As Composer

“ardent and powerful”
“a distinctive voice…wide-ranging ideas”

Colin Clarke, Fanfare

“abundant lyricism”
“great freshness and communicativity”
“a range of expression multiform yet coherent”
“A composer at the apex of his creativity”

Filippo Focosi, Kathodik online

“pathos and poetic power”

Enrico Vita, Gazzetta del Sud (Messina)

“[Cacioppo is] the true successor to Samuel Barber. Not since Barber’s works has a composer spoken to the heart of the listener like this.”

Robert Palmieri, pianist, composer of 20 Piano Exercises (Oxford Univ. Pr.), author of Rachmaninoff Research Guide (Garland), editor of Routledge 3 volume Encylcopedia of Keyboard Instruments

“powerful, moving work”
“full, heartfelt emotions”
“the rewards are plentiful”

Henry Fogel, Fanfare

“[Cacioppo’s music] addresses and solves issues that have challenged composers for the last fifty years – it has the confidence of versatile giants like Bernstein and the originality and rhythmic flexibility of Adams.”

Donald Nally, director of the twice Grammy®-winning choir The Crossing

“intense music, refined, constructed with taste and measure”

Alessandro Michelucci, Cultura

“mesmerizingly beautiful music”

Marianne Zhao, Odin International Competition/Dragon Culture Exchange NGO

“operatic opulence…masterful…a powerful aural impact and a telling emotional impression”

Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local

“dazzling, brainy and lyrical at the same time”

Tim Page, Annenberg & Thornton School, USC

“contemporary sound with cinematic brio”
“bold and highly accessible”

Peter Burwasser, Fanfare


Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

“emotional & expressive”

Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Clavier, Fanfare, Amadeus, Philadelphia Music Makers, American Record Guide and more

“I know — and share — the spirit that moved you…This recording shall always have special meaning for me.”

Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts)


The New Yorker

“expansive narrative of imposing transformations and
a panoply of instrumental colors”

Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone

“ability to wed past traditions with techniques and musical
grammar of today in a way that appears seamless”

Henry Fogel, Fanfare

“penetrating & spellbinding”

Hofer Anzeiger/Frankenpost

“His compositions attain a moral dimension.They exude a rare urgency of purpose.”

Joseph Horowitz, author of Classical Music in America & NY Book Critics Circle award winner

“blistering passion…palpably spiritual”


“His structures are vast, but tightly knit and meaningful in every note and gesture.”

Springfield Union News

“What Cacioppo & Li have in common is that they both start from a motif which is very direct, and could be very simple, and they elaborate it, and they elaborate it, and it builds up so much substance in the elaboration that it becomes something wholly other than you could have imagined that it would be.”

Barry Schwabsky, art critic for The Nation, re. Cacioppo’s collaborations with artist Ying Li

“I greatly enjoyed your composition America: a prayer. It is clearly a work borne out of deep and sincere reflection on the direction of our nation and a dream for a future of peace in this land and abroad. I was moved by the motif you likened to the eagle, representing both freedom and the perpetual struggle to nurture its development and survival. As you know, I share your passion for peace and respect for the earth and its precious resources. As I continue my work in Congress, it is heartening for me to know of your efforts…”

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH, 10th District)
House of Representatives – Congress of the United States


Time Out New York

“ambitious polyphonic fantasies…new spins on very old material…enlivened by gospel tunes and jazzy syncopations”

American Record Guide (re. Three American Fantasies for piano)

“an inspired and adventurous American composer”


Jewish Exponent, Raleigh Spectator, & Tucson Citizen

“Curt Cacioppo’s work defies all stereotype… All of Cacioppo’s music – from what this disc [LAWS OF THE PIPE] reveals – has a dramatic feel and a contemporary approach to harmony and orchestration but also bears a style that most listeners would find quite appealing.

very emotional…very dramatic…very compelling

the string quartet, Kinaaldá…bears up well as a strong addition to the modern string quartet repertoire”

–Audiophile Audition

“prolific, uncategorizable” … “works elude classification”

Fanfare; Time Out New York

“In dissolving boundaries of style and musical era, the work seems to embody themes of transition and evolution, wisdom and growth.”

