Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966

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American composer and writer.

From the description of Typewritten letter signed and autograph letter signed, dated : Stamford, Conn., 28 August 1927 and 1 March 1931, to Mr. [Harry Harkness] Flagler, 1927 Aug. 28 and 1927 Sept. 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270676607

From the description of Typewritten letter signed, dated : Stamford, Conn., 7 December 1931, to Mrs. [Melbert B.] Cary [Mary Flagler Cary], 1931 Dec. 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270676604

From the description of Signature : New York, [n.d.], [n.d., 1885-1966]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270676609

Deems Taylor was an American composer, author, and music critic.

Born in New York in 1885, Taylor studied music theory with Oscar Coon. After various jobs in publishing and journalism, he became music critic for the New York World (1921-1925), editor of Musical America (1927-1929), and music critic for the New York American (1931-1932). He served as director and then president (1942-1948) of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). Taylor worked in radio as a musical advisor and commentator, and published collections of his radio talks in 1937, 1940, and 1949. He composed a number of works for large ensembles, including the opera The King's Henchman and Peter Ibbetson, both commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. He died in 1966.

From the description of Deems Taylor collection of broadcast recordings [sound recording], 1935-1954. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122378686

Deems Taylor was born on December 22, 1885 in New York City, and attended Ethical Culture for secondary school there. While a student at New York University he wrote four comic operas with William LeBaron, one of which received the attention of theatrical producer Charles Dillingham and was produced by him. Taking the advice of Victor Herbert, Taylor studied music theory with Oscar Coon. Meanwhile Taylor also began to publish music criticism, first for the New York Press, and later for the New York Tribune (1916-1917), Collier's Weekly (1917-1919).

Sometime during the mid 1910s Taylor formed a close friendship with Percy Rector Stephens, a vocal instructor and conductor of the Schumann Club. The purpose of the Schumann Club was to deliver programs for women's vocal ensemble that would follow as closely as possible the structure of the artist recital programs. Taylor approached the task with enthusiasm. In addition, Taylor published arrangements and translations of songs and choral music up through 1920.

Deems Taylor was music critic for the New York World from 1921 through 1925. He continued musical criticism by becoming editor of Musical America (1927-1929) and critic for the New York American 1931-1932). He was pressed into service for radio broadcasts and had a well-received series on music appreciation. He was also commentator for broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. As a result of his reputation as educator, he was selected by Walt Disney as commentator for the film Fantasia (1940). He published articles and several books, The Well Tempered Listener (1940), Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940), Music to My Ears (1949), Some Enchanted Evenings: The Story of Rodgers and Hammerstein (1953).

After the 1920s Taylor composed large scale works. His orchestral suite Through the Looking Glass was well received. His reputation grew after the premiere of his first mature opera, The King's Henchman (1927), which had its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera. Excerpts from The King's Henchman were selected for the inaugural broadcast of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in September 1927. This was surpassed by his next opera, Peter Ibbetson which also premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 1931 which stayed in the repertory for four seasons. Succeeding works were less well received. They include the operas Ramuntcho (1942) and The Dragon (1958), as well as orchestral works and cantatas.

Deems Taylor died in New York City on July 3, 1966.

From the guide to the [Arrangements of choral music by various composers] / Deems Taylor, 1917-1920?, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Deems Taylor was an American composer, author, and music critic.

Born in New York in 1885, Taylor studied music theory with Oscar Coon. After various jobs in publishing and journalism, he became music critic for the New York World (1921-1925), editor of Musical America (1927-1929), and music critic for the New York American (1931-1932). He served as director and then president (1942-1948) of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

Taylor worked in radio as a musical advisor and commentator, and published collections of his radio talks in 1937, 1940, and 1949. He composed a number of works for large ensembles, including the opera, The King's Henchman and Peter Ibbetson, both commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera.

He died in 1966.

From the guide to the Deems Taylor collection of broadcast recordings [sound recording], 1935-1954, (The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn White mss., 1932-1969 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn The E.Y. Harburg Collection, 1929-1968 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Edward Johnson Collection. Typescript homage to Edward Johnson probabley written by musician Deems Taylor. University of Guelph
referencedIn Glenn Dillard Gunn Collection, 1874-1961, (bulk 1910-1961) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Aaron Copland Collection, 1841-1991, (bulk 1911-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn John Alden Carpenter Collection, 1891-1961, (bulk 1900-1949) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Blitzstein, Marc. Papers, 1918-2004. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 1921 - 2008. Audio Recordings. 1945 - 1965. THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ROBERT BENCHLEY
referencedIn The Bell Telephone Hour collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1940-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Edison Sheet Music Collection, 1830-1958, (bulk 1890-1940) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Antheil, George, 1900-1959. George Antheil papers, 1919-1959. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Typewritten letter signed and autograph letter signed, dated : Stamford, Conn., 28 August 1927 and 1 March 1931, to Mr. [Harry Harkness] Flagler, 1927 Aug. 28 and 1927 Sept. 1. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn The Bell Telephone Hour collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1940-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Hess, William, tenor,. Interview conducted by Oliver Daniel, July 15, 1978 [sound recording]. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. [The King's henchman. Lo thou, I am sad. Vocal score] / Deems Taylor. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The Ernest Trow Carter Papers, 1879-1974 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Edna St. Vincent Millay Collection, 1919-2001, (bulk 1928-1985) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Ward, Mark, 1948-. Student recital [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
referencedIn Ray Henderson papers, 1904-1937 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Cabell, James Branch, 1879-1958. Scrapbooks of James Branch Cabell [manuscript], 1886-1958 (bulk 1904-1926). University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. [Peter Ibbetson. So fleet is time] / Deems Taylor. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The Railroad hour, radio program [sound recording], 1948-1954 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. [Arrangements of choral music by various composers] / Deems Taylor. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1951. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf [Arrangements of choral music by various composers] / Deems Taylor, 1917-1920? The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Typewritten letter signed, dated : Stamford, Conn., 7 December 1931, to Mrs. [Melbert B.] Cary [Mary Flagler Cary], 1931 Dec. 7. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Theatre Arts Monthly, collection of portraits, ca., ca., 1924-1939 (bulk), 1916-1964 (inclusive). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Reisenberg, Nadia. Papers, 1913-1983. University of Maryland Libraries, UMD Libraries
creatorOf Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950. Papers of Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1897-1955. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Castro, Juan José, 1895-1968. Masters of our day educational series, 1936-1941 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Yale University Library
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. [Songs Selections] / Deems Taylor. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951,. Letters to Alfred Kreymborg [manuscript], 1921-1956. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Signature : New York, [n.d.], [n.d., 1885-1966]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Phyllis Merrill papers, 1933-1956 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Schreker, Franz, 1878-1934. Rare libretto collection. Roll 9, 280-306, Schreker - Thomas [microform] / Lila Acheson Wallace Library, Juilliard School. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. [Choral music. Selections] / Deems Taylor. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Carter, Ernest Trow, 1866-1953. The Ernest Trow Carter papers, 1879-1974 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Deems Taylor collection of broadcast recordings [sound recording], 1935-1954. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. A song for lovers : op. 13, no. 2 / Deems Taylor ; contralto and orchestra. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. A kiss in Xanadu / Deems Taylor. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1941. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Gilbert, Henry F. B. (Henry Franklin Belknap), 1868-1928. The Henry Gilbert papers, 1821-1980 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. May day carol : arr. for strings & flute / Deems Taylor. University of Colorado Boulder
referencedIn Papers, 1922-1987 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Edith Evans Braun collection, 1916-1976 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Sperry, Paul. Great composers love folksongs, too [sound recording] University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Belloc, Hilaire, 1870-1953. Stage Magazine typescripts, ca. 1936. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Arthur Davison Ficke Papers, 1865-1971 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1940-1945. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Ficke, Arthur Davison, 1883-1945. Arthur Davison Ficke Papers 1865-1971. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Correspondence to Alma Mahler, 1944-1961. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Lawrence Tibbett Collection, 1929-1945 Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Correspondence with Leopold Stokowski, after 1934. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Serge Koussevitzky Archive, 1920-1976, (bulk 1924-1951) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Müller, René. Papers regarding 20th century musicians [manuscript], 1916-1977. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Franklin D. Roosevelt Birthday Memorial Committee. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1953-1956. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Romberg, Sigmund, 1887-1951. Sigmund Romberg collection 1918-1950 1920-1940 (bulk). Library of Congress
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. The chambered nautilus : for mixed chorus, piano, and organ / music by Deems Taylor ; poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Novelette / by Deems Taylor. Peabody Conservatory, Arthur Friedheim Library
