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Robert Capanna scores


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Robert Capanna was an American composer and director of music education. Born in 1952 in Camden, New Jersey, he spent his early musical life commuting to Philadelphia for music lessons. Originally a trombonist, he received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in composition from the Philadelphia Music Academy, where he studied with Joseph Castaldo and Theodore Antoniou. In 1974, he was the Bruno Maderna Fellow in Composition at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he worked with Jacob Druckman and was awarded the Koussevitsky Prize in composition.

Capanna's works have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Penn Contemporary Players, Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, Amherst Music Center Orchestra, Dallas Civic Symphony, the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra, Network for New Music, the Trio di Milano, Colorado String Quartet, Mendelssohn Quartet, Concerto Soloists, Orchestra 2001, and the Philadelphia Singers.

In 1976, Capanna became director of the Kardon-Northeast Branch of the Settlement Music School, a community school of the arts with branches throughout the greater Philadelphia region, and from 1982 to 2009, he served as the school's executive director. During his tenure the school grew from three branches to six, launched an integrated arts preschool, Kaleidoscope, and founded the Joseph and Marie Field Chamber Music Center. Capanna passed away on January 26, 2018.

This collection includes scores by composer Robert Capanna. These are separated into six series: Solo instruments, Chorus, Instrumental ensembles, Voice and instruments, Large ensembles, and Arrangements. Scores written before or around 1995 often exist in pen or pencil on onion-skin and in final, published form; scores written after 1995 are generally printed, both in draft and final, published form. Because Capanna continually revised his works, some pieces appear in multiple versions. There is also a flash drive which contains PDF versions of the scores.

Gift of Cathryn Coate, 2018 August 15.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Sam Allingham
Finding Aid Date
2018 February 22
Access Restrictions

The bulk of this collection is open for research use. However, the PDFs on the flash drive in box 4 do not have digital copies; if access is requested, they will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services ( for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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"Phorminx" for harp, 1975.
Box 3 Folder 1
"Phorminx II" for solo guitar, 1976.
Box 3 Folder 2
"Remembrance," for solo bassoon, 1977.
Box 1 Folder 1
"Sonata" for solo guitar, 1979, revised 1995.
Box 1 Folder 2
"Remembrance 2" for solo cello, 1980, revised 1981.
Box 1 Folder 3
"Stria" for flute, 1981.
Box 3 Folder 3
"Thirteen Variations on a Moving Ground" for solo clarinet, 1996.
Box 1 Folder 4
"Piano Sonata", 1996.
Box 1 Folder 5
"Magic Numbers II: Reflections" for solo piano, 2003.
Box 1 Folder 6
"Magic Numbers VI: Inventions" for solo piano, 2004.
Box 1 Folder 7
"Three Pieces for Young Pianists", 2009.
Box 1 Folder 8
"Piano Sonata #2", 2015.
Box 1 Folder 9
"Three Concert Etudes" for clarinet, undated.
Box 1 Folder 10

