Edward Dent’s father was John Dent Dent of Ribston Hall, Wetherby, Yorkshire, who had been a Conservative Member of Parliament. The family home was on a large estate between York and Harrogate.
Dent was educated at Eton College where he studied music with C. H. Lloyd. He then went to King's College, Cambridge University, where his teachers were Charles Wood and C. V. Stanford.
Dent was elected a Fellow of King's College Cambridge in 1902. He began lecturing on the history of music in 1902, and he also taught counterpoint, harmony, and composition. In 1918 Dent moved to London and became a music critic.
In 1926 he returned to Cambridge University as Professor of Music, and he was also elected again as a Fellow of King's College. He was President of the Royal Musical Association from 1928 to 1935.
In 1928 he was one of the founders of the International Society for Contemporary Music, and he was its President from its inauguration. He was then made an Honorary Life President in 1938. He was President of the Société Internationale de Musicologie from 1931 to 1949. He was then made an Honorary Life President in 1949.
He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music at various universities: Oxford in 1932, Harvard in 1936, and Cambridge in 1947. He was a director and later governor of Sadler's Wells Opera, and a director of Covent Garden Opera Trust.
Dent was keen that as many people as possible should enjoy music and opera. His facility with languages allowed him to provide translations of work to make them more accessible to a wider audience.
He retired from his professorship in 1941, and from then on he lived in London. In 1953 he was one of the first two musicians to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 1961 the Royal Musical Association instituted a Dent Medal which is awarded annually to recipients selected for their outstanding contributions to musicology.
Edward Dent was part of a circle of gay men at Cambridge which included A. T. 'Theo' Bartholomew. In the summer of 1915 they met Gabriel Atkin who was in Cambridge for his officer training. In August that year they also met Siegfried Sassoon who arrived in Cambridge for the same reason. Gabriel Atkin had already left but Edward Dent engaged in some matchmaking and encouraged Siegfried Sassoon and Gabriel Atkin to meet, which they did in November, 1918. This was the start of an affair of several years.
Francis Clive Savill Carey (known as Clive) was born at Sible Hedingham on 30 May 1883. He came from an artistically talented family, and was a chorister in the choir at King's College before attending Sherborne School. Edward Joseph Dent, generally known by his initials as E. J. Dent was a British writer on music. His closest friends were Lawrence Haward and J. B. Trend, but he began a close friendship with Clive Carey in 1902 which continued until Edward Dent's death. Edward Dent wrote him over four hundred letters during their friendship. They remained friends until Dent’s death in 1957, 55 years. (P: ©S. P. Andrew, Wellington/University of Adelaide Archives. Francis Clive Saville Carey, 1928 (©20))
He came up to Clare College as an Organ Scholar in 1901, and combined his undergraduate work with the Grove Scholarship in Composition at the Royal College of Music in London. He became friends with Edward Dent, Alwyn Scholfield and Percy Lubbock during his student days, and was involved in the University Greek Plays organised by Walter Durnford and other student productions. Later Carey studied with Jean de Reszke in Paris and Nice. In 1911 Carey directed and sang as ‘Papageno’ in the Cambridge production of Mozart's opera Die Zauberflöte when Edward J. Dent's English translation was first used.
During the First World War, Carey served as a ward orderly in the Medical Corps in France, and various other non-combatant roles. Between 1920 and 1924 he was employed as a singer and director of operas at the Old Vic Opera Company, until in 1924, disappointed with his lack of apparent progress in English professional music, he accepted a teaching post at the Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide University. He sang in several of Dame Nellie Melba's farewell concerts in 1927, and left Australia to tour North America (where he sang folk songs) with a touring morris dance ensemble. He returned to London in 1928 and resumed his usual life of teaching at the Royal College of Music, lecturing and giving recitals on English Folk Song. In 1929 he married Doris. It should be noted that Adelaide was originally settled as a quasi utopian society and has always had a strong artistic spirit. It should further be noted that the great English folk song and dance collector, Cecil Sharp, also chose Adelaide and spent some of his early years working in that city. Sharpe arrived in Adelaide in November 1882 and early in 1883 obtained a position as a clerk in the Commercial Bank of South Australia. He read some law, and in April 1884 became associate to the chief justice, Sir Samuel James Way. He held this position until 1889 when he resigned and gave his whole time to music. He had become assistant organist at St Peter's cathedral soon after he arrived, and had been conductor of the government house choral society and the cathedral choral society. Later on he became conductor of the Adelaide Philharmonic, and in 1889 entered into partnership with I. G. Reimann as joint director of the Adelaide school of music. He was very successful as a lecturer but about the middle of 1891 the partnership was dissolved. The school was continued under Reimann, and in 1898 developed into the Elder conservatorium of music in connection with the university. Sharp had made many friends and an address with over 300 signatures asked him to continue his work at Adelaide, but he decided to return to England and arrived there in January 1892. Whether Sharp’s tenure influenced Carey is unknown but is a fascinating connection for the two folk song collectors.
Carey had already been very active as a collector and much of his song collection dates to 1911 when he collected songs in Sussex with Dorothy Marshall. He then went on the collect dances in Oxfordshire and Gloucestorshire, usually in the wake of Sharp. Carey published ‘Ten English Folk Songs’ in 1915. He certainly wasted no time when he arrived in Australia as his first Australian collecting was undertaken in December, 1924. It seems Carey might have been involved with the Theosophists as he contributed an article to their Advance Australia Magazine (1927 v3 i1 July p32 - English folk songs and dances -- Clive Carey). What this does tell us is that he retained his interest in English folk song and traditions throughout his Australian residence.
In the 1930s, following the merge of the Old Vic and Sadlers Wells theatres, Carey worked for the new company directing, producing and singing in operas. He and Doris were on a personal visit to Australia when war broke out in 1939, and they stayed there for the duration of the war, Carey teaching and performing in recitals. On their return in 1945 he took up a short-term post as Director of Opera at Sadlers Wells. From then until his death in 1968 he continued to live in London, teaching singing.
Elizabeth Forbes in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (www.grovemusic.com, 2004) describes Carey as follows: 'A stylish performer, particularly of Mozart roles, and an accomplished actor, he was an imaginative director, much concerned with the elimination of accumulated tradition and returning to composers' intentions, and a fine teacher.'
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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