John Knowles Paine (January 9, 1839 - April 25, 1906), is considered the first American-born composer to achieve recognition for large-scale orchestral music. The senior member of a group of composers collectively referred to as the Second New England School (or New England Classicists), Paine was responsible for the first significant body of concert music by composers from the United States. Other prominent composers were Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, George Chadwick, and Horatio Parker.
Paine was Harvard University’s first resident organist and choirmaster, designed the core curriculum for Harvard's music department (the first in the United States), and was appointment music professor (the first such appointment in the U.S.). He would remain a member of the faculty at Harvard until 1905. He also served as a director of The New England Conservatory of Music as well as the first guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.