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7/18/96: What was the single greatest influence on your music-making?

There was no single influence but there were many people who influenced me: my grandfather; my principal piano teacher, Ada Kopetz-Korf; my teacher of harmony and composition, Nicholas Flagello; and my uncle, Nicola, whom I often watched in rehearsal over many years.

There were also some musicians I had rather brief but significant contact with that left a great impression: Bruno Maderna, Erich Leinsdorf, Herbert von Karajan, Arturo Benedetti-Michelangeli, and the great chorus master, Roberto Benaglio. The first two greatly influenced my way of looking at the structure of a composition and the relationships of various tempos. The last three showed me the importance of dynamic color—not only the level of dynamic but also the choice of technique to achieve a certain tone quality.

Above all, there were certain non-music teachers I owe a lot to. Among them Latin teachers, Herbert Musurillo and Anthony Aracic, and an English teacher, Thomas Curley, opened my mind and heart to the beauty of interdisciplinary study. There is color in Stravinsky and music in Giotto.


1996 by Joseph Rescigno. The text here may be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given.

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