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date: 26 May 2020

Babitz, Sollocked

  • Paula Morgan


(b Brooklyn, NY, Oct 11, 1911; d Los Angeles, Feb 18, 1982). American musicologist and violinist. He was largely self-taught after leaving high school. His violin teachers included Carl Flesch and Marcel Chailley; his interest in performing practice was aroused by the writings of Arnold Dolmetsch and encouraged by Igor Stravinsky, whose string parts Babitz edited for many years. From 1933 to 1937 he was a violinist with the Los Angeles PO, then, until 1952, he played with Hollywood studio orchestras. From 1941 to 1962 he was an editor for International Musician. In 1948 he was a co-founder of the Early Music Laboratory, an organization which promotes historical accuracy in performance through the publication of bulletins and demonstration tape recordings. Babitz was concerned with a number of aspects of performance which he believed contribute to an accurate 17th- and 18th-century style. These aspects include clear articulation, use of metric accents, rhythmic freedom within the beat and a lighter tone. He also worked for the modernization of violin fingering to facilitate the performance of works by such contemporary composers as Schoenberg and Stravinsky....

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