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David Scott

revised by Nigel Scaife

(b Melbourne, Oct 13, 1889; d London, Nov 18, 1946). Australian music critic and poet. Educated at the Scotch College, Melbourne, he emigrated to England in 1907 and from 1910 to 1914 he travelled in South Africa, Austria, Germany and Italy, where his studies ranged widely: he never devoted himself exclusively to music. In 1916 his first book of poems were published and in the same year he became music critic for the New Statesman, a post he held until 1940. After war service he was drama critic of the London Mercury (1919–23), music critic of Truth (1919–39) and literary editor of the Daily Herald (1920–23) and The Spectator (1942–6). From 1941 he was general editor of the series Britain in Pictures, which included his English Music.

Turner was one of the few non-specialist critics of his generation who maintained an unsophisticated approach without compromising critical perception. His criticism was often outspoken, controversial and highly opinionated but he was admired for his integrity and independence (many of his articles were reprinted in book form in ...