Dr. Joseph Barone

Our Founder

Dr. Joseph Barone was the director of the Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music from its founding in 1934 until his death in 1988. He was born in New York City in 1910 and had his first violin lessons there at the age of four. He continued his study of the violin in Philadelphia, where his teachers included Louis Svečenski and Carl Flesch.

In his twenties, he turned his attention to conducting, studying with Pierre Monteux and Fritz Stiedry. Dr. Barone was the founder and director of the Philadelphia and New York Little Symphonies, organizations dedicated to furthering the careers of American soloists, conductors, and composers. Among the musicians who made debut appearances with the orchestras were Robert Merrill and Margaret Harshaw, later of the Metropolitan Opera Company, Lukas Foss, Frederick Fennell, Natalie Hinderas, and Anshel Brusilow. In 1946, the New York Little Symphony gave the world premiere of the Third Symphony of Charles Ives. The orchestras also performed new works by such composers as Virgil Thomson, Alan Hovhaness, Carl Ruggles, Ulysses Kay, David Diamond, and Lou Harrison.

In 1942, Dr. Barone was appointed director of l’Ecole Monteux, the summer conducting school in Hancock, Maine, where he taught for nearly twenty years. After teaching at Temple University and Syracuse University, he joined the music faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an Assistant Professor of Music until 1960. At the University, he founded the Collegium Musicum and conducted the local premieres of works ranging from L’Amfiparnaso of Orazio Vecchi to Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. He was Director of Musical Programs at the University of Pennsylvania Museum from 1944 until 1961, served on the Editorial Board of Who Is Who in Music, and was a member of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology.

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