Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-t5pn6 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-16T01:35:59.944Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Introduction: Felix Aprahamian: A Life in Music and Criticism (5 June 1914 – 15 January 2005)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 December 2023

Get access

Summary

The music critic Felix Aprahamian was a remarkable self-made man – an amateur who became a professional – whose enormous influence in musical circles was deeply rooted in his practical experience of promoting music in London, notably music by British and French composers. Felix long aspired to write his autobiography, and indeed he was informally assured of publication by the publisher John Murray, but without either a contract or, more importantly, a deadline, he never got round to it. He was enormously proud of this prospect – ‘Byron's publisher’, he would tell one – but sadly, despite the prompting of many friends, it remained a chimera. However, Felix's story of a life in music over three-quarters of a century is worth telling for its own sake, for the light it throws on music and musical life – particularly in London – over these years, and for the unique insights he brought regarding those composers in whom he specialized, many of whom he had known personally.

We are fortunate that the mere three pages he completed of his autobiography tell his family history. He was the son of an immigrant Armenian family – his father, Avedis Aprahamian (who had been born Hovanessian), was naturalised at the turn of the century. Felix lived until the end of his life in the family home in Muswell Hill, London, to which they moved on 1 January 1919, not long after the scare his parents had experienced when Felix contracted that great childhood killer of the time, diphtheria. Felix wrote:

I was born on June 5 1914, at 16 Inderwick Road, Crouch End, a suburb of London. My father Avedis Aprahamian, born on January 1, 1870, in Panderma, in the Ottoman Empire, had been a naturalised British subject for years. In 1912, he had married my mother, Araxie Garabedian, a native of Brusa, also in the Ottoman Empire. The ceremony was performed by her father, the Rev. Lazarus Garabedian, in the Protestant Church at Constantinople of which he was Pastor. My paternal grandfather, too, was a Protestant Pastor. His name was Apraham Hovanessian. I was in my teens before I realised that my surname was only as old as my father.

Type
Chapter
Information
Felix Aprahamian
Diaries and Selected Writings on Music
, pp. 1 - 44
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
First published in: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×