Edward J. Dent

Edward Dent, by E. X. Kapp (courtesy of The Fitzwilliam Museum)

Edward J. Dent (1876-1957) studied music at Cambridge, becoming a fellow of King’s College in 1902 and professor of music in 1926. He made a marked impression with his first monograph on Alessandro Scarlatti (1905), and developed a distinguished career as a musicologist including studies of Mozart operas, English opera, and Ferruccio Busoni.

Dent’s activities extended beyond academia. Dent served as the founding chairman of the International Society for Contemporary Music (1922-1938), and as the president International Musicological Society (1932-1949). He was the driving force behind amateur productions of The Magic Flute (in 1911) and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (in 1920), and continued to be a passionate supporter of opera performances in English, many of which used his own translations.

He was remembered by friends and students as a generous, witty, and enthusiastic character. Dent continued to host meetings of the editorial board of the New Oxford History of Music and Musica Britannica in his London flat, despite badly declining hearing.

***

See Jack Allan Westrup, ‘Edward Joseph Dent; 16 July, 1876-22 August, 1957’, Acta Musicologica, 29(4) (Oct. – Dec., 1957), 109-110

Harold Rutland, ‘Edward J. Dent’, The Musical Times, 98(1376) (Oct. 1957), 571

Katharine Thomson, ‘Dent’ The Musical Times, 121(1651) (Sep.1980), 549