William Porter, Jr. ’54

Dr. Porter was born on September 8, 1932, to William V. Porter and Margaret Hughes Porter in Raleigh, North Carolina, and passed away August 18, 2020, in Chicago, Ill.

Dr. Porter received a bachelor’s degree in music in 1954 from Davidson College, a master’s in music history in 1956 from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in music history from Yale University in 1962. Elected to Pi Kappa Lambda at Oberlin, he also received fellowships from Yale and a grant for four weeks of study at the Vatican in 1986.

Dr. Porter joined the faculty of the School of Music of Northwestern University, Evanston, IL in the fall of 1961, where he remained until his retirement in 1999 as full Professor. At Northwestern, he served as acting chairman of the Department of Music History and as coordinator of the program of musicology.

His specialization was late 16th- and 17th-century Italian music, tho’ in later years, he was an aficionado of all opera and classical music. He enjoyed travel throughout Europe and the US, especially that associated with attending musical concerts and performances.

A Member of the American Musicological Society, American Music Library Association, and International Musicological Society, Dr. Porter was the author of numerous articles and papers.

He was a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica, New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Sohlmans Musiklexikon, Studi Musicali, Con che soavita, Essays of Honor of John F. Ohl and Journal of the American Musicological Society, for which he served on the editorial board.

Dr. Porter is survived by his cousins Susanne P. Stephenson, 313 Killington Dr., Raleigh NC 27609 and Martin R. Peterson, Jr, 1749 Huntington Woods Court, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.

Interment will be in Historic Oakwood Cemetery, in Raleigh NC. A graveside service will be held at a later time.

A memorial service will be held at Fourth Presbyterian Church, in Chicago, Ill., at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please direct contributions in his memory to one of his favorite charities: Credo Music, 65 F College Street, Suite 7, Oberlin, OH 44074 or a charity of your choice.