Music professor brings plethora of applied experience
Matthew Cataldi, assistant professor of music, brings a plethora of applied experience with him to Radford University.
Before making his way to the New River Valley, Cataldi was a conductor, musical director, vocal coach, arranger, and collaborative pianist in New York City. There he conducted premieres, played in concerts, recording sessions and rehearsals.
Cataldi also held positions at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts, Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, and served as assistant program coordinator and associate instructor for the Secondary Piano Program at Indiana University.
“The faculty and community at Radford are overwhelmingly supportive. Everyone seems to care about the art and is excited to invest in that,” Cataldi said. “The people are so warm and welcoming. This feels like home.”
I survived in New York City because I wore so many hats and held so many positions. I dipped my toes into many pools of water. That’s what it takes for the next generation of musicians [to succeed].
After having left New York City with no plans or a place to stay, Cataldi wants to pass some of his experiences and lessons on to his students.
“Looking back, what I’m thankful for was developing the street smart knowledge that you don’t get from school or in a book, which I hope to pass that along to my students,” he said. “Throwing myself into the real world and learning on my own is just as valuable as lessons and studies.”
Cataldi also wants to build upon the piano program’s foundation.
“I want to give my students as many opportunities as I can give them,” Cataldi said. “I would like to build a reputation of really qualified undergraduates into graduate school.”
Along with reinforcing the program, Cataldi also wants to broaden students’ horizons of learning and what it takes to make into the musician world. “I think the older route of musician lessons needs to be translated into 2018, making our students valuable and marketable,” he stated. “Whether that means integrating technology or what the Internet has provided for us to open doors.”
Cataldi would like to teach his students that the music field isn’t about practicing for hours straight anymore.
“I survived in New York City because I wore so many hats and held so many positions," he said. "I dipped my toes into many pools of water. That’s what it takes for the next generation of musicians [to succeed].”