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Nicholas D'Angelo Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MAS
Date: 16 Jul 2012

Biographical History

Nicholas V. D'Angelo (1929-2010) was a prolific American composer, conductor, musician, and teacher. A veteran of the Korean Conflict, he was a conductor of the United States Air Force Band. Beginning in 1955 and for the next 56 years, he was a professor of music at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.

Born in Erie, Pennsylvania December 2, 1929, the son of Polidoro and Josephine D'Angelo, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and obtained his master's degree from Syracuse University. He studied under various composition teachers including Bernard Rogers, Luigi Dallapiccola, Paul Hindemith and Earl George, and was a composer-in-residence at La Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, the University of Redlands in California, Georgia State University, the State University of New York at Oswego and Indiana State University. His many compositions garnered him numerous prizes, honors, and grants, including a 1985 nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in music, Hobart and William Smith Colleges' faculty award for distinguished research and scholarship, first prize at the New American Music Festival, the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and numerous commissions, including a notable one from the Society for New Music. His music is recorded on the Roulette, KLP, Century and Spectrum labels.

He and his wife Eva had three children, Paul D'Angelo, Ronald D'Angelo and Barbara Riley. Nicholas D'Angelo died on April 19, 2010 in Penfield, New York at age 80.

(Biographical sketch adapted from obituaries in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and the Finger Lakes Times.)

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Nicholas D'Angelo Papers consist of memorabilia, recordings, scores and writings by American composer Nicholas V. D'Angelo and others.

Memorabilia consists primarily of clippings about D'Angelo, his performances and work. There are also nine months' worth of the Hobart Herald (1939-1940), the college newspaper of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, in a bound volume.

Many of the Recordings are of pieces composed by, or performances conducted by, D'Angelo; a few are by others or are unidentified.. Types of music include concertos, chamber music pieces, preludes, string quartet pieces, and more. Many are of live performances, including one by the Ithaca High School Wind Ensemble and one by the Tally-Ho Music Camp Band. Others are of radio broadcasts, such as the James Douthit Simply Grand Concert Broadcast on WVIA-FM. Most are audiorecordings (CDs, 1/4" tapes, and audiocassettes) but there are a few visual items (four film reels and a few VHS cassettes)

Scores are subdivided into those by D'Angelo and those by others, which D'Angelo accumulated for research or teaching purposes. Scores by D'Angelo include symphonies, concertos, sonatas, musical dramas and more. There are pieces for all instruments — brass, woodwind, string, percussion, piano, full orchestra — as well as vocal pieces, such as a Chorale and Alleluia Four-Part Chorus of Mixed Voices. Scores by others include a few by specific composers (Mozart, Debussy, Hindemith, etc.) and a large number of others which D'Angelo had categorized in large folders simply by the instrument for which they were written. These latter are all for brass, percussion or reed instruments.

Writings are also subdivided into those by D'Angelo and those by others. Writings by D'Angelo include his dissertation submitted for the D.Ed. degree, an analysis of a Hindemith madrigale, an essay on the pre-Bach cantata, and more. Writings by others consists of a few typescripts by Diane Stevenson and a report from a Hobart and William Smith Colleges task force.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is listed below alphabetically by title or topic. In most cases it is also physically arranged that way; however, in many cases there were multiple copies of a score in different sizes, so one piece may be housed in several different boxes depending on size. Writings and Scores are subdivided into those by D'Angelo and those by others.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Access to recordings requires advance notice to produce a listening copy.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

One published item, a copy of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart : Complete String Quartets with the Horn and Clarinet Quintets (Dover Study and Playing Editions) has been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate this item.

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of a number of composers and musicians, including Franz Waxman and Miklos Rozsa. In addition, the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive has an extensive collection of recordings ranging from wax cylinders and early phonodiscs to contemporary commercial recordings.

Subject Headings


D'Angelo, Nicholas V.
Dallapiccola, Luigi, 1904-1975.
George, Earl, 1924-1994.
Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963.
Rogers, Bernard, 1893-1968.

Corporate Bodies

Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Society for New Music.
Syracuse University.
University of Pennsylvania.


Chamber music -- 20th century.
Composers -- United States -- 20th century.
Music -- Manuscripts.
Orchestral music -- Scores and parts -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

16mm (photographic film size)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Compact discs.
Educational films.
Film reels.
Manuscripts for publication.
Sound recordings.


Conductors (Music)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Nicholas D'Angelo Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of the estate of Nicholas D'Angelo, 2011.

Additional material, gift of Barbara D'Angelo. 2018.

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