"Three Psalms", 2000.
Box 1 Folder 11
"Six Songs", 2010.
Box 1 Folder 12

"Rota" for percussion quartet, 1973.
Box 3 Folder 4
"Wind Quintet" for woodwind quintet, 1975.
Box 3 Folder 5
"Trio 4" for flute, oboe, and cello, 1976.
Box 3 Folder 6
"Sextet" for clarinet, trombone, viola, violincello, harp, and piano, 1976.
Box 3 Folder 7
"Trio" for clarinet, tuba, and piano, 1977.
Box 1 Folder 13
"Trio 2" for flute, oboe, and harp, 1977.
Box 1 Folder 14
"Trio 3" for guitar, marimba, and harp, 1978.
Box 3 Folder 8
"Trio 4" for flute, oboe, violincello, 1980, revised 1988.
Box 1 Folder 15
"Duo" for two guitars, 1982, revised 1989.
Box 1 Folder 16
"Variations" for flute and harp, 1986.
Box 3 Folder 9
"Trio 5" for piano trio, 1989, revised 1995.
Box 1 Folder 17
"Quartet" for saxophones, 1995.
Box 1 Folder 18
"String Quartet #1" , 1996.
Box 1 Folder 19
"Trio 6" foir violin, cello, piano, 1998.
Box 1 Folder 20
"Five Serenades for Woodwind Quartet", 1999.
Box 1 Folder 21
"String Quartet #2: Point of Departure", 2000.
Box 1 Folder 22
"Variation" for flute and harp, 2002.
Box 1 Folder 23
"Magic Numbers" for violin, viola, violincello, double bass, harp, and percussion, 2003.
Box 1 Folder 24
"Magic Numbers III: Diversions" for woodwind quintet, 2003.
Box 1 Folder 25
"Magic Numbers IV: Recollections" for brass quintet, 2003.
Box 1 Folder 26
"Magic Numbers V: Hymns and Dances" for flute, clarinet, violin, and violincello, 2004, revised 2005.
Box 1 Folder 27
"Moment of Refraction" for saxophone quartet, 2004.
Box 1 Folder 28
"Duo" for violin and piano, 2006.
Box 1 Folder 29
"Dance for Tony" for violin and marimba, 2006.
Box 1 Folder 30
"Sonata" for violin and piano, 2007.
Box 1 Folder 31
"Eight Impressions" for flute and piano , 2008.
Box 1 Folder 32
"Diabelli Variant" for flute, clarinet, and violincello, 2009.
Box 1 Folder 33
"Variation After Mozart" for woodwind quartet, 2009.
Box 1 Folder 34
"Trio" for violin, viola, and violincello, 2012.
Box 1 Folder 35
Too Light, Too Light, Like a Sudden Waking" for string trio, 2016.
Box 1 Folder 36
"Song" for violin and piano, undated.
Box 1 Folder 37

"Traveller" for baritone and mixed ensemble, 1975.
Box 4 Folder 1
"Two Songs" for tenor and piano/baritone and string quartet, 1976.
Box 1 Folder 38
"Reliquaries" for soprano and chamber orchestra, 1984.
Box 4 Folder 2
"Six Significant Landscapes" for soprano, flute, violin, and violincello, text by Wallace Stevens, 1984.
Box 4 Folder 3
"Two Blake Songs" for soprano, two guitars, harp, and marimba, 1985.
Box 4 Folder 4
"Four Blake Songs" for soprano and piano, 1986.
Box 4 Folder 5
"The Blue Guitar" for narrator and ensemble, 1991.
Box 1 Folder 39-40
"Song on a Text by William Blake" for voice and violincello, 1996.
Box 2 Folder 1
"Songs of an Ancient Mariner, Book One" for baritone and string quartet, 1999.
Box 2 Folder 2
"Songs of an Ancient Mariner, Book Two" for baritone and string quartet, 2000.
Box 2 Folder 3
"Songs of an Ancient Mariner, Book Three" for baritone and string quartet, 2001.
Box 2 Folder 4
"Songs of an Ancient Mariner" for baritone and string quartet, full score, 2003.
Box 2 Folder 5
"Songs of an Ancient Mariner," string parts, 2003.
Box 2 Folder 6
"Reliquaries" for soprano and chamber orchestra, 2004.
Box 2 Folder 7
"Rumplestiltskin" for narrator, violin, and violincello, 2005.
Box 2 Folder 8
"The Meaning of Is" for soprano and piano, 2009.
Box 2 Folder 9
"What I Know" for soprano and chamber ensemble, 2016.
Box 2 Folder 10

"Day," rehearsal copy with texts, 1987.
Box 4 Folder 6
"Day," full score, 1987.
Box 4 Folder 7
"Chamber Symphony," individual parts, 1994.
Box 2 Folder 11
"Chamber Symphony," full score, 1994.
Box 2 Folder 12
"Three Pieces for String Orchestra", 1996.
Box 2 Folder 13
"Day," unbound parts, 1998.
Box 2 Folder 14
"Day," piano/vocal scores, 1998.
Box 2 Folder 15
"Day," unbound score, 1998.
Box 2 Folder 16
"Day," full score, 1998.
Box 2 Folder 17
"Orchestral Overture" for full orchestra, 1999.
Box 2 Folder 18
"In Summer Wind" for orchestra, 2001.
Box 2 Folder 19
"Three Variants" by Jan Krzywicki, an adaptation of Robert Capanna's "Three Pieces for String Orchestra", 2009.
Box 2 Folder 20
"Piccolo Concertante" for saxophone quartet and string orchestra, 2016.
Box 2 Folder 21
"Piccolo Concertante" for saxophone and string quartet, 2016.
Box 2 Folder 22
Flash drive with PDF of scores, undated.
Box 4 Folder 9

"Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune" by Claude Debussy, arranged by Capanna, 1990.
Box 4 Folder 8

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