Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad

Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad

by Rufus Jones


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Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad by Rufus Jones

In Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad, conductor and scholar Rufus Jones Jr. brings to light a literal treasure trove of unpublished primary sources to tell the compelling story of this great American conductor. A testament to Dixon’s resolve, this first-ever full-length biography of this American musical hero chronicles Dixon’s musical upbringing, beginnings as a conductor, painful decision to leave his own country, rise to fame in Europe and his triumphant stand twenty-one years later when he returned to the United States to serve as a model for aspiring Black classical musicians.

Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad will interest anyone who wants to know more about Black American history, American musical culture, and Black American concert music and musicians.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810888555
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/16/2015
Series: African American Cultural Theory and Heritage Series
Pages: 206
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Rufus Jones Jr. is an orchestral conductor, published author, and educator. His research has focused on African American classical musicians. Dr. Jones has conducted orchestras of all levels for over two decades and is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: West Indians in Harlem
Chapter 2: Dean Dixon School of Music
Chapter 3: The Damrosch School
Chapter 4: Pursuing the Dream
Chapter 5: Eleanor Roosevelt
Chapter 6: The Plastic Carrot
Chapter 7: Search for Democracy
Chapter 8: Black and White
Chapter 9: Exodus
Chapter 10: Mary
Chapter 11: Drama, Down Under
Chapter 12: Prague
Chapter 13: Sojourn Home
Chapter 14: I’m Not Tired Yet
Chapter 15: Ritha
Epilogue: On My Shoulders
Appendix 1: In Memoriam
Appendix 2: Conductors Handbook
Selected Bibliography
About the Author

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Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
D_Donovan More than 1 year ago
It's relatively rare to have a musical biography come from a scholar and researcher who is also a conductor; but such is the case with Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad, which outlines the saga of a great (but largely unheralded) Afro-American conductor. This first full-length biography of Dixon follows his evolution from his early achievements as a budding conductor, his difficult decision to leave America for better opportunities in Europe and his eventual return to this country to serve as a role model for aspiring Black classical musicians. It's a cut above most biographical treatments, holding great social and political insights: thus, it belongs in not just music book collections, but the holdings of civil rights libraries and libraries strong in Afro-American history and the rise of black musicians. Dixon's internationally-acclaimed career paved the way for fellow Black musicians (classically trained or not) and created an atmosphere whereby these musicians could achieve their goals at home in America without having to follow in his footsteps of leaving their homeland in pursuit of recognition sans prejudice. From the special challenges of an interracial marriage which went above and beyond family acceptance to involvements of the media in Dixon's career and his special challenges in gaining recognition abroad and then at home Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad goes far beyond the anticipated survey of one man's life to consider exactly what stood in his way, how he handled career obstacles, and how his choices directly led to an improved atmosphere for those who followed in his footsteps. It's this focus and attention to specifics that make Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad such a powerful read, highly recommended for not just classical music collections, but any interested in racial issues and history in America.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Roy T. James for Readers' Favorite Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad by Rufus Jones Jr. is the biography of the first Black American to lead the New York Philharmonic and NBC Symphony orchestras in 1941. Rufus begins by tracing the family of Henry Charles Dixon from the closing years of the nineteenth century to the birth of Dean Rolston Dixon in 1915. He goes on to give us a peep into Dixon's childhood. Dixon's growing stature and the admiration and help from influential people like Ms Roosevelt, which enabled him to perform at many prestigious venues not normally open to black conductors, are described poignantly. He and a pianist, Vivian, fall in love and get married, and her being white adds to interesting consequences too. They make successful visits across Europe, but later they divorce, he developing a friendship with a playwright to eventually settle down in Sweden. This, their separation, another marriage, and more visits are all entwined in the busy schedule Dixon kept throughout his life. Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad by Rufus Jones Jr. is the story of an inspiring life. The author has shown a great degree of balance in covering the childhood, formative years, and the eventful career of a world famous American, more or less equitably. The sense of justice is visible even when the discussion is about the racial injustice the maestro did suffer, or the love and affection he received from all races. One observation though, the important events in the career and personal life of Dean Dixon are adequately covered except for the failures of his marital life. Both the divorces hit me without warning.