From April to June 2020, Vito DiSalvo completed a longtime bucket list item of composing his “Symphony No. 1.” Composing this symphony and creating the virtual orchestral recording was DiSalvo’s ‘pandemic passion project’.
I have spent my life playing, teaching, arranging, composing and producing music, starting with learning the accordion at age four. Euphonium became my major instrument in college, having started baritone horn in the fifth grade. I have experienced the business side of music as well, owning, with my wife Lana, two publishing companies and a record label/artist management firm. Other than the summer after graduating high school, when I worked as a laborer in the open hearth of a steel mill, I have made my entire living doing what I love to do – music!
Typically, as one moves on in life, one has a bucket list; I had only one item on mine - to compose my first symphony. I have composed several symphonic band pieces, arranged music for marching bands, jazz bands, orchestras, and choirs of all configurations and all levels; I’ve scored music for film and have orchestrated the complete repertoires for several artists; but, other than the one orchestral piece that I penned in 1981 for my high school ensemble, I had not written an original work for orchestra. Composing this symphony then, I view, as a culmination of a lifetime of many, quite varied, musical experiences.
In 2015 I set out to satisfy my bucket list. As so often is the case however, life got in the way. I have sketched many themes since then, but only one would become relevant to this piece of music.
In March 2020, my life, like everyone else’s, changed dramatically with the appearance of the coronavirus.
I realized I hadn’t had a schedule like this since I was a child - no performances, no tours, no traveling, no teaching, no social life. So, with the good graces and support of my wife, I headed to my studio to compose my symphony. Within days, I felt like I was on a freight train with no brakes. I found it difficult to leave the space and did so only to eat and sleep. (I would never miss a meal since food is my second passion and Lana is a great ‘Tuscan’ cook!) I spent twelve to fifteen hours each day composing, orchestrating, and also recording my piece with the help of two extensive libraries of orchestral sampled sounds. By the end of the first week of June, I had completed the composition and recording.
With the help of my editor, Paul Silver, a highly experienced professional orchestral musician, I then set out to prepare the printed score and parts, a task that took nearly an entire year to complete.
I hope you enjoy performing my music as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it. I had an absolute blast writing this piece!!
Grazie mille e buon divertimento!
I would like to acknowledge and thank the following close friends and colleagues who lent their ears and musical prowess, offered feedback, and in some cases, suggestions to me regarding my Symphony No. 1.
I very much appreciate the time they took to listen and respond.
Lana; my wife, who has been my lifelong supporter and critic. Thank you for allowing music to be my mistress.
Paul Silver; my editor for this work – Viola, retired, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Franco Sciannameo; CFA Distinguished Scholar & Teaching Professor of Music; Academic Division Chair, School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University
Fred Danchenko; Double Bass, former member Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera Orchestras, Music Educator
Daniel Silver; Professor of Clarinet, University of Colorado College of Music
Gretchen Van Hoesen; Principal Harp, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Matthew Litterini; French Horn, Pittsburgh Opera & Ballet Orchestras, Music Educator
Keith Bajura; Piano, Violin, Composer
Matt Welch; Trombone, Composer, Arranger
Nick Deutsch; Euphonium, Trombone, Music Educator
Ken Kovach; Bass, Sound Engineer
Ernie Pontiere; Trombone, Vocalist, Percussionist, Retired Music Educator
Tim Milko; Chief Sound Engineer for MHM Productions, Guitar, Disc Jockey, Music Educator
Jim Anderson; Recording Engineer and Producer for Acoustic Music in the recording, radio, television, and film industries, Co-owner Anderson Audio, NY
Ulrike Schwarz Anderson; Recording, Mastering Engineer, Producer, Co-owner Anderson Audio, NY
Gina Morgano; Vocalist, Educator, Journalist, who helped with the liner notes for this project
Gina Galardini; my daughter - Graphic Artist, who created the cover art, layout & design of the program and CD recording
John Del Monte; Visual Artist
John and I have been friends for a long time and have always admired each other’s work. Over the years we have had the good fortune of meeting and dining together in Lucca, Italy where Professore Del Monte taught his Creative Art School for more than 47 years. In 2015, I casually mentioned to him that I was starting to compose my Symphony No. 1. John proceeded to write a beautiful letter encouraging me to complete the task and emphasized the words “melody, melody, melody!” I was honored to receive such a letter from a distinguished artist. John was so excited about the prospect of me writing this symphony that over the next five years he stayed in close touch, earning him the title of “my muse.” He introduced me at his famous breakfasts to many influential artists and supporters of the arts. He even offered me the use of his friend’s summer home in the mountains of Tuscany, suggesting I lock myself there for three months to compose. Unfortunately, because of my busy performance schedule, even an enticing offer like that just didn’t work.
