Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians is a major reference work in the field of music, originally compiled by Theodore Baker, PhD, and published in 1900 by G. Schirmer, Inc. The ninth edition, the most recent edition, was published in 2001 — one hundred and one years after the first edition.
Leading up to the initial publication of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Baker had compiled and edited three editions of A Dictionary of Musical Terms — published 1895, 1896, and 1897, respectively, by G. Schirmer, Inc.
The first edition, published in 1900, has 647 pages plus an Appendix of 5 pages. It includes 300 vignette portraits drawn in ink, from portraits or photographs, by Russian artist Alexander Gribayédoff (possibly a pseudonym for Valerian Gribayédoff).
The fifth edition was rewritten by new editor Nicolas Slonimsky, who would remain editor for several decades (up to the eighth edition in 1992) and have a considerable influence on the style and content of the dictionary. In preparing the fifth edition, Slonimsky expanded the size of the work to 1,855 pages and undertook a thorough review of the existing entries, expending considerable effort verifying and correcting biographical details such as birth and death dates by reference to archival sources.
The eighth edition of 1992 revised 1,300 entries and added 1,100 new ones, coming to 2,115 pages, with an emphasis on expanding coverage of female and Asian musicians, multimedia composers, performance artists, and ethnomusicologists. The seventh and eighth editions were pre-titled The Concise Edition.
The ninth edition of 2001, billed the "Centennial Edition", was the first not to be a single-volume work, taking up six volumes, partly due to expanded coverage and partly due to somewhat more generous formatting to improve readability. The ninth edition included a focus on increasing coverage of popular music and jazz.
History of its publishers
Edited by Theodore Baker (1851–1934)
Edited by Nicolas Slonimsky (1894–1995)
- Sixth edition (1978); OCLC 4426869, 723489824
- Seventh edition (1984); OCLC 894666159, 52719848, ISBN 0-02-872411-9, ISBN 9780028724119
Edited by Laura Diane Kuhn, PhD (born 1953)
- Vol. 1: Aalt–Cone; OCLC 313884911
- Vol. 2: Conf–Gysi; OCLC 313884977
- Vol. 3: Haar–Levi; OCLC 313884997
- Vol. 4: Levy–Pisa; OCLC 313885028
- Vol. 5: Pisc–Stra; OCLC 313885106
- Vol. 6: Stre–Zyli; Indexes (genre, nationality, women); OCLC 313885131
- Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians (1997), Nicolas Slonimsky, Laura Kuhn (born January 19, 1953) (ed.), Dennis McIntire (Associate ed.) OCLC 924775962 ISBN 0-02-871271-4
Other works of similar nature
- Earlier works
- 1844: Complete Encyclopedia of Music, Elementary, Technical, Historical, Biographical, Vocal, and Instrumental, by John Weeks Moore, Boston; OCLC 4659526
- 1879: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, George Grove (ed.), London; OCLC 313377471, 717493999
- Later, contemporaneous American works
- 1939: International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians, Oscar Lee Thompson (1887–1945) (ed.), Dodd, Mead and Company, New York; OCLC 518786
- A Dictionary of Musical Terms, Theodore Baker (compiler & editor), G. Schirmer, Inc.
1st ed. (1895); LCCN 06-32762
2nd ed. (1896); OCLC 12925703
3rd ed. (1897); OCLC 2792172, 690499155
5th ed. (1901); OCLC 10973980
- "Review of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians". The Musical Times. 82 (1182): 299–300. 1941. doi:10.2307/921436. hdl:2027/hvd.32044040982001. JSTOR 921436.
- Kozinn, Allan (December 27, 1995). "Nicolas Slonimsky, Author of Widely Used Reference Works on Music,Dies at 101". The New York Times. p. 6.
- Salter, Lionel (1979). "Baker's Half-Dozen". The Musical Times. 120 (1640): 825–826. doi:10.2307/962264. JSTOR 962264.
- "G. Schirmer is Sold," The New York Times, May 16, 1986
- Bonna Jean Boettcher, DMA (born 1958) (March 2002). "Book Review: Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (Centennial ed.)". Notes. 58 (3): 544–547. doi:10.1353/not.2002.0008. OCLC 6733326894. S2CID 191576809.
- Scott Eyerly Kennedy (born 1952), ed. (1999). "Biographical Sources" – "1398" (entry N°): "Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8th ed". Reference Sources for Small and Medium-Sized Libraries (6th ed.). ALA Editions. p. 218. ISBN 0-8389-3468-4. OCLC 940544179.
- "Music: Musical Super Sleuth". Time. 11 May 1959.