Abraham, Gerald

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ABRAHAM, GERALD (1904–1988), British musicologist. Abraham was born in Newport, Isle of Wight. Although largely self-taught in the field, he became a highly respected authority on Russian music, learning Russian and Slavonic languages in the course of his work; he published three books devoted to Russian music. He also wrote A Hundred Years of Music (1938) and Chopin's Musical Style (1939), a small, serious scholarly work. He was employed by the bbc in various capacities, including assistant controller of music during 1935–47 and 1962–67.

Abraham was the first professor of music at Liverpool University, teaching there from 1947 to 1962, exposing his students to Russian music on an academic level. He was president of the Royal Music Association from 1969 to 1974, becoming a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the latter year.

Among his publications were a collection of his essays, Slavonic and Romantic Music (1968), and the Concise Oxford History of Music (1979), in which the broad range of his interests was fully displayed. He edited monographs or symposia on Schubert, Schumann, Sibelius, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, and others, as well as the New Oxford History of Music (1955–86); he also served as chairman of the editorial board of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.