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Maestro Theodore L. Gargiulo
December 19, 1915- December 11, 2006
Conductor, Composer, Musicologist




"Our Father was a very rare, gentle soul who walked the earth.  His spirit soars with love and passion which is expressed in the legacy of his music and performances.  But, his greatest opus is the love of life he instilled in his family."


Born in New York City Taddeo Luigi Gargiulo was the son of immigrant parents Salvatore Gargiulo, a baker from Sorrento and Erminia Mascia from Castellamare di Stabia, Italy. He passed away on the morning of December 11, 2006 with his loving and devoted family at his side.

Amid the hardships of the Great Depression, Theodore discovered his passion for the piano and found a way to begin his studies. His talent and pursuit was rewarded with a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music. Theory and harmony took its root and he was asked to join the National Youth Administration Symphony under the direction of Leopold Stokowski where he expanded his knowledge of orchestra and composition.

Twenty years later, in 1935, he received another scholarship from the New York Philharmonic Symphony Society and studied under a pupil of Rimsky- Korsakoff.  He was asked to be a part of the Simeon Bellison Clarinet Ensemble where he played bass clarinet. His concentration here continued to be harmony and composition. An original “Romanza” and his arrangement of Borodin’s “On the Steps of Central Asia” received a monetary prize and was performed by the ensemble at Town Hall on April 28, 1938 to standing ovations. He continued to charm the music cognoscenti in New York City and was writing, arranging and leading the “Coro d’Italia” to three gold cups at the 1939 World’s Fair. According to one of New York’s newspapers, “Thirty-two nations joined hands in bringing colorful songs and dances of the old world to the world of tomorrow…The talent and grace of the young and old performers all costumed was something the huge crowd will never forget. The show lasted over seven hours.”

Teachers’ Collegeof ColumbiaUniversity was another stomping ground as he added vocal art to his accomplishments. Maestro Fritz Stiedry of the Metropolitan Opera embraced Theodore as his protégé. Here his passion grew deeper in the world of opera.

Sponsored by the City of New York, the Department of Parks, and local 802 A.F.M., Maestro Gargiulo conducted a series of outdoor summer concerts called “Live Music for Millions.”

Subsequent years found Maestro Gargiulo performing as Music Director, Assistant Conductor and Conductor with opera companies such as The Miami Opera Guild, Wagner Opera Company’s National Tour, New York Opera Festival in Washington, DC, Cafarelli Opera in Cleveland, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Columbus, Georgia, Connecticut Opera Association, Philadelphia Opera and the Cincinnati Summer Opera.  As a member of the Sacred Musical Service in New York City he was a freelance choir master, organist and pianist.

Theodore’s last international conducting tour included the symphony orchestra of Ottawa, Vancouver and other cities in Canada.  These orchestras provided accompaniment to the four hour silent film epic of the restoration of Abel Gance’s 1927 classic “Napoleon” produced by Francis Ford Coppola.



He was chief music critic, reviewer and feature writer for the Columbus Ledger/Enquirer newspapers for seven years and his articles appeared in many publications.

The Gargiulo family came to Monterey in 1972. He organized the Peninsula Clarinet Quartet for the Monterey Museum of Art and established the chamber concert series, “Music in the Museum.” Colonel Moskowitz, and Theodore organized the Pan Cultural Orchestra of the Defense Language Institute (DLI). The orchestra performed concerts in Steinbeck Forum and throughout the community. With Specialist Bill Zornes, a student from the Russian Department Theodore wrote a pageant to celebrate the Army’s 208th Birthday Ball, “Music – the Great Motivator.” Interspersed with narration, the pageant revealed how music has inspired patriotism throughout history. It was described as a “spine thrilling performance.”


In November 2001 Maestro Gargiulo received a lifetime achievement award at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The award was presented by The Licia Albanese – Puccini Foundation. 



Theodore found the love of his life, Gloria Moschella and they were married in September 1959. They have two children. He is survived by Gloria, his wife of 48 years, his daughter Franca Gargiulo and son in law Tom Quinn of  San Francisco and Monterey,  his son Terrence L. Gargiulo and daughter in law Cindy Brodsky of Monterey, and Ted Gargiulo Jr. and Jann of Seaside. He is also survived by two grandchildren by Terrence and Cindy, Gabriel Francesco and Sophia Rose and Taddeo Gargiulo Quinn of Franca Gargiulo and Tom Quinn.


Maestro Gargiulo was a prolific composer with a collection of art songs in various genres, symphonic works, chamber music, a wedding mass, and two operas. His opera Tryillias written with his son, Terrenec Gargiulo as the librettist was accepted for a a Pultizer prize nomaination in 2006.


Maestro Gargiulo's last commissions was a popular romantic ballad titled Tehama Monterra Now and Forever and recorded on CD with a chamber orchestra.

However his last composition was still to be penned. On August 30th, 2006 Maestro Gargiulo composed a musical setting of the Profession of Faith from the Catholic mass. “We believe in one God the Father, The Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen…”



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