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. The echo [collection] : a musical play in two acts / by Deems Taylor and William Le Baron ; composed by Deems Taylor. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
referencedIn Rodgers, Dorothy F., 1909-. Papers, 1922-1987 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Charles G. Shaw Papers, 1916-1964 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Edward Johnson Collection. Edward Johnson as Peter Ibbetson, title role in Deems Taylor's opera, Feb. 7, 1931. University of Guelph
referencedIn Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds. Papers, 1867-1974. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950. Edna St. Vincent Millay collection, 1919-2001 (bulk 1928-1985). Library of Congress
referencedIn Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood papers, 1867-1974 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Prelude, op. 5, no. 1 / by Deems Taylor. Peabody Conservatory, Arthur Friedheim Library
creatorOf Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966. Ramuntcho : orchestra sketch / [Deems Taylor]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Braun, Edith Evans, 1887-1976. Edith Evans Braun collection, 1916-1976. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The Henry Gilbert Papers, 1821-1980 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Carter, Ernest Trow, 1866-1953. The Ernest Trow Carter papers, 1879-1974 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Gilbert, Henry F. B. (Henry Franklin Belknap), 1868-1928. The Henry Gilbert papers, 1821-1980 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Schindler, Kurt, 1882-1935. Vasilissa the fair, or, The prince and the maiden : : a ballad cantata for unaccompanied mixed chorus ... : opus 16 / poem by Kurt Schindler and Deems Taylor founded upon a Russian legend ; musical setting with free use of four Ukrainian folk-melodies by Kurt Schindler. University of Michigan
creatorOf Deems Taylor collection of broadcast recordings [sound recording], 1935-1954 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Cabell, James Branch, 1879-1958. Papers of James Branch Cabell, 1919-1962. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn W. S. (William Schwenck) Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan printed ephemera, 1826-2006. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Gracie person
associatedWith American Music Collection corporateBody
associatedWith American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. corporateBody
associatedWith Ames, Winthrop, 1870-1937. person
associatedWith Antheil, George, 1900-1959. person
associatedWith Bampton, Rose. person
associatedWith Blitzstein, Marc. person
associatedWith Boucher, Anthony, 1911-1968 person
associatedWith Braun, Edith Evans, 1887-1976. person
associatedWith Buck, Gene person
associatedWith Burns, George, 1896- person
associatedWith Cabell, James Branch, 1879-1958. person
associatedWith Carpenter, John Alden, 1876-1951 person
associatedWith Carter, Ernest Trow, 1866-1953. person
associatedWith Cary, Mary Flagler, person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Chiang, Kai Shek person
associatedWith Collier, Constance, 1878-1955. person
associatedWith Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990 person
associatedWith De Lamarter, Eric, 1880-1953 person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Dorothy (Feiner) Rodgers, 1909- person
associatedWith Ducasse, Roger person
associatedWith Du Maurier, George, 1834-1896. person
associatedWith Edward Johnson Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Edward Johnson Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith E. Y. Harburg person
associatedWith Ficke, Arthur Davison, 1883-1945. person
associatedWith Flagler, Harry Harkness, person
associatedWith Franklin D. Roosevelt Birthday Memorial Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Friml, Rudolf person
associatedWith Gershwin, George, 1898-1937 person
associatedWith Gilbert, Henry F. B. (Henry Franklin Belknap), 1868-1928. person
associatedWith Gleason, Jackie person
correspondedWith Gunn, Glenn Dillard, 1874-1963 person
associatedWith Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds person
associatedWith Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds. person
associatedWith Henderson, Ray, 1889-1937 person
associatedWith Hess, William, tenor, person
associatedWith Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894 person
associatedWith Ippolitoff person
associatedWith Iranoff person
associatedWith Jaffe, Moe person
associatedWith Kaufman, George S. (George Simon), 1889-1961. person
associatedWith Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson), person
correspondedWith Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951 person
associatedWith LeBaron, William, 1883-1958. person
associatedWith Loti, Pierre, 1850-1923. person
associatedWith MacDowell, Edward person
associatedWith Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection (Pierpont Morgan Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith Merrill, Phyllis, 1908- person
associatedWith Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950. person
associatedWith Monteux person
associatedWith Müller, René. person
associatedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith New York Philharmonic corporateBody
associatedWith Paige, R person
associatedWith Peerce, Jan, 1904- person
associatedWith Pelletier, Wilfrid, 1896-1982. person
associatedWith Railroad Hour Radio Program corporateBody
associatedWith Reiner person
associatedWith Reisenberg, Nadia. person
associatedWith Rodgers, Dorothy F., 1909- person
associatedWith Romberg, Sigmund person
associatedWith Romberg, Sigmund, 1887-1951. person
associatedWith Schindler, Kurt, 1882-1935. person
associatedWith Scott, Raymond person
associatedWith Shaw, Charles Green, 1892- person
associatedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Stephens, James, 1882-1950 person
associatedWith Swarthout, Gladys, 1904- person
associatedWith Symphony Orchestra corporateBody
associatedWith Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich person
associatedWith Thomas A. Edison, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Tibbett, Lawrence, 1896-1960. person
associatedWith Tibbett, Richard M. person
associatedWith Wagner, Richard, 1818-1883 person
associatedWith Walter, H. L., Captain, person
associatedWith Waring, Fred person
associatedWith Zimbalist, Efrem person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Songs (medium voice) with piano
Radio programs, Musical--United States
Radio programs
Prompt-book
Musical sketches
Pantomimes with music--Piano scores
Radio programs--United States
Choruses, Secular (Women's voices) with piano
Music--Manuscripts
Piano music
Radio programs--musical
Operas--Excerpts--Vocal scores with piano
Operas--Excerpts--Scores
Songs (Low voice) with orchestra, Arranged
Opera--Scores
Cantatas, Secular--Vocal scores with piano
Occupation
Composers
Arrangers
Function

Person

Birth 1885-12-22

Death 1966-07-03

Americans

English,

French

Information

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