British music critic, scholar, organist and opera director Andrew Brian Porter was born in Cape Town, South Africa on 26 August 1928. He studied organ at University College Oxford and worked as a music critic for The Times and The Daily Telegraph, then The Financial Times, writing in what Stanley Sadie referred to as an 'elegant, spacious literary style'.
In 1960 Porter became editor of The Musical Times, between 1972 and 1992 he was music critic of The New Yorker (where he was considered one of the world's foremost critics, impressing Virgil Thomson, amongst others) and towards the end of his career, back in London, he wrote for The Observer and The Times Literary Supplement.
He made English translations of the libretti of many operas, some of which have been widely performed, he directed several operas, including La Forza del Destino (Seattle, 1984) and also wrote libretti for John Eaton's The Tempest and Bright Sheng's The Song of Majnun.
He discovered removed sections of Verdi's Don Carlos in the Paris Opera library, leading to restoration of the original work, and was consultant to the 1996 Paris production which performed the resulting critical edition.
Andrew Porter died in London on 3 April 2015, aged eighty-six.
Ensemble. Mature or Immature? - Roderic Dunnett asks some questions about 'Die Feen', a Wagner rarity performed recently by Chelsea Opera Group
Ensemble. Different Couples - English Touring Opera's 'La Clemenza di Tito', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. A Compelling Portrait - Verdi's 'Don Carlos' impresses Mike Wheeler