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Deems Taylor (12/22/1885 - 7/03/1966)

Joseph Deems Taylor (1885–1966), born and raised in New York City, had only a few months of piano studies as his musical education by the time he entered New York University. When he graduated in 1906 he knew he had two significant talents: composing and writing. Indeed, the music he composed for three NYU varsity shows had caught the attention of Broadway producer William Dillingham who, in 1910, brought Taylor’s The Echo (with libretto by classmate William LeBaron) onto the Great White Way for a short run. Victor Herbert, who had come to one of the NYU shows, saw raw talent in Taylor, but told him he needed much more musical training. So Taylor scraped up enough money for a half-year of music theory, but not enough to study orchestration. That he taught himself using the music scores of great composers as his textbooks.




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