John Sullivan Dwight

John Sullivan Dwight

Birth
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 5 Sep 1893 (aged 80)
Massachusetts, USA
Burial Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 53260092 · View Source
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Music critic and America's first influential proponent of classical music. An important contributor to the Transcendentalist movement, Dwight was a member of the Brook Farm commune while it lasted and was America's first influential classical music critic. Dwight graduated from Harvard College in 1832 and then attended divinity school to become a unitarian minister, however the burgeoning views of Transcendentalism and Dwight was drawn in by Emerson's new social views. Dwight was deeply interested in German culture and in 1839 published a well-received translation called Select Minor Poems of Goethe and Schiller. He then shifted his interests to Beethoven's symphonic music, very much an unknown entity in America at that time. His promotion of Beethoven is largely responsible for establishing his reputation in America. Dwight was ordained a minister in 1840 but within a year was out of the professor and joined George and Sophie Ripley's Brook Farm commune. There he directed the school and wrote a column on music for the commune's journal. Brook Farm dissolved in 1847, at which point he moved to Boston in an attempt to be a musical journalist. In 1851 he married singer Mary Bullard who he knew from Brook Farm. He founded Dwight's Journal of Music which later become the most influential musical publication in America that century, and he worked on it for most of the rest of his life. The paper featured writers such as Alexander Wheelock Taylor who became one of the earliest American music historians. Dwight also notably translated the Christmas carol "O Holy Night" into English from French in 1855.


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  • Created by: Paul S.
  • Added: 4 Jun 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 53260092
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Sullivan Dwight (13 May 1813–5 Sep 1893), Find a Grave Memorial no. 53260092, citing Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Paul S. (contributor 18204635) .