Robertson, Alec [Alexander] (Thomas Parke)
- Julian Herbage
[Alexander] (Thomas Parke)
(b Southsea, June 3, 1892; d Midhurst, Jan 18, 1982). English writer on music. He was educated at Bradfield College and the RAM (1910–13), where he studied chiefly the organ, harmony and composition, and was organist and choirmaster at Frensham parish church and briefly at Farnham. During World War I he served in India, Egypt and Palestine. In 1919 he was appointed music lecturer to London County Council evening institutes. In 1920 he joined the Gramophone Company's educational staff, first as a lecturer and later as its head. In 1930 he entered the Collegio Beda, Rome; he was ordained priest in 1934 and held an appointment at Westminster Cathedral. Though he returned to professional life in 1938 his experiences of Catholic church music, particularly Gregorian plainchant, led him to write a number of books on the subject. In 1940 he joined the Gramophone Department of the BBC, and after the war was appointed chief producer of music talks on the Home and Third Programmes. He developed a highly individual manner as a broadcaster and gave many illustrated talks, which he continued even after his retirement from the BBC in ...