Layton, Robert

views updated May 29 2018

Layton, Robert

Layton, Robert, noted English musicologist; b. London, May 2, 1930. He was educated under Rubbra and Wellesz at Worcester Coll., Oxford (B.A., 1953), then went to Sweden, where he learned the language and took courses at the univs. of Uppsala and Stockholm (1953–55). In 1959 he joined the staff of the BBC in London, where he prepared music seminars. He became an authority on Scandinavian music. He contributed the majority of the articles on Scandinavian composers to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), and in a spirit of mischievous fun also inserted a biography of a nonexistent Danish composer, making up his name from the stations of the Copenhagen subway. The editor was not amused, and the phony entry had to be painfully gouged in the galleys for the new printing. Layton also prepared the Eng. ed. of E. Tawaststjerna’s Jean Sibelius (1976- ).


Franz Berwald (in Swedish, Stockholm, 1956; Eng. ed., London, 1959); Sibelius (London, 1965; 3rd ed., rev., 1983); Sibelius and His World (London, 1970); ed. A Companion to the Concerto (London, 1988).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Layton, Robert

views updated May 23 2018

Layton, Robert (b London, 1930). Eng. critic and administrator. On mus. staff BBC since 1959. Author of books on Berwald and Sibelius. Trans. Erik Tawaststjerna's 3-vol. biography of Sibelius. Sole authority on Danish composer Esrum-Hellerup.