BLYTH, Alan

1929 - 2007

Alan Geoffrey Frederick Cecil Blyth, was born at Marylebone, London on 27 July 1929, son of Herbert Cecil Blyth (18 January 1897-22 July 1983), a merchant, and his wife Winifred Jeanne Weiler (29 December 1902-18 November 1983), who married at Hampstead, London in 1924. In 1911 Winifred's German father was a theatre manufacturer of 36 Eton Avenue, Hampstead. In 1939 Alan's parents were living at Mill Cottage, Old Place, Chanctonbury, Sussex when his father is described as a 'field skin manufacturer'. Alan graduated from Rugby School before attending the University of Oxford where he studied under music critic Jack Alan Westrup (1904-1975). An English music critic, author, artist and musicologist who was particularly known for his writings within the field of opera. In 1953 he exhibited from Preston, near Lavenham at the Royal Academy also exhibiting at the majority of London galleries including the New English Art Club, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Institute of Oil Painters and Walker's Gallery. In the early 1960s he began writing music criticism for 'The Times' and later for the 'The Listener', 'The Guardian', and 'Gramophone'. An associate editor for the magazine 'Opera' 1967-1983, and a staff critic for the 'Daily Telegraph' 1977-1989. A prolific writer, Blyth edited discographic reviews of opera and song, several entries in the Grove's 'Dictionary of Music and Musicians', and the author of several books including Wagner's Ring: an Introduction (London, 1980) and Remembering Britten (London, 1981). He married at Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk in 2003, Susan B. Hamilton. He died at Lavenham, Suffolk on 14 August 2007 and his wife was still living at Shilling Street, Lavenham in 2016.