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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » P » Paine, John Knowles



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John Knowles Paine (1/09/1839 - 4/25/1906)

Paine was born into a musical family on 9 January 1839, in the coastal city of Portland, Maine. His father, Jacob, an instrument-maker and music-store owner, played a significant rôle in Portland’s musical life. The young Paine studied organ, piano, harmony and counterpoint with Hermann Kotzschmar, a German immigrant and itinerant musician who had settled in Portland. In 1858 Paine went to Germany for formal music study. There he began to build a reputation as an outstanding organist (attracting the attention of Clara Schumann, who asked the young American to play some of his compositions for her). Within a year of returning home in 1861, he began teaching organ at Harvard University—and it was there that he made his most significant contribution to the development of American music.

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