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Donald Martino music greeting cards collection

 Collection 0338-SCPA-ICA

Donald Martino (1931 – 2005) was an American, Pulitzer Prize winning composer and a proponent of serialism as composed and instructed by his teacher, Luigi Dallapiccola. The collection consists of five musical greeting cards created by Donald Martino. For the birthdays of his composer friends and peers, Martino composed single-page scores of solo clarinet music. Some of the motifs and inspirations for the compositions are based off of the French musical cryptogram system, which allows the letters of a word or name (for instance, “Birthday Card for Charles”) to be translated into musical notes. These cryptograms can be seen throughout some of the birthday card scores.


  • 1966 - 1997
  • Majority of material found in 1988 - 1997

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restricted files in this collection. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the physical gift of the scores. The composer or his publishers retain any copyright possessed in the collection. The University of Maryland Libraries is granted permission for the use in scholarly research by the Libraries’ patrons under fair use in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.


5 Folders

Scope and Contents

The Donald Martino greeting cards collection covers the period from 1966 to 1997; the bulk of the materials date from 1988 to 1997. The collection consists of five greeting cards, which double as musical scores, that Martino composed for his composer friends and peers over the years, and then eventually self-published. He wrote these greeting cards for other fellow serialism composers, such as Arthur Berger, Milton Babbitt, and Charles Wuorinen.

Historical Note

Donald Martino [May 16, 1931 – December 8, 2005] was an American composer who won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1974. He was born in Plainfield, New Jersey where he started out his musical career as a clarinetist. He studied composition at Syracuse University and attended Princeton University as a graduate composition student, where he worked with composers such as Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions. He also studied with the Italian, twelve-tone composer Luigi Dallapiccola. In addition to being a composer, Martino was also a Professor of composition at schools such as Yale University, Brandeis University, Harvard University, and the New England Conservatory, where he became the chair of the composition department.

Martino’s was a proponent of serialism, a style of composing that began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique, and then he eventually moved into broader ideas of atonality. His compositions also draw heavy influence from one of his teachers in particular, Luigi Dallapiccola. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1974 for his chamber music piece, Notturno.

Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized into one series.

  1. Scores

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of Donald Martino, composer of items in collection; received in one shipment on December 17, 1997.

Related Materials

International Clarinet Association (ICA) Scores Collection (search the collection) Official Records of the American Composer Alliance (ACA) (finding aid)

Donald Martino Music Greeting Cards collection
Katie McCarthy
September 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States