John Daverio
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Celebrating the life of John Daverio
Biography


John Joseph Daverio was born on October 19, 1954, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, the son of John D. Daverio and Margaret Elise Sparano Daverio. John was a 1971 alumnus of Sharon High School, where he graduated with honors in his junior year. He received the National Merit Scholarship and was subsequently pursued by many universities and colleges for his academic achievements.

He first entered Boston University at the end of his junior year of high school at the age of 16, and from then on was an integral member of its academic community. From 1971 to 1973 he was a violin student at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, where he was recognized for his high-caliber performances with the Silverstein Award. At Boston University, John earned a Bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) in 1975 and a Master’s degree in 1976, both in violin performance. He continued his studies in the Musicology Department with Murray Lefkowitz and Joel Sheveloff, and in 1983 he graduated with a Ph.D. in Musicology. His first area of scholarly specialization, instrumental music of the Baroque period, is reflected in his dissertation on “Formal Design and Terminology in the Pre-Corellian Sonata,” a topic that revolutionized an area of research that had remained unexplored for years.

John spent his entire teaching career at Boston University, where he held various positions, including: teaching associate in music history (1979–83); assistant professor of music history (1983–89); associate professor (1989-1998); professor of music (1998-2003). For more than fifteen years (1987-2003), John served as Chair of both the Department of Musicology at the College of Fine Arts, and the Department of Music at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He was also Chair of the Department of Music at the College of Liberal Arts (1992–2003), and during the academic year 2001-02 he was Director ad interim of the School of Music at the College of Fine Arts.

John distinguished himself as one of the leading scholars in the field of nineteenth-century music. In 1987 he won the prestigious Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society for his article “Schumann’s ‘Im Legendenton’ and Friedrich Schlegel’s Arabeske” published in 19th-Century Music. Several papers and publications followed, ranging in concentration from the music and aesthetics of Wagner’s operas to the literary influences in the music of Schumann and Brahms, culminating in his first monograph, Nineteenth-Century Music and the German Romantic Ideology (1993). With a focus on researching the life and music of Robert Schumann, John produced his second major publication, the biography Robert Schumann: Herald of a ‘New Poetic Age (1997), a work that will remain standard reference in the field for years to come. His third book, Crossing Paths: Schubert, Schumann and Brahms (2002), probes “various kinds of intersections among the three composers,” and is “filled with original and suggestive insights that will undoubtedly stimulate continuing inquiry into the questions that they raise,” according to Margaret Notley (MLA Notes 60/1 [August 15, 2003]).

John’s numerous articles, reviews and essays have appeared in Acta Musicologica, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 19th-Century Music, Journal of Musicology, Opera Quarterly, 19th-Century Contexts, Journal of Musicological Research, College Music Symposium, Current Musicology, Beethoven Forum, Brahms Studies, Schumann and His World, and the Cambridge Companions to Beethoven and Mozart—to name a few. He was a contributor of many entries in the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001), including the entry on Robert Schumann.

A member of various professional societies, John served as President of the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society (1990-92), Council member to the Society (1997-99), co-chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 1998 annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Boston, and most recently as director-at-large on the Board of the Society (2000-02). He was also member of the Board of Directors of the American Brahms Society (1993-2003), and he served as President of the American Brahms Society from 1999 to 2001.

John was a brilliant teacher. His students remember him preparing each class with the same care and attention to detail that characterized his scholarly work, and delivering each lecture with a quiet passion that inspired the hearts and minds of all his students. His devotion to teaching and to his students was formally recognized in 1997 when he received the Boston University Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, a student-nominated honor.

In addition to his scholarly endeavors, John never stopped being active as a performer. An accomplished violinist, he was equally comfortable playing solo and ensemble literature of any period. He was especially active in the greater Boston area, where he often gave concerts to benefit music therapy programs in local hospitals. Among John’s many talents was a facility for languages; he spoke German, French, Italian, Latin, and some modern Greek.

John brought qualities of grace, dignity, and compassion to the lives of all who knew him. His unfailing humor, energy, kindness, intellectual breadth, and leadership inspired—and will continue to inspire—students and colleagues alike.

John’s funeral Mass was celebrated at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Sharon, Pennsylvania on April 22, 2003; he is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

 

 

 
Boston University
14 October, 2003