Dwight, John Sullivan


One of the oldest and most widelyknown writers on musical subjects in America. He was born in Boston, and having completed his elementary education in the public schools he was sent to Harvard, from which institution he graduated in 1832. While attending the university he joined a musical society of students called the Pierian Sodality, which later developed into the Harvard Musical Association. He practised at this time on the clarinet  and flute and familiarized himself with the works of Beethoven and Mozart. He next entered the school of divinity and studied for the ministry, and was ordained as pastor of the Unitarian Church at Northampton, Mass. He left this field after a few years to devote himself to literature, and shortly after became widely known as a writer on musical subjects. He was one of the founders of the Brook Farm Community, teaching German music and the classics there, and after the failure of the community he played a conspicuous part in the formation and organization of the Harvard Musical Association in 1837. He founded Dwight's Journal of Music, which aimed to advance the art, and for fifteen years he was its editor-in-chief. It was one of the leading musical journals of America, and in 1881 its publication was assumed by the music firm of Oliver Ditson & Co. Mr. Dwight contributed to the Dial, The Christian Examiner and other periodicals, and beside his labors in the field of music he compiled a collection of excellent translations of the minor poems of Goethe and Schiller and wrote essays. A memoir of him was published by G. W. Cooke in 1899, who also, with G. W. Curtis, edited his correspondence in 1898.