Daniel Albright died suddenly in the early morning of Saturday, January 3, at the age of 69. He was a scholar renowned in the fields of English, Comparative Literature, Musicology, and the field he helped create: Comparative Arts.
Born in Chicago, Il, on October 29, 1945, he completed his early schooling there. When he was accepted at both CalTech and Rice University, his parents said he could attend either one, but if he attended Rice (which was free at the time) he could take a European tour before entering college. Already a passionate lover of art and music, he opted for Europe and never regretted it. Though he didn’t know it would be the last summer of his life, he recreated much of that early tour this past summer, seeing sights in Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio he hadn’t seen since the summer of his 17th year.
After starting a mathematics major at Rice, he switched at the last minute and graduated in 1967 with a degree in English. He then attended Yale University where he finished his PhD on Yeats in three years, under the supervision of Richard Ellmann, and took his first posting as an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia. While at Virginia, he met and married Karin Larson, and they had his only child, Christopher Albright. The family moved to Rochester New York, where Daniel became a professor of English at the University of Rochester, and an affiliate to the department of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music.
He came to Harvard University in 2003, and in 2004 received the Ernest Bernbaum Professorship of Literature. At the time of his death he had recently published the book he referred to as the most philosophical of his life, and in many ways the culmination of his life’s work: Panaesthetics: On the Unity and Diversity of the Arts. His other books are listed elsewhere on this site.
He is survived by his domestic partner Marta S. Rivera Monclova and his son Christopher and his ex-wife Karin. Memorial plans are underway, and this space will be updated with more information as it becomes available. Marta has been touched to receive many condolences at email@example.com.