“John Tyrrell, who has died aged 76, was a musicologist whose work on Leos Janáček helped to bring the Czech composer’s music to the attention of anglophone audiences,” reads an unsigned obituary in Monday’s (10/29) Daily Telegraph (London). “He was also executive editor of the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001)…. Tyrrell was particularly associated with Janáček’s operas…. He worked closely with the conductor Charles Mackerras, a great champion of Janáček…. There were two exhaustive volumes of biography…. John Tyrrell was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia…. In 1964 [he] saw his first performance of Janáček’s last opera, From the House of the Dead, given by the Prague National Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival. ‘It gripped me by the throat and has done ever since,’ he recalled…. Although Tyrrell said, in a typically quirky mixed metaphor, that he would ‘hang up his computer’ after completing the Janáček biography, he did nothing of the sort. There was a critical edition of From the House of the Dead, which was performed by Welsh National Opera a year ago…. In 2015 Tyrrell and his fellow musicologist Nigel Simeone collaborated on a memorial volume for Mackerras.”

Posted October 31, 2018