Dr. John Knight, Conductor Emeritus

Photograph of John Knight

Dr. John Knight is Professor Emeritus of Conducting and Ensembles and Music Education at Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio. He has been a member of the Oberlin Conservatory community since 1978 and served as chairman of the Conducting Division for many years. He retired in 2013. John received his baccalaureate degree from the University of Central Arkansas and the master’s and doctoral degrees from Louisiana State University. He is a guest conductor of professional orchestras and bands, all state and honor ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia at such venues as the Sir Adrian Boult Hall in Birmingham, England; Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago Orchestra Hall; and in 2016 in Carnegie Hall, New York.

At the Oberlin Conservatory Dr. Knight was awarded numerous teaching grants to study wind pedagogy with members of the Chicago Symphony: Arnold Jacobs, Ray Still, Vincent Cichowicz, Dale Clevenger and Clark Brody. John has been the recipient of the H. H. Powers travel grant to visit major music conservatories of West Germany, Italy, Holland, England, Japan, and China where he presented lectures and workshops concerning the teaching of conducting and music education in the United States. At the Parma and Milan Conservatories in Italy, Dr. Knight did extensive research on the conducting techniques of Arturo Toscanini. In England, he researched the wind music of Percy Grainger, Gustav Holst, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Three times he has been visiting professor of conducting at Salford University and the Birmingham Conservatory, England.

Dr. Knight is on the board of directors for The Instrumentalist magazine where he has had over 100 published articles on conducting. For his articles he received the Citation of Excellence for creative writing from the Educational Press Association of America. Dr. Knight is the author of The Interpretive Wind Band Conductor published by Meredith Music Publications in 2007, which is devoted to the conducting pedagogy needed for the interpretation of major concert band repertoire, and The Golden Age of Conductors, published by Meredith in 2010, which is an interpretive analysis of musical masterworks by twenty great maestros from Arturo Toscanini to Carlos Kleiber. John is also co-author of the popular textbook "Prelude to Music Education," published by Prentice Hall which is used in college classrooms throughout the USA.