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Finding Aid for the Michael Pugliese Papers, 1978-1996

Mus. Arc. 15.1

State University of New York at Buffalo. Music Library

112 Baird Hall
Buffalo, New York 14260-4750
United States
Phone: 716 645-2924
Fax: 716 645-3906
Email: musique@buffalo.edu
URL: http://library.buffalo.edu/music/

Finding aid prepared by John Bewley.
Finding aid encoded in EAD by John Bewley, June 2007.
Finding aid is in English.
Finding aid prepared using DACS ( Describing Archives: A Content Standard ).

Please use the following URL when citing this document:

© 2007. State University of New York at Buffalo. All rights reserved.

Collection Overview

Title: Michael Pugliese Papers, 1978-1996
Collection Number: Mus. Arc. 15.1
Creator: Pugliese, Michael
Extent: 1 box (10 folders)
Language of Material: Collection material in English.
Repository: State University of New York at Buffalo. Music Library
Abstract: The Michael Pugliese Papers consist of copies of his curriculum vitae, a small selection of programs of concerts in which he performed, reviews and clippings, and correspondence.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Specified item], Michael Pugliese Papers, 1978-1996, Music Library, The State University of New York at Buffalo.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Michael Pugliese Estate, 2004.

Terms of Access

Materials can be examined by qualified researchers in the Music Library during hours of operation during which Music Librarians are present. In order to insure access, researchers are advised to contact the Music Library in advance of visits.


Copyright for the materials in the collection does not reside with the Music Library. Therefore, patrons wishing to publish any item, or part of an item from this collection for any purpose, are responsible for securing requisite permissions.

Processing Information

Processed by John Bewley.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Biographical Note

Michael Gabriel Pugliese was born Sept. 26, 1956 in Buffalo, N.Y. He studied percussion with Jan Williams at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1979. He then continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music, completing a Master of Music degree in 1981. Once in New York City, Michael quickly established himself as a percussionist specializing in avant-garde music. He co-directed a 12-hour marathon of music by John Cage at Cooper Union in New York in 1982. His association with the music of John Cage continued, leading to his first performances of Cage's Etdues Boreales, Ryoanji, Voiceless Essay, Five Stone Wind, Sculpture Musicales, and Four3. This association with Cage also lead to work with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as performer and composer. Pugliese toured extensively with the dance company beginning in 1985. He composed Peace Talks (1989) and Mixed Signals (1991) for the company. Other percussion works composed by Michael Pugliese include his Jinxed, June 22, Not Jinxed, Not Waves, and Peaceful Pond at Dusk. He also composed popular songs under the name of Mike Gabriel.

Pugliese made his solo debut at Merkin Hall in New York City in 1989 (the performance is available on a Mode compact disc under the title Perkin' at Merkin'). He appeared as a percussionist with the New Music Consort, the Bowery Ensemble, and the Michael Gordon Philharmonic. He also performed at several new music festivals, including the North American New Music Festival (Buffalo, N.Y.), the American Festival in 1985 (London), New Music America (Houston 1986 and Miami 1988), and the Los Angeles Festival in 1987. He was the founding member of the experimental percussion trio, Talking Drums. Pugliese also performed in the pit orchestras for musicals, including Miss Saigon, Nunsense, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Les Miserables. Michael Pugliese died Nov. 3, 1997 in New York City.

Scope and Content Note

The Michael Pugliese Papers is a relatively small collection of personal documents, programs, reviews, and correspondence. The correspondence files include a telegram from John Cage as well as instructions from Cage on a macrobiotic diet. The six versions of Pugliese's curriculum vitae provide a fairly good representation of his career as of 1991, date of the most recent version.

Container List

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Curriculum vitae, 1978-1991
6 versions
1 2 Contract, Mode Records, July 8, 1985
1 leaf
Box Folder Contents
1 3 Concert programs, 1978-1989
13 items
1 4 Reviews and clippings
7 items
1 5 Tigerbeats (Musical group)
Photographs and concert announcements
III.    Correspondence,
Folders 6-10

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Box Folder Contents
1 6 Cage, John 1978-1989
4 items

Article from March 1978 Electronic Musician
7 typescript leaves about macrobiotic cooking
3 typescript leaves of notes about Etudes Boreales
1 telegram about Child of Tree, Branches, and Inlets

1 7 Harbaum, Georg 1978-1989
1 ms. letter (2 leaves)

Contains examples in color and black and white of Harbaum's art.

1 8 Keene, Steven 1978-1989
2 items

Letter from Pugliese to Keene (1 leaf)
Typescript copy of Keene's poem Peace talks, war shouts (3 leaves).

1 9 Kelly, Fergus 1978-1989
4 ms. letters

Letters from Kelly to Pugliese with clippings, photographs, and articles about Kelly's sound sculptures.

1 10 Newman, Chris, 1958- 1978-1989
3 ms. letters (3 leaves) and 1 ms. postcard.
IV.    Framed title pages of John Cage scores, 1981-1991
Items 1-3

Three framed title pages of works composed by John Cage and dedicated by him to Michael Pugliese.

Arranged in alphabetical order by title of composition.

Box Item Contents
2 1 Etudes boreales, for piano solo, 1981

Autographed by Cage, 25 October 1984.

2 2 Ryoanji, for percussion, 1983

Autographed by Cage, 6 November 1983.

2 3 Three², for three percussionists 1991

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online catalog.


Composers--New York (State)--Buffalo
Percussionists--New York (State)--Buffalo



Associated Material

Related Resources

The Michael Pugliese Collection of Scores consists of 107 scores and/or parts. Some items are also accompanied by additional copies or photocopies. The collection contains at least 22 works or arrangements by Pugliese, including compositions for percussion ensembles as well as popular songs written under his pen name, Michael Gabriel. The collection includes 22 compositions by John Cage. Two of these works, Etudes boreales and Three2, are dedicated to Pugliese. Among other significant works in the collection are five works by Morton Feldman, including a rare copy of the score to Samuel Beckett, words and music, written as incidental music for a radio play. Pugliese's career included performances in the pit orchestras for musicals. This is documented by inclusion of the marked percussion parts for Miss Saigon, Jesus Christ Superstar, and A Christmas Carol.