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William Glock

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William Glock

Sir William Frederick Glock, CBE (3 May 1908 – 28 June 2000) was a British music critic and musical administrator.


Glock was born in London. He read history at the University of Cambridge and was an organ scholar at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[1] He studied piano with Artur Schnabel in Berlin from 1930 to 1933.[2]

Glock was music critic of the Daily Telegraph in 1934, and then of The Observer (1934–1945). He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II.[3]

In 1949 he founded the music journal The Score, and served as its editor until 1961. He later became music critic at the New Statesman, from 1958 to 1959.

Glock became the first director of the Bryanston Summer School of Music in 1948.[4] On the encouragement of Schnabel, he founded the Dartington International Summer School in 1953, and was its director until 1979. The summer school put on performances of works by contemporary composers and courses for musicians. Notable participants included the Amadeus Quartet, Nadia Boulanger, Paul Hindemith, Igor Stravinsky, Boris Blacher and George Enescu.

He later served as Director of the Bath Festival from 1976 to 1984.

William Glock served as BBC Controller of Music from 1959 to 1972. From 1960 to 1973, he was also Controller of The Proms, and took over personal single leadership of The Proms whereas formerly a committee had been in charge of them.[5] During his tenure, Glock arranged performances and commissions of works by many contemporary composers, such as Arnold, Boulez, Berio, Carter, Dallapiccola, Peter Maxwell Davies, Gerhard, Henze, Ligeti, Lutosławski, Lutyens, Maw, Messiaen, Nono, Stockhausen, and Tippett. Davies dedicated three works to Glock: Symphony No. 1 (1976), Unbroken Circle (1984) and Mishkenot (1988). In Proms programmes Glock expanded as well the presence of music by past composers such as Purcell, Cavalli, Monteverdi, Byrd, Palestrina, Dufay, Dunstaple and Machaut, as well as less-often performed works of Bach and Haydn.[6]

Glock published a memoir, Notes in Advance, in 1991. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1964 and knighted in 1970 for his services to musical life.

In 1984, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) by the University of Bath.[7]

He continued to curate concert series into his eighties, including a 1993 series of Franz Schubert concerts at the South Bank Centre.[8]

Glock was married twice. His first wife was the painter Clement Davenport (née Hale) (1913?-1957?), and they had a daughter, Oriel, who died in 1980. This marriage ended in divorce. Glock and his second wife, Anne Geoffroy-Dechaume, married in 1952. The marriage lasted until her death in 1995.

Sir William Glock died in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, Oxfordshire.


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