In the summer of 2020, John, then 95 years young, was the first person I called to listen to the completed symphony. He is still drawing, painting and teaching to this day - a true inspiration for any artist.
ERIC DEFADE, TONY DEPAOLIS, AND FRANCESCO LO CASTRO
and The Beach Boys share the
stage for a concert in Dayton
Ohio at the Fraze
Vito DiSalvo played piano for
The Lettermen on the concert.
L to R: Mark Preston,
Donovan Tea, Bruce Johnston,
Tony Butala, Mike Love, John
Stamos & Vito DiSalvo
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT to the FANS and FRIENDS
Vito DiSalvo & WE THREE
On August 13, 2010, Sony Pictures Entertainment [Columbia Pictures] released the Motion Picture EAT PRAY LOVE, starring Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco and Billy Crudup, directed by Ryan Murphy and produced by DeDe Gardner and Brad Pitt.
Movie Synopsis: In a dramatic attempt to seek enlightenment and find herself, journalist LIZ GILBERT leaves a bitter husband of ten years (he’s angry she’s procrastinated getting pregnant), and her artist playwright lover (into Eastern religion but emotionally unavailable) to travel to Italy (where she mostly eats); to India (where she lives in an Ashram and meditates); and finally to Bali, where (after much hesitation) she opens herself to love once more.
As part of the musical score for the film, WE THREE has had two of their recordings licensed by Sony Films for use in the movie EAT PRAY LOVE.
TARANTELLA AMERICANA, composed and produced by Vito DiSalvo was recorded on WETHREE’S very first album BRAVO ITALIA! which was recorded in 1987.
A medley of the traditional Neapolitan TARANTELLA and QUADRIGLIA ABRUZZESE is also from the group's BRAVO ITALIA! Album. Both tracks feature Greg Grenek on Soprano Saxophone and Ken DelVecchio on Drums in addition to Vito DiSalvo on Accordion and Keyboards. DiSalvo also produced both tracks.
Giorgia Fumanti in Concert in Shanghai on July 26, 2010
Congratulations to Giorgia Fumanti on her exquisite performance in Shanghai, China at the Shanghai Concert Hall! The concert, with Vito DiSalvo conducting the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, was part of the Italian Pavilion of the 2010 World Expo held in Shanghai, China. This link includes interviews with Giorgia Fumanti and excerpts of the concert: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XCsuBA_eT0
Vito with ravishing Italian-born soprano, Giorgia Fumanti:
Vito with legendary accordionist Dick Contino as they perform back to back shows on the same stage at the Milwaukee Festa Italiana July 17, 18, 19 and 20:
Vito meets with Music Business Legend, Clive Davis in NYC:
Vito meets with Jeff Turlik, MD for the Blue Man Group in NYC in their recording and production facilities. Jeff is a former member of the WE THREE Tech Crew and a former student of Vito DiSalvo.:
MHM Productions LLC is an Independent Record Label and Artist Management Firm. MHM Productions LLC has been in existence for 30 years, under the name Mifflin Hills Music Publishing LLC. In January of 2007, MHM was divided into two companies. Mifflin Hills Music Publishing LLC is now strictly a Music Publishing Company. We at MHM Productions LLC hope to provide a pinnacle of entertainment for you and your events. If you wish to license any of our music for films, television, commercials, etc., please visit www.mifflinhillsmusic.com.