Edward Tatnall Canby


Edward T. Canby (28 February 1912, New Haven, CT — 21 February 1998, Cornwall, CT) was an American choral director, music critic, and educator. He is best known for writing liner notes on Nonesuch and other prominent classical labels, including Vox, Westminster, Mercury and His Master's Voice. Canby was a columnist at Audio magazine from 1948 to 1996 and one of the early charter members of Audio Engineering Society. Edward Canby hosted a weekly show, "Recordings, E.T.C.," on WNYC Radio for over 20 years, between '47 and 1970, based on his Saturday Review column. He founded The Canby Singers chamber choir in New York in the late 1950s, specializing in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. After Canby's retirement, the ensemble continued performing under the same name in his honor. Edward Canby taught at Princeton University and Finch College in New York.

Canby graduated from Harvard University in 1934, soon joining a renowned ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax on the Appalachian expedition, during which Lomax made the first recordings by the "mother of folk" Jean Ritchie. Edward had a reputation as a dedicated audiophile and perfectionist, fascinated by the complex, multilayered relationships between music and audio equipment; he engineered and mastered WNYC broadcast tapes at his home studio.

Hailed primarily as a classical music writer, Canby had vast musical erudition and promoted a broad range of genres, including cutting-edge academic electronica. In the mid-60s, Edward became the first highly-acclaimed critic who endorsed The Beach Boys as a serious musical art, pointing out the group's sophisticated vocal harmonies. He also debuted many works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Tod Dockstader, Robert Moog and other pioneering electronic composers at his WNYC programs. , ,
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