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Celebrating Composer Castelnuovo-Tedesco

Celebrating Composer Castelnuovo-Tedesco

 

 

Introduction to Mario & Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco.  1:35 min. Design:  Raymond Elman.

 

I first met Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco at a Tribute Concert for her grandfather, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, at Florida International University in 2017.  The concert was part of the Miami International GuitART Festival which celebrated the musical legacy of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968), one of the foremost guitar composers in the 20th century. Born in Florence, Castelnuovo-Tedesco was descended from a prominent Jewish banking family that had lived in Florence since the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. Castelnuovo-Tedesco was first introduced to the piano by his mother, and he composed his first pieces when he was just nine years old. He fled Italy in 1939, and migrated to the U.S.,  where he became a film composer for MGM Studios for some 200 Hollywood movies and wrote almost 100 compositions for guitar, some of which were written for and dedicated to the legendary Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia, a frequent collaborator.

Born in Los Angeles, Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco grew up near the California home of her grandfather,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and her grandmother, Clara. Diana studied art history and Italian at Smith College in Massachusetts before settling in New York City.  Diana dedicates herself to making her grandfather’s vast catalog of compositions more accessible to performers, scholars, and the general public. In 2015, the Castelnuovo-Tedesco family began a collaboration with Edizioni Curci (edizionicurci.it) and the Comitato Nazionale Italiano Musica (CIDIM) to publish a number of works for the first time, including vocal, chamber, and piano music. In addition, Diana continues to augment the Castelnuovo-Tedesco Collection at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., which encompasses more than 7,000 documents, including hundreds of original musical manuscripts. Diana has participated in conferences and seminars in the United States and in Europe that have explored different aspects of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s music, life, and legacy. In 2016, Diana, her sister, and cousins accepted the Mi Ricordo (I Remember) Award from the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles on behalf of their grandfather. In 2018,  the family participated in a ceremony at the Italian House of Representatives in Rome which honored Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s memory. The composer was awarded Il Premio del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana, the Presidential Medal, eighty years after Italy’s racial laws prompted Castelnuovo-Tedesco to emigrate to the United States. 

Diana brings to her role as representative for her grandfather’s legacy many years of experience in public relations and communications. She founded and managed her own New York-based firm, Fraîche PR, for 12 years, where she developed marketing and communications programs for lifestyle brands and cultural organizations. In 2011 she was a winner of the British Airways Face-of-Opportunity Contest, a program recognizing internationally-minded entrepreneurs. Previously, she was head of global communication for the Smirnoff brand at the premium drinks company Diageo. She also served as vice president of press and public relations for the global beauty leader Coty, based in Paris.  

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED: 0:33 sec.

Tell us about your unique last name.

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:   0:25 sec.

What was your earliest memory of music?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED:  2:05 min.

Tell us about your grandfather, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND:  1:05 min.

What were the circumstances when he went back to Italy?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND:  0:36 sec.

Were your grandparents frustrated by a lack of culture in Hollywood?

 

CRITICAL THINKING:  0:44 sec.

Did the Italian government try to make amends for what happened to your grandfather?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES: 1:33 min.

Which of your grandfather’s movie scores did you like best? And which do you think he thought were the most successful?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:   0:29 sec.

Were you able to see your grandfather work in the production studio?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED:  0:48 sec.

What do you think your grandfather would say about today’s anti-immigrant atmosphere?

 

SERENDIPITY:  2:13 min.

What made your grandfather want to write music for guitar?

 

SERENDIPITY:  0:42 sec.

How did Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco meet Andres Segovia?

 

PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS:  1:51 min.

When did you know that you wanted to document your grandfather’s history and how did you go about doing that?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND:  0:58 sec.

Did you encounter any obstacles when it came to documenting your grandfather’s life?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED:  0:35 sec.

How did your grandfather get a job in Hollywood so quickly?

 

SELF-CONFIDENCE:  0:28 sec.

Was your grandfather open to all kinds of music?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:  0:30 sec.

Do you have a connection with the guitar community around the world because of your grandfather’s music?

 

RESPECTS OTHERS POINTS OF VIEW:  0:24 sec.

As people continue to play your grandfather’s music are you learning new things about the music?

 

SELF-CONFIDENCE:  0:49 sec.

What is your grandfather’s legacy?