David Cairns (born David Adam Cairns, 8 June 1926, Loughton, Essex) is a British journalist, non-fiction writer and musician. He is a leading authority on the life of Berlioz.
He was the son of the distinguished neurosurgeon, Sir Hugh Cairns. His work in journalism has spanned a number of high profile newspapers and magazines. He was chief music critic of the Sunday Times from 1983 to 1992, having earlier been music critic and arts editor of The Spectator. Other publications for which he has been a music critic include the Evening Standard, Financial Times and New Statesman. Before becoming a music journalist, he worked in the House of Commons Library.
He is known for his two-volume biography of Berlioz: Berlioz: The Making of an Artist 1803–1832 and Berlioz: Servitude and Greatness 1832-1869. The books won a number of major awards, including:
Cairns also translated Berlioz's autobiography, published by Gollancz in the United Kingdom in 1969.
In Mozart and his Operas (2006) Cairns stated part of his music's appeal was its simultaneous embodiment of both "the perfection our souls long for and the sensation of our longing".
He founded and conducted the Thorington Players, a London based orchestra that played regularly in St Mary's Church, Putney and St. John's, Smith Square.
- ^ a b c Grove, Cairns, David (Adam)
Grove Music Online, Cairns, David (Adam), article by Stanley Sadie.