Downes, Edward O(lin) D(avenport)

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Downes, Edward O(lin) D(avenport)

Downes, Edward O(lin) D(avenport), American music historian, son of (Edwin) Olin Downes; b. Boston, Aug. 12, 1911. He was educated at Columbia Univ. (1929–30), the Univ. of Paris (1932–33), the Univ. of Munich (1934–36; 1938), and Harvard Univ. (Ph.D., 1958, with the diss. The Operas of johann Christian Bach as a Reflection of the Dominant Trends in Opera seria, 1750–1780). He was a music critic for the N.Y. Post (1935–38), the Boston Transcript (1939–41), and the N.Y. Times (1955–58). After serving as a lecturer in music history at Wellesley Coll. (1948–49) and Harvard Univ. (1949–50), he was prof. of music history at the Univ. of Minn. (1950–55), Queens Coll. of the City Univ. of N.Y. (1966–81), N.Y.U. (1981–86), and the Juilliard School in N.Y. (1986–94). From 1958 to 1996 he was quizmaster of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, from 1959 to 1965 musicologist-in-residence at the Bayreuth master classes, and from 1960 to 1974 program annotator of the N.Y. Phil.


Verdi: The Man in His Letters (N.Y, 1942); Adventures in Symphonic Music (N.Y., 1943); ed. with B. Brook and S. van Solkema, Perspectives in Musicology (NY., 1972); The New York Philharmonic Guide to the Symphony (N.Y, 1976; 2nd ed., 1981, as Guide to Symphonic Music).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire