Joseph Castaldo papers
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
Joseph Francis Castaldo was born on December 23, 1927, in New York, New York, the son of Patrick J. and Antonia Canale Castaldo. He was raised in New York with siblings Joan, Roy, Pasquale, and Robert. At age nine, he began playing the clarinet, but by the age of eleven, was as interested in composing as he was with performing. During high school, he served as concertmaster of the school orchestra and was leader of the Dance Band, both of which often played his transcriptions and arrangements.
Following his high school graduation and at the very end of World War II, he served in the United States Army Band and was stationed in Rome. During his service, he studied at Accademia Santa Cecilia, focusing on clarinet, theory, harmony and composition.
Upon his return to the United States, he focused fully on composition, rather than performance. He studied at New York University, the New School, and the Manhattan School. In 1954, he moved to Philadelphia to attend the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, where he earned both his bachelor's (1956) and master's (1963) degrees. In addition to his skills as a performer and composer, Castaldo was recognized as a teacher, teaching music to students of all ages and levels. He became the head of the composition and theory departments at both the Philadelphia Conservatory and the Philadelphia Musical Academy.
In 1966, he was appointed president of Philadelphia Musical Academy. During his seventeen years as president, he transformed the school into the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and played an important role in the creation of the University of the Arts. The University of the Arts honored Castaldo's contributions to the school by creating the Joseph Castaldo Scholarship in Music.
He founded the Philadelphia Composers' Forum, served as Composer-in-Residence for the Grand Teton Musical Festival, served as chairman of American Music for the Music Teacher's National Association, served as a consultant to the Department of Music of the Philadelphia Board of Education in its Creative Studies in Music Program, and served as Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Festival 1973, sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. He composed works for orchestra, chamber music groups, piano, and chorus. His works have been performed internationally and published by Schirmers, Peer-Southern, and Kalmus.
Castaldo married Maryann Theresa Guenther (1936-2004) in 1960 and they divorced in 1973. He later married Ruth Kay Walker (1948-2016). In the early 1990s, Castaldo was diagnosed with cancer, and his experiences with the illness "had a dramatic effect on his music … resulting in what he called 'before cancer and after cancer'" (Dobrin). He died in 2000 at the age of 72. He was survived by his wife Kay, his children Annalisa and David, and a grandson Joseph.
Dobrin, Peter. "Joseph Castaldo, 72; composer and leader," Philadelphia Inquirer, January 20, 2000
The Joseph Castaldo papers consists of nine series and includes scores, writings and teaching material, correspondence, program notes and programs, clippings and articles, records relating to his professional associations, images, musical instruments and recordings, and memorial material.
The bulk of this collection is contained within Series I. Scores. This series highlights only one area of Castaldo's contributions to music in Philadelphia and beyond. This series is arranged by type of music: A. Orchestra, B. Choral work, C. Chamber music, D. Piano, E. Drafts and notes for unfinished compositions, and F. Works by others. For the most part, each work of music composed by Castaldo contains a full score as well as parts scores; however, this is not always the case. Researchers will generally find finished scores; on only a few occasions are there manuscript scores, annotations, or drafts. One notable example is the work called "Protogenesis," written for Fels Planetarium in 1973 which includes a description score, a graphic score, and a full, more traditional score.
On occasion, there are indications that the names of certain pieces may have changed. The name of the work on the item is recorded in the finding aid.
There are only a few works included in this collection that were not composed by Castaldo. Those other composers include Pierre Boulez, Jani Christou, Jan Krzywicki, Jack Shoemaker, and Alan R. Thomas. Most of this material was created by Jack Shoemaker, who appears to have written lyrics and text which Castaldo set to music. In addition to their working relation, it seems that Castaldo and Shoemaker were friends, and indeed, Shoemaker was a speaker at Castaldo's memorial service in February 2000. There are also a number of published scores (by well-known composers such as Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, etc.) that were marked up by Castaldo. It is unclear if he conducted these pieces of music or used them in his teaching.
