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Harold Coletta papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7849

Scope and Contents

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


  • 1932-2001


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing 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.

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.


19 boxes (9.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The collection has been arranged into archival boxes in similar categories.

Custodial History

Donated from Mary Coletta, Harold's widow, in 2003.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Mary Coletta; 2003.


Prominent Violist, (Section IV Primrose International Viola Archive Collection Development Policy January 2011).

Processing Information

Processed; Sara Stout; May 2011.

Register of Harold Coletta papers
Sara Stout
2011 May 25
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States