- Christopher E. Mehrens
Taylor, Deems (22 December 1885–03 July 1966), composer and music critic, was born Joseph Deems Taylor in New York City, the son of Joseph S. Taylor and Katherine Johnson, both schoolteachers. They named “Deems” for Charles F. Deems, founder of the nondenominational Church of the Strangers. Taylor claimed that he was largely self-taught in music. He had, however, learned to read music in primary school, studied piano (albeit for only ten months in 1895), and, from 1897 through 1902, received regular music instruction at New York’s Ethical Culture School, where all students were taught by specialists....