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A Triumphant Return

In March 2009, Ruth Marshall McGill Professor of Music Curt Cacioppo faced a pianist’s nightmare when he was diagnosed with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, a painful inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. “I had to give up playing and severely curtail using the computer keyboard and mouse for almost a year,” he says. “Only gradually and carefully could I return to practicing, and at first in very short intervals.”

Now fully recovered, Cacioppo returns to the stage October 14, when he performs at the American Academy in Rome. He will be a featured composer and pianist at the Nuovi Spazi Musical festival, a series of free contemporary music concerts.

Featuring works and five world premieres by Italian and American composers, Cacioppo’s program will include pieces by Haverford Associate Professor of Music Ingrid Arauco and Cacioppo’s son Charles, a doctoral student in composition at Cornell University. Charles’ piece, “Toccata-Fantasia,” is one of three works written especially for Cacioppo, who will also debut his own compositions “Precious Lord, take my hand” (dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.) and “Burlesca,” a spoof on Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni.

Cacioppo looks forward to resuming his career as a pianist after a long absence. “Playing the piano at performance level is like having 10 magic wands carrying out your wishes simultaneously,” he says. “That’s the great joy of it, along with collaborating with fellow composers to bring their scores into the real world of sound.”

Cacioppo’s playing can also be heard on the new CD Inner Compass: The Music of Joseph Hudson, Collected Works, Vol. II (Paladin Records), a tribute to New York composer Hudson which is available via through iTunes at Cacioppo performs Hudson’s "Four Piano Preludes" and "Fantasy-Refrain."

-Brenna McBride


The ramp from Magill Library with Ryan Gym and Sharpless Hall in the background.

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