Early Music (journal)

Last updated


Early Music's founder was John Mansfield Thomson, an eminent New Zealand musicologist [1] who worked for many decades in London, where he was a leading figure at the beginning of the early music revival. Through Baroque Concerts, his concert promotion agency, he brought major performers of early music to London in the late 1960s. Among the musicians were Gustav Scheck (flute and treble recorder) and Walter Bergmann (basso continuo and harpsichord) whose concert at the Purcell Room in January 1968 included works by Loeillet de Gant and Leonardi Vinci. Thomson was music editor at Barrie and Jenkins and at Faber & Faber, and he worked briefly with Benjamin Britten at Aldeburgh. Thomson's relationship with Oxford University Press was not easy and he described control of the magazine by the music department as "spiritual death". Thomson died in Wellington, New Zealand on 11 September 1999. An obituary in the Guardian noted "how music was only a cover for what really interested him; meeting artistic and creative personalities, finding material for his own writing and design work". Thomson imposed excellence and elegance in design when Early Music was launched, and was painstaking during more than a decade as editor in ensuring that high standards were met in all phases of publication. Thomson left his papers, with its index running to about 70 pages, to the library of Waikato University in New Zealand. [2]

Related Research Articles

Arnold Schoenberg Austrian-American composer (1874–1951)

Arnold Schoenberg or Schönberg was an Austrian-American composer, music theorist, teacher, writer, and painter. He is widely considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He was associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School. As a Jewish composer, Schoenberg was targeted by the Nazi Party, which labeled his works as degenerate music and forbade them from being published. He emigrated to the United States in 1933, becoming an American citizen in 1941.

Ralph Vaughan Williams English composer (1872–1958)

Ralph Vaughan Williams, was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over sixty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century.

Maurice Gee New Zealand novelist

Maurice Gough Gee is a New Zealand novelist. He is one of New Zealand's most distinguished and prolific authors, having written over thirty novels for adults and children, and has won numerous awards both in New Zealand and overseas, including multiple top prizes at the New Zealand Book Awards, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in the UK, the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, the Robert Burns Fellowship and a Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement. In 2003 he was recognised as one of New Zealand's greatest living artists across all disciplines by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, which presented him with an Icon Award.

John Field (composer) Irish composer

John Field, was an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher. Field is best known as the inventor of the nocturne.

Paul Muldoon Irish poet

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet. He has published more than thirty collections and won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize. At Princeton University he is currently both the Howard G. B. Clark '21 University Professor in the Humanities and Founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. He held the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1999 to 2004 and has also served as president of the Poetry Society (UK) and Poetry Editor at The New Yorker.

James "Jimmy" Blades OBE was an English percussionist.

Thomson William "Thom" Gunn, was an English poet who was praised for his early verses in England, where he was associated with The Movement, and his later poetry in America, even after moving towards a looser, free-verse style. After relocating from England to San Francisco, Gunn wrote about gay-related topics—particularly in his most famous work, The Man With Night Sweats in 1992—as well as drug use, sex and his bohemian lifestyle. He won major literary awards; his best poems were said to have a compact philosophical elegance.

Geoffrey Grigson English poet, writer, critic and naturalist

Geoffrey Edward Harvey Grigson was a British poet, writer, editor, critic, exhibition curator, anthologist and naturalist. In the 1930s he was editor of the influential magazine New Verse, and went on to produce 13 collections of his own poetry, as well as compiling numerous anthologies, among many published works on subjects including art, travel and the countryside. Grigson exhibited in the London International Surrealist Exhibition at New Burlington Galleries in 1936, and in 1946 co-founded the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Grigson's autobiography The Crest on the Silver was published in 1950. At various times he was involved in teaching, journalism and broadcasting. Fiercely combative, he made many literary enemies.

Imogen Holst 20th-century English composer, arranger, conductor, and teacher

Imogen Clare Holst was a British composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, musicologist, and festival administrator. The only child of the composer Gustav Holst, she is particularly known for her educational work at Dartington Hall in the 1940s, and for her 20 years as joint artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival. In addition to composing music, she wrote composer biographies, much educational material, and several books on the life and works of her father.

John Carey (critic) Literary critic

John Carey, is a British literary critic, and post-retirement (2002) emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. He is known for his anti-elitist views on high culture, as expounded in several books. He has twice chaired the Booker Prize committee, in 1982 and 2004, and chaired the judging panel for the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005.

Peter Porter (poet) British-based Australian poet

Peter Neville Frederick Porter OAM was a British-based Australian poet.

Hugo Williams is an English poet, journalist and travel writer. He received the T. S. Eliot Prize in 1999 and Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2004.

<i>Holy Sonnets</i>

The Holy Sonnets—also known as the Divine Meditations or Divine Sonnets—are a series of nineteen poems by the English poet John Donne (1572–1631). The sonnets were first published in 1633—two years after Donne's death. They are written predominantly in the style and form prescribed by Renaissance Italian poet Petrarch (1304–1374) in which the sonnet consisted of two quatrains and a sestet. However, several rhythmic and structural patterns as well as the inclusion of couplets are elements influenced by the sonnet form developed by English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616).

Donald Charles Peter Mitchell CBE was a British writer on music, particularly known for his books on Gustav Mahler and Benjamin Britten and for the book The Language of Modern Music, published in 1963.

Frank Anderson Tyrer was an English concert pianist, composer and first conductor of New Zealand's National Orchestra.

David Clifford Brown was an English musicologist, most noteworthy for his major study of Tchaikovsky’s life and works.

George Hogarth

George Hogarth WS was a Scottish lawyer, newspaper editor, music critic, and musicologist. He authored several books on opera and Victorian musical life in addition to contributing articles to various publications.

Philip Hope Edward Bagenal, OBE was a British architectural theorist and acoustician who introduced a scientific approach to the acoustic design of buildings.

John Clive Hall was an English poet and editor.

George Blake (1893–1961) was a Scottish journalist, literary editor and novelist. His The Shipbuilders (1935) is considered a significant and influential effort to write about the Scottish industrial working class. "At a time when the idea of myth was current in the Scottish literary world and other writers were forging theirs out of the facts and spirit of rural life, Blake took the iron and grease and the pride of the skilled worker to create one for industrial Scotland." As a literary critic, he wrote a noted work against the Kailyard school of Scottish fiction; and is taken to have formulated a broad-based thesis as cultural critic of the "kailyard" representing the "same ongoing movement in Scottish culture" that leads to "a cheapening, evasive, stereotyped view of Scottish life." He was well known as a BBC radio broadcaster by the 1930s.


  1. 1 2 Martin Lodge (2001), "Thomson, John M(ansfield)", Grove Music Online , Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.47766
  2. David Lane's Kaleidoscope: Fragments of Distant Times and Sundry Places