Music of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895 - 1968)
Pianist David Witten has been described as a pianist "with that rare, elusive quality that charms and fascinates the listener." (Redondel, Milan, Italy) Witten's international career has included numerous concert tours in Ireland, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Mexico, South America, and China. As the recipient of a 1990 Fulbright Scholar award, Witten spent five months teaching and concertizing throughout Brazil, and he is frequently invited back to give concerts and masterclasses.
Closer to home, Witten’s performances have included solo appearances with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and various chamber music collaborations with the Shanghai String Quartet, and also with members of the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Witten has also been active in contemporary music. He has recorded Piano Music of Nicholas Van Slyck for Titanic Records, and has commissioned over a dozen new works for Soli Espri, a chamber trio he founded in Boston with clarinetist Chester Brezniak and mezzo-soprano D’Anna Fortunato. With flutist Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin, Witten formed Dúo Clásico; their recording, Flute and Piano Music of Latin America, was issued on the Musical Heritage Society label. Marco Polo Records released Witten’s solo recording, Piano Music of Manuel M. Ponce. His most recent recordings, Piano Music of Nikolai Tcherepnin, and Songs of Nikolai Tcherepnin, with soprano Elena Mindlina, were issued on the Toccata Classics label. Currently, Witten is preparing a solo CD of the piano music of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (3 April 1895 – 16 March 1968) was an Italian composer, pianist and writer. He was known as one of the foremost guitar composers in the twentieth century with almost one hundred compositions for that instrument. In 1939 he immigrated to the United States and became a film composer for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for some 200 Hollywood movies for the next fifteen years. He also wrote concertos for Jascha Heifetz and Gregor Piatigorsky.
Castelnuovo-Tedesco wrote as prolifically for the piano as he did in other genres. Until forced into exile he enjoyed a considerable reputation as a pianist, and his earlier piano compositions often reflect contemporary French influences.
Photo Credit: Mike Peters