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Julian Medforth Budden, BA, BMus (9 April 1924, Hoylakemarker, Wirralmarker – 28 February 2007, Florencemarker, Italy) was a British opera scholar, radio producer and broadcaster. He is particularly known for his three volumes on the operas of Verdi (published in 1973, 1978, & 1981), and a single volume biography in 1982; followed by a single volume work on Puccini in 2002. He is also the author of numerous entries in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

His parents were the then professor of architecture at Liverpool University, Lionel Budden, and a poet,writer and journalist Maud, (née Fraser) who from 1938 until 1964 provided the rhymes for the strip 'Curly Wee and Gussie Goose', which was syndicated in newspaers throughout the world. He attended Stowe Schoolmarker and read Classics at Queen's College Oxfordmarker.

During the war he worked in the Friends' Ambulance Unit serving in Austria and Italy. He completed his BA in 1948 and then studied piano and bassoon at the Royal College of Musicmarker.

From 1951 until 1983 Budden worked for the BBC, progressing from junior posts to become a producer, then Chief Producer of Opera (1970-76) and External Services Music Organizer (1976-83). This time saw many little-known works produced and important revivals, including the original versions of Macbeth, La forza del destino and Simon Boccanegra and the full French version of Don Carlos.

Concurrently Budden pursued a career as a writer, starting with The Listener, and then his major study of Verdi, in a writing style "generous to past scholars... generous to his readers. [His prose was] full of wit and relaxed communication".

After leaving the BBC he was based in both London and Florence (he spoke fluent Italian), where he was a regular correspondent for Opera and was a presence at the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Veriani in Parmamarker. He was president of the Centro di Studi Giacomo Puccini in Luccamarker up to his death.

Publications

  • The Operas of Verdi, Volume 1 (3rd edition), New York: Oxford University Press, 1983 ISBN 0-19-816261-8
  • The Operas of Verdi, Volume 2 (3rd edition), New York: Oxford University Press, 1983 ISBN 0-19-816262-6
  • The Operas of Verdi, Volume 3 (3rd edition), New York: Oxford University Press, 1983 ISBN 0-19-816263-4
  • Puccini : his life and works, New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. (4 Editions) ISBN 0198164688


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