An unofficial Seymour DeKoven page

In order to better support the Baracoco community, there is now a Barococo Blog

The rest of this page is archival

Several people have written to us about Seymour DeKoven in the past. We show it here. If you want to add or change anything, please write to us

Some 'facts' we have collected:

  • His show was broadcast in New York on FM Station WFUV
  • He passed away 10/29/84
  • Albums: Dekoven, More Dekoven

From Bernard DiCasimirro (Feb. 4, 2006)

As a student at Marlboro College from 1973-77 I so looked forward to "DeKoven Presents" every Sunday evening which aired over WFCR in Amherst(?), Ma. I only began my classical music education as an undergraduate in Vermont, and what an incredibly large role "DKP" played in it. Each Sunday evening I hurried up mountain from choral rehearsal in Brattleboro & parked atop a hill facing south to secure the best reception possible to listen to, what I thought was, a spellbinding hour of music.The enthusiasm alone for the subject was infectious. Boy, how I miss those days. We even corresponded a couple times by postcards. DeKoven wrote in the tiniest of print in lines & circles in order to fill every miniscule space on the card...Amazing! He was NEVER short on words or opinions. I learned so much from him & became a Life Long Fan on Barracoco Music. Thanks to "DKV" & my Choral Teacher & Life Long Friend, Blanche Moyse (living still in Vt.@ 96 years young) I have had the best of musical educations.

P.S. Are there any available tapes of the old shows ?!*

*** With Much Thanks, John Quigley, Bucks Co., PA.

From Carol Wickenkamp (June 16, 2005)

How I do miss DeKoven! It was from DeKoven that I too was introduced to the Canon in D and learned to love it before it became elevator music. His encyclopedic knowledge of the music of that period, his enthusiasm and his remarkable personality made an impression on me that is indelible. He changed the way I listened to music for the rest of my life. If anyone has any recordings that they are willing to share, I would love to have a tape or two to share with my grandchildren and their music teacher. And of course, to listen to myself. I am on Google, as is everyone else here. Thank you so much for devoting this space to that incredible man. I hope he is somewhere listening to his most favorite passages, over and over, and enjoying them every time.

From Buzzie Guffanti (June 4, 2005)

I listened to ' DeKoven Presents ' in the 60's while living in North Jersey. Dekoven came on Sunday nights at 10PM.His show lasted an hour. I'm pretty sure that at one time he switched radio stations He knew his music! He referred to Bach, Vivaldi, and Handle as the blessed trinity of the baroque era. I went to one of his lectures in NYC and stood in line and was greeted by him after his presentation. I have two LPs entitled Dekoven and More Dekoven, several post cards from him, and I was a member of the Barococco Society. In the late 60's I recorded his programs reel to reel but some how the tapes got erased. In the early 90's, WAWZ , Christian station in Zaraphath, NJ rebroadcast some of his shows. I have a few of those recorded on cassetts. I believe his date of death is 10/29/84 He was a Great Man ! Buzzie adds (June 6, 2005): DeKoven ment a whole lot to me as does baroque music.. He was my mentor, I one of his many students. It's been over 35 years but I can STILL hear his voice saying some wonderful things about music AND social conditions.

From Steve Cohen (April 13, 2005)

I, too, received a three page letter written on one side of a postcard in a tiny hand. But it was a pleasure to get such a card from someone who had the same enthusiasm in his writing as on his program. I listened to him in the late '60s and early '70s. I remember being introduced to Pachelbel's Canon by DeKoven, years before it became a popular favorite everywhere. I remember him having at least three grades of excellence when it came to music: OTW (out of this world), Super OTW (one step above that), and OTU (out of this universe), reserved for just a few works. I wish there was someone like him on the air today.

From Lance P. Jarvis

I fondly remember listening to DeKoven Presents on one of the New York City FM stations in the 1960's. His unrestrained enthusiasm accompanied by his vast knowledge of the music of this period made listening to his program a most enjoyable and enriching experience. I very much looked forward his program and missed listening to him when I left New York in the mid-1960's. The miracle of stereo was just beginning to overtake monaural sound at about this time. As a frequent listener to stations that played classical music, it was a very different experience to hear DeKoven describe a selection as "super OTW (out of this world)" in his fast-paced, somewhat high pitched voice just brimming with deep affection for the composition. What a contrast to the usually rather somber hosts of classical music programs who simply announced the names of the composition, its composer, and the performing orchestral or chamber group. DeKoven was one of a kind and by listening to his program, I developed a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for what DeKoven called the Barococco genre.

From Bernie DeKoven

Seymour was my uncle, my father's brother. His specialty was what he called "barrococo music", his combination of baroque and roccoco. He was known especially for being very opinionated, playing only the parts of a symphony that he liked (a musicological no-no), and constantly asking for donations.

From Elinor DeKoven

There is a cousin of my father's, Herman's son, whose name is also Seymour DeKoven who lives in Chicago.

From John Walsh

Several weeks ago I was bemoaning the lack of good classical music programs on the radio. I recalled that perhaps the best of these was run by a gentleman, Seymour DeKoven. Up until sometime in the eighties he broadcast from the Fordham University station in New York. He called himself simply "DeKoven" in later years. He favored what he called Barococo music, baroque and rococo music. DeKoven's musical knowledge was encyclopedic and I learned a lot. He was very opinionated but, since his opinions coincided with mine, I thought he was great.

From David Ellis

Hello, name is David Ellis and I live in Seattle. My family and I remeber listening to a wonderful radio program called DeKoven Presents. It was dedicated to the "Barococo" period, as he called it, and he was a whole lot of fun.

From Michael J. Corey

I remember DeKoven with great fondness. I listened on KING FM in Seattle in the early eighties. He was opinionated, but his opinions were extremely well-informed and valuable. Somewhere I have a postal card from DeKoven with pre-printed information, but around the edge, DeKoven himself had printed a beautiful, thoughtful message in an astonishingly small hand. One phrase was something like "A magnifying glass may help you decode DeKoven." He is greatly missed.