Joseph Deems Taylor was an American music critic, composer, and promoter of classical music.
25 Facts About Deems Taylor
Deems Taylor was born in New York City to JoJo and Katherine Taylor.
Deems Taylor attended Ethical Culture Elementary School, followed by New York University.
Deems Taylor was involved romantically with soprano Colette D'Arville after his divorce.
Deems Taylor married a third and last time in 1945, to costume designer Lucille Watson-Little.
Deems Taylor died on July 3,1966, of leukemia at the age of 80.
Deems Taylor is interred at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.
Deems Taylor initially planned to become an architect; however, despite minimal musical training he soon took to music composition.
Deems Taylor acquired several students, including composer Mary Watson Weaver.
In 1919, Deems Taylor gave a series of lectures on music history in Denver, Colorado.
In 1921 Deems Taylor secured a job as music critic for the New York World, a post he held when approached by the Metropolitan Opera to suggest a composer to write a new opera.
Deems Taylor put forth his own name, and was accepted, the result being The King's Henchman, with the libretto by Edna St Vincent Millay.
Deems Taylor's music is often witty, always deftly formed, well-timed, and entertaining.
Deems Taylor was a promoter of classical music throughout his life.
Deems Taylor worked extensively in broadcasting, and as intermission commentator for the New York Philharmonic.
Deems Taylor appeared in Walt Disney's 1940 film Fantasia as the film's Master of Ceremonies, and was instrumental in selecting the musical pieces that were used in the film, including the then-controversial Sacre du Printemps.
The complete film was originally 124 minutes long, due almost entirely to the fact that Deems Taylor's commentaries were more detailed in the roadshow version.
In that version, Deems Taylor's commentaries were severely abridged.
Deems Taylor recorded commentary for other Mercury recordings: Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; the 1958 stereophonic re-make of the 1812 Overture and Frederick Fennell's ground-breaking two-album "The Civil War," which featured original music played on period instruments and sound-montages, narrated by Deems Taylor, of period weaponry and music.
In 1949, Taylor's program, Deems Taylor Concerts, was on more than 100 radio stations.
Deems Taylor was a frequent guest on the radio quiz program Information Please.
Deems Taylor hosted and narrated several television music series and documentaries.
Deems Taylor was a friend of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers, actors and critics that met almost daily from 1919 to 1929 at Manhattan's Algonquin Hotel.
Deems Taylor was the third president of ASCAP, and held the post for six years.
The ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards were established in 1967 to honor his memory.