9. John Knowles Paine [365 Composers for 2013]


9th January – John Paine


Paine (9th January 1839 – 25th April 1906) is our composer for 9th January, in remembrance of the day of his birth


Nationality: American

Lifespan: 67 years

Religion:/Philosophy: Christian

Genre: Romantic

Education: Berlin

Fame Ranking: 5


Paine’s claim to fame is that he was Harvard University’s first ever Professor of Music – a fact made all the more surprising because he himself lacked a formal musical education. Based in Maine, Paine’s family suffered a severe financial crisis when their business was destroyed by the Great Fire of Portland and his father died soon after. Paine survived by performing benefit concerts and used the money he had earned to travel to Berlin to study organ, composition and voice.

On his return to the United States in 1861, Paine initially found work as an organist in Boston. Soon after, he was appointed choirmaster at Harvard College, aged only 23. Eight years later he received an honorary Master of Arts degree which meant he could then take up a position on the teaching staff. In 1874 he became the first Academic Professor of Music ever at an American university.

Paine’s other claim to fame is that he wrote the first ever symphony composed by an American. His works include large scale pieces for orchestra or chorus and orchestra, works for organ and piano, and one opera.


Here are four of Paine’s’ “Ten Sketches for Piano”:


Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel - .
What do you think about this composers music?
  • Not Sure
  • Love it
  • Hate it
  • Dislike it
  • Like it
  • It's OK


Listen to more tracks by Hurlstone – click the box!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *