Harold Coletta papers

Harold Coletta papers

Dates: 1932-2001

Collection contains audio materials, photographs, scrapbooks, and other materials concerning Harold Coletta's years as a professional violist spanning the years 1932-2001.

  • Extent: 19 boxes (9.5 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Coletta, Harold
  • Call Number: MSS 7849
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; Music Special Collections; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
The collection has been arranged into archival boxes in similar categories.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Harold Coletta papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 7849; Harold Coletta papers; Music Special Collections; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 7849, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated from Mary Coletta, Harold's widow, in 2003.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Mary Coletta; 2003.
Subject Terms
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Music; Scrapbooks; Coletta, Harold
Genre / Form
Letters; Audiocassettes; Slides (Photography); Audiotapes
Processing Information
Processed; Sara Stout; May 2011.
Appraisal Information
Prominent Violist, (Section IV Primrose International Viola Archive Collection Development Policy January 2011).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Coletta (Harold) papers
Finding Aid Author
Sara Stout
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2015-07-28 10:28:47 -0600.
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Harold Coletta (1917-2001) was a prominent violist who was a respected teacher as well as performer and had a very fruitful career.

Coletta was born in 1917 and spoke only Italian until going into Kindergarten. When going in after school for extra music lessons, he was humming a tune and his teacher could sense musical talent. She gave him a half-size violin and arranged for him to have lessons by Luigi Borsi.

The most critical and formative years of his training were spent as a student of Rafael Bronstein. Bronstein was a direct student of Leopold Auer in St. Petersburg, thus Coletta was a product of the Russian School virtuosos, only once removed from Auer himself.

Coletta's viola career began when his project manager of the WPA Symphony told all of the violinists to stand up. He pointed to two of them randomly and told them to become violists. His first teacher was Josef Kovarik. After playing in the All-American Youth Orchestra on tour in South America, he auditioned for the Juilliard Graduate School and was accepted.

In 1945 Coletta auditioned for the NBC Symphony under Toscanini and was accepted. During the early days of television and radio, Coletta worked often with Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and Bing Crosby.

He was well know for his collaborations with Heifetz and Piatagorski and his outstanding, maybe unparalleled, interpretation of Hindemith and recordings of Hindemiths works on Muse Records.

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David Day
Curator - Music Special Collections