a Life (London, 1978); Britten and Auden in the Thirties (London, 1981); Benjamin Britten: Death in Venice (Cambridge, 1987).


P. Reed, ed., On Mahler and Britten: Essays in Honour of D. M. on his Seventieth Birthday (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Mitchell, Donald (Charles Peter)

views updated Jun 27 2018

Mitchell, Donald (Charles Peter) (b London, 1925). Eng. publisher, critic, and author. Man. dir., Faber Music 1965–71, chairman 1977–86. Chairman, Performing Right Soc. 1989–93. Visiting Fellow, Sussex Univ. 1970, prof. of mus. 1971–6. Founder and co-ed., Music Survey 1947–52; mus. critic for Musical Times 1953–7, Daily Telegraph 1959–64; ed. Tempo 1958–62. Joint ed. Benjamin Britten (1952), The Mozart Companion (with H. C. Robbins Landon, 1956). Ed. Gustav Mahler by Alma Mahler (Eng. edn.). Author of Gustav Mahler: Vol. I, The Early Years (1958 rev. ed. 1979), Vol. II, The Wunderhorn Years (1975), and Vol. III, Songs and Symphonies of Life and Death (1985); The Language of Modern Music (1963); Benjamin Britten, 1913–76: Pictures from a Life (with J. Evans, 1978); Britten and Auden in the Thirties (1981); Letters from a Life: Selected Letters and Diaries of Benjamin Britten (with P. Reed, Vol. I 1923–39 and Vol. II 1939–45 (1991)); Cradles of the New, Writings on Music 1951–1991, ed. M. Cooke (1995). CBE 2000.