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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA
Nickname Teddy

Mini Bio (2)

Respected composer and teacher, educated at the Cherubini Royal Institute of Music. He studied with Ildrebrando Pizzetti and Edgardo del Valle de Paz. It is generally thought that Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco actually composed more film music than he is credited with, and that he was often called upon to ghost-write film music for other composers who were under time constraints or had other difficulties completing their assignments.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was born in Florence, Italy. Although a talented pianist at a young age, his father had ambitions for him to enter the world of banking - but eventually relented so that Mario could pursue his own ambitions. After completing his studies, he was beginning to establish a good reputation in his homeland and had made the acquaintance of several important composers and musicians, including Manuel de Falla, Arturo Toscanini, Andres Segovia and Jascha Heifetz; but the events leading up to World War 2 intervened. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's family were Sephardic Jews, and although at that time he had not paid great attention to those traditions himself, the rise and spread of fascism led to the authorities cancelling performances of his works. As conditions deteriorated, his friends helped make arrangements and with his young family he was smuggled out of Italy and onwards to the United States, arriving shortly before the outbreak of war in Europe.

With the benefit of introductions from his influential friends, plus his own natural musical talent, he was able to gain a job among the music staff at MGM Studios. Once there he began to flourish, although was disappointed by the lack of recognition he felt music frequently suffered - with the visual parts of a movie often making it extremely challenging to develop a strong musical theme. However, while his fellow composers worked slowly with pencil and eraser, Mario worked quickly and accurately with ink. Nevertheless, the tradition continued that credit was given not to the actual composer, but often to an "old-timer" who may have had very little input.

After setting up home in Beverley Hills, California, Mario began to work as a busy freelance composer for any of the studios who required his services. He was also teaching music theory and composition. When the US entered the war, as an Italian Mario found his movements restricted. However, this was no great hardship, as his pupils and friends were happy to visit him at his home during that time. Among his pupils were many of the most important names from the next generation of soundtrack composers - including John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Henry Mancini.

In parallel to his work on movies and in teaching, he continued to write many serious compositions for classical performance in the concert hall. His two piano concertos and two violin concertos date from when he was still resident in Italy, as does his first guitar concerto (Op.99); but he wrote his second guitar concerto (Op.160) and his concerto for two guitars (Op.201) while in the US, along with other orchestral works and many chamber and solo pieces for various instruments. His contribution to the repertoire for classical guitar is especially noteworthy, with many beautiful and finely crafted works which continue to be regularly performed and recorded.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pete Jinks

Trivia (1)

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Guitar Concerto No.1 in D, Op.99 was completed in 1938 and dedicated to Andres Segovia. It was the first modern guitar concerto, being published and performed just a few months prior to the arrival of Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. Before these two works, the last guitar concerto published was more than 100 years earlier.

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