Castaldo appears to have been known as much for his work in music education as for his composition of music. Despite that, there is very limited material relating to his teaching or his writings (much of which seem to relates directly to teaching and education). Of note is his draft for "Creative Studies in Music: Materials and Methods of Music," which appears to have been intended for publication, possibly within Musical Educators Journal. Material in Series II. Writings and teaching material is arranged in alphabetical order by title or topic.
Series III. Correspondence consists of eight folders of correspondence that are largely professional in nature. While some of the letters contain personal notes and are friendly and engaging, for the most part they relate to Castaldo's work life. In these letters, however, there is frequently a real sense of Castaldo's personality. Letters include invitations to speak, judge, or attend concerts. There are a number of letters discussing Castaldo's work, "Cycles," Castaldo's departure from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts in 1983, and information about his application to serve as director of the American Academy in Rome. There are also several folders of letters relating to the publishing of Castaldo's works.
Series IV. Program notes and programs contains lists, program notes, programs from many of the performances of Castaldo's works, and programs for lectures and talks given by Castaldo. The bulk of material consists of programs for musical performances which are arranged chronologically. Many of these programs include biographical sketches of Castaldo and/or notes about the specific compositions being performed. Researchers interested in this series may also wish to consult the recordings (Series VIII) contained within this collection.
Series V. Clippings and articles includes copies of newspaper clippings and articles as well as scrapbooks that Castaldo probably compiled. The clippings and articles are arranged chronologically. One scrapbook seems to be simply a collection of articles and programs documenting Castaldo's career (and are largely duplicative of the loose clippings and articles). The second scrapbook documents the Philadelphia Composers' Forum (which was founded by Castaldo) through clippings and programs. The clippings and articles in this series relate entirely to Castaldo's professional career.
Series VI. Professional associations includes contracts between Castaldo and the University of the Arts (and its predecessor institutions) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), diplomas, certificates, and applications for awards. This series is in no way comprehensive and provides only the smallest glimpse into the work and accomplishments of Castaldo.
Series VII. Images contains photographs, pencil sketches, and paintings, as well as a few posters. Photographs make up the bulk of this series with portraits, both casual and formal, probably used for promotional material; family photographs; event photographs; and photographs of Castaldo's military service in Rome. Several non-photographic portraits of Castaldo are included: one caricature, one pencil sketch, and two paintings. Posters related to concerts in which Castaldo's work was performed are also included.
Series VIII. Musical instruments and recordings consists of five musical instruments (4 mallets for percussion instruments and a maraca) and recordings of Castaldo's musical works. Recordings are on audio cassettes and 5 and 7 inch reel to reel tapes. Recordings are arranged alphabetically by title of work; or if multiple works are contained on one tape, the name of the musical festival or program. Titles were taken directly from the media.
Original audio/visual material and computer files, located in boxes 6-8, are restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it 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 (email@example.com) 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.
Series IX. Memorial material contains letters of sympathy, church service programs, Mass cards, obituaries, and the program, remarks, and funeral register book from the February 19, 2000 memorial service celebrating Castaldo's life, following a long battle with cancer. Recordings of this memorial service are included.
This collection provides a view into the professional life of a composer and educator in Philadelphia, with a seemingly robust accumulation of his scores, programs, clippings, and photographs. Other components of the collection appear to be sparse (particularly his work with the Philadelphia Musical Academy, the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, and the University of the Arts) and therefore researchers interested in these topics may need to consult collections held by the University of the Arts (https://library.uarts.edu/dc/findingaids.html). There is limited material showing his methodology in working from idea to finished product; however, Castaldo's oeuvre is well documented in this collection.
Gift of Kay Castaldo, 2004.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Siel Agugliero and Holly Mengel
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The bulk of this collection is open for research use; however, original audio/visual material and computer files, located in boxes 6-8, are restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.