Daverio was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, the only son of Italian-American parents. He was a professor of music at Boston University; Daverio received the University's Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Daverio died under mysterious circumstances, drowning in the Charles River at the age of 48. It remains unclear whether his death was accident or suicide, though foul play has been ruled out. Some have noted an unfortunate irony in the manner of Daverio's death, as Robert Schumann attempted suicide in 1854 by throwing himself into the Rhine river, and Daverio was among the world's leading Schumann scholars.
His major works include Nineteenth-Century Music and the German Romantic Ideology (1993), Robert Schumann: Herald of a New Poetic Age (1997), and Crossing Paths: Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms (2002).
- "Metcalf Awards for Excellence in Teaching: Past Awardees » Office of the Provost | Boston University". Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "Missing BU Professor Found Dead in Charles River".
- Beam, Alex (April 17, 2003). "This theory has a truly tragic overtone". Boston Globe.