Although Ernst von Dohnányi was considered by many of his contemporaries to be the greatest musician of his generation, his considerable musical legacy was largely ignored by the musical community in the latter half of the 20th century. This was primarily the result of a regrettable trend in the arts that valued avant-garde compositional styles at the expense of the works of composers who remained faithful to the musical language of 19th-century Romanticism. Recent years, however, have brought revised assessments of Dohnányi that disprove many of the misgivings and criticisms expressed by earlier scholars. Edited by leading contemporary scholar James A. Grymes, this work represents an essential next step in restoring Dohnányi to his rightful place in the annals of great musicians.
Many of the essays collected here have been carefully selected from the finest papers presented at the 2002 International Ernst von Dohnányi Festival at The Florida State University and are in this volume available publicly for the first time, while others are reprints of writings that have made significant advances in the field. Of particular importance is Viktor Papp’s essential 1927 biography of Dohnányi, available here in English for the first time.