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John Knowles Paine

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Subject: Louis Coerne, Carl August Haupt, Handel and Haydn Society, Second New England School, Mass (music)
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John Knowles Paine

John Knowles Paine

John Knowles Paine (January 9, 1839 – April 25, 1906), was the first Horatio Parker.


Paine grew up in a musical family in Maine. His grandfather, an instrument maker, built the first pipe organ in the state of Maine and his father and uncles were all music teachers. His father carried on the family musical instrument business. One uncle was an organist. Another was a composer. In the 1850s Paine took lessons in organ and composition from [1] While acting in this role Paine offered free courses in music appreciation and music theory that would become the core curriculum for Harvard's newly formed academic music department (the first such department in the United States) and his appointment as America's first music professor. He would remain a member of the faculty of Harvard until 1905, just a year before his death.

Paine's well received 1867 Berlin premiere of [6]

In 1889, Paine made one of the first musical recordings on wax cylinder with Theo Wangemann, who was experimenting with sound recording on the newly invented phonograph.[7]

John Knowles Paine was among the initial class of inductees into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

The Grove Music Encyclopedia says of him:

"... Paine served the Harvard community for 43 years. By his presence and by his serious concern with music in a liberal arts college he awakened a regard for music among many generations of Harvard men. His writings testify to his insistence upon the place of music within the liberal arts..."[8]

Paine Hall, the concert hall for Harvard's Department of Music is named after him. A history of that building[9] includes many references to his pioneering role in music at Harvard.

Principal works


  • Azara


Chorus and Orchestra

  • Freedom, Our Queen
  • Domine salvum fac Praesidem nostrum op.8
  • Mass in D minor, op. 10
  • St. Peter: An Oratorio op. 20
  • Centennial Hymn op. 27
  • Oedipus Tyrannus op. 35
  • The Realm of Fancy, op. 36
  • Phoebus, Arise! op. 37


Notes and references

  1. ^ Ann P. Hall, Celebrating John Knowles Paine's legacy The Harvard University Gazette. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  2. ^ Bill F. Faucett, "George Whitefield Chadwick: The Life and Music of the Pride of New England" Northeastern University Press, 2012.
  3. ^ "THE FIRST SEASON 1881-1882" Boston Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  4. ^ Peter G. Davis "New World Symphonies" New York Magazine, February 6, 1989. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  5. ^ "John Knowles Paine". The Robinson Library. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  6. ^ John Knowles Paine, Theodore Thomas, and Karl Klauser (ed). "Famous Composers and their Works". Boston, J. B. Millet company, 1891.
  7. ^ Patrick Feaster, "Theo Wangemann biography" Thomas Edison National Historical Park. Retrieved February 3, 2012
  8. ^ "John Knowles Paine".  
  9. ^ Harvard's Paine Hall

See also

External links

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