Donald Nally, The Crossing

“immensely imagined … monumental”

Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Music Makers

“beautifully arched vocal lines”
“Exuberant… full of improvisational vitality… impulsively heterogenous… The freedom to be tonal, atonal, pre- and postmodern was exercised in full”

David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer


Smithsonian Associate & Philadelphia Music Makers

“musically sophisticated and substantial work…which has an especially lively inventiveness”

“He hits the right balance between mental rigor and emotion…
compositional integrity, which is without gimmick and always deeply felt.”

Debra Harder, Classical Host/Producer, WRTI-FM Philadelphia

“Curt Cacioppo is a performer’s composer. His music is frequently complex, but speaks with great authority and bigness of heart; I think it reaches towards broad human emotions, gestures that move us whether we understand them completely or not. The greatest composers such as Beethoven and Brahms composed abstract music that allows for multiple meanings. Cacioppo belongs to that tradition, too.”

Karl Middleman, Artistic Director and Conductor, Philadelphia Classical Symphony

“A composer of firmly focused voice,
Curt Cacioppo has fashioned a rich language which gives him the flexibility and range to say what he believes in musically, emotionally, spiritually.”

American Academy of Arts and Letters, upon conferring a 1997 Academy Award in Music for lifetime achievement (previous winners include Leonard Bernstein, William Schuman, Gian Carlo Menotti)

“some of the most meaningful music being written in America today”

James Ross, conductor and director, National Orchestral Institute

“Cacioppo creates music of one voice, informed by the most profound musicianship — music as accessible as it is challenging.”

Walter Parker, Program Director, Vermont Public Radio


Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

“We have just heard your splendid performance of the “Narrative,” and wish to congratulate you and Geoffrey Michaels very warmly. The work is indeed a great one…which certainly will enrich the repertoire for violin and piano…extremely interesting, beautifully written for the two instruments…the “Narrative” is particularly welcome!”

Franco Gulli & Enrica Cavallo, regarding Cacioppo’s Faust Narrative No. 1

“a national treasure”

Stefan Lano, conductor and composer

“a true delight…a rich tapestry of jazzy rhythmic complexity and harmonic beauty”

Peninsula Reviews (Central Coast, CA)

“marvelous…delightful…a superb composer with keen insights”
“a tender, sweeping and jazz-infused world premiere”

Monterey Herald

“Composer and pianist Curtis Cacioppo’s passionate recital touched our heart with inspiration.”

President, Music Teachers Association of California, in “Notations,” March 2008

As Pianist

“Curt Cacioppo: Granite Technique & Cultivated Sound”

Anna Laura Longo, ScelteSonore

“a superb pianist…intelligent and forward thinking”


“programs always characterized by great refinement and communicative power”

Giorno e Notte, Venezia

“great power and conviction…virtuosic…worthy of Liszt”

Peter Burwasser, Fanfare

“complete commitment”

Henry Fogel, Fanfare

“[Cacioppo] is endowed with an elegant technique, and with it the ability to arouse potent emotions”

Alessandro Michelucci, Cultura

“impressive virtuosity and infectious passion”


“virtuoso…has everything…drama, exquisite lyricism, blinding technical skills and musicality of the first order…breathtaking musically and technically ”

CUE Magazine (Raleigh-Durham)

“a whirlwind pianist…commanding, secure…heard from deep within”

Philadelphia Inquirer

“He played with such a love of this music, with such an awareness of all its quirks, shards, angles and shadows”

Tim Page, The New York Times

“a formidable pianist with a rich, ringing sonority”


“zest and verve…nothing less than brilliant”

Durham Herald-Sun

“incisive and luminous…liquidity of sound”

Il Piccolo (Trieste)

“It is not just the steely fingers that impress; there is great care and skill employed to fashion subtle dynamic phrasing and elegant embellishments.”
“colorful…revelatory…the keyword here is exuberance…”


“a virtuoso pianist”

Tim Page, Washington Post

“I was very impressed by your piece and your playing. I love this multi-faceted three-dimensional sound with full pedal control. It was the first time that I heard this kind of playing in America. I was more than delighted.”

Falko Steinbach, pianist/composer & international clinician

“played not only with conviction…but with technical brilliance”

Harvey Sachs, author of Rubinstein: A Life

For a comprehensive listing of citations, please consult
the “about” section of Cacioppo’s academic curriculum vitae