“He presents a distinct, assured musical voice which is not quite like anyone else I have heard”

Classical Music Daily

John A. Carollo studied piano as a child and was a member of a Catholic Church choir which sang for the congregation during weekend services. In 1986, he began composing for the piano and graduated from San Diego State University with a Masters Degree in Psychology.  After moving to Honolulu HI in 1987, he started a career as a mental health counselor and social worker with the State of Hawaii, Department of Health.  In 1997, he began private composition lessons with Dr. Robert Wehrman.

He retired from public service in March of 2006 to compose full-time and to establish a music business named Musica Baudino. Musica Baudino published the artist’s first album, Ampersand, in June 2006, which won best Classical CD at the 10th Annual Hawaii Music Awards Ceremony. PARMA Recordings released his second solo effort in 2009, TRANSCENDENCE IN THE AGE OF WAR, and his third solo effort in 2011, STARRY NIGHT.  Musica Baudino published his fourth solo musical release in 2012, Volere.  His fifth solo release, THE TRANSFIGURATION OF GIOVANNI BAUDINO, was PARMA’s 500th release (2017) and was quickly followed by MUSIC FROM THE ETHEREAL SIDE OF PARADISE (2018).

Carollo also writes poetry and collects art, including his lifetime hobby of collecting the books and ephemera of Edward Gorey. He is an ASCAP member and a lifetime member of the Society of Composers in America. 

Albums

Pinnacle Vol. 2

Release Date: September 24, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6368
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Clarinet
Piano
String Quartet
Navona Records presents PINNACLE VOL. 2, a collection of contemporary chamber works by composers John A. Carollo, Edmund Cionek, Sarah Wallin Huff, Santiago Kodela, Adnan Marafi, Amintas Silva, Joseph T. Spaniola, and Kong-Yu Wong, that highlight the melodic, emotive, and dramatic styles offered by today’s chamber music. Throughout the album, the composers explore the cyclicity of life and nature.
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Sustain Vol. 2

Release Date: April 23, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6345
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Piano
Piano Trio
Saxophone
Two years after the release of SUSTAIN comes the long-anticipated follow-up, SUSTAIN VOL. 2. This fresh collection of works centered around the piano includes a range of contemporary compositional styles: tonal, atonal, and everything in between. This volume features a new cast of composers and performers, with contributions by Sarah Wallin-Huff, Karen Tarlow, Chen-Hsin Su, Bill Sherrill, Jim Puckett, Ron Nagorcka, Gordon Monahan, Kenneth A. Kuhn, Santiago Kodela, John Craven, and John A. Carollo. The album’s varied soundscapes and arrangements—including solo piano, piano and saxophone, and piano and strings—constantly surprise and delight the ear. A fitting sequel to the first installment, SUSTAIN VOL. 2 is steeped in the dynamic complexity piano music offers.
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Sparks Vol II

Release Date: March 12, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6337
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
The album SPARKS VOL. 2 couldn't be more aptly named, as bows bend and sparks fly in this vibrant collection of pieces for string orchestra. Bound to please modernists and traditionalists alike, this eclectic collection contains pieces by Dave Dexter, William C. White, Simon Andrews, Rain Worthington, Allen Brings, John Carollo, John Franek, and Jeff Mangels.
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Symphony No. 3

Release Date: October 11, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6250
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra

Quite surprisingly, Symphony No. 3 had humble beginnings. Back in the late 2000s, composer John A. Carollo connected on MySpace (!) with English soprano Sharon Selman, who was deeply involved in the preservation of trees and forests. She suggested that Carollo use the poetry of William Blake as a starting point to create a piece about nature. Carollo didn't think twice; and a song cycle named Awake Humanity to Nature’s Beauty! was composed, then reworked, resulting in two different instrumentations.

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Sustain

Release Date: February 8, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6207
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Percussion
Piano
Within their varied appearances and sounds, the piano, vibraphone, and marimba make up a unique family. Nonetheless, key similarities bind them together, and SUSTAIN explores just that. The latest multi-composer release by Navona Records, SUSTAIN presents works for various keyboards that explore not only the abilities of each instrument, but the varied approaches from five different composers.
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Music from the Ethereal Side of Paradise

Release Date: March 9, 2018
Catalog Number: NV6148
21st Century
Orchestral
Solo Instrumental
Flute
String Orchestra
Violin
John A. Carollo’s fourth PARMA release, and follow up to 2017’s THE TRANSFIGURATION of GIOVANNI BAUDINO, is a wondrous musical journey through the world of desire. With MUSIC FROM THE ETHEREAL SIDE OF PARADISE, Carollo makes an impassioned plea for the power of romance.
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The Transfiguration of Giovanni Baudino

Release Date: August 1, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6109
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
John A. Carollo’s newest release, THE TRANSFIGURATION OF GIOVANNI BAUDINO is a fascinating mixture of music written for different orchestral instrumentations and with wildly varying intended emotional responses. The composer himself may best define the intangible aspect of his music’s emotive intentions, writing, “I have always preferred to let music speak for itself. We each derive our own unique personal meanings from our listening experiences and most of it is felt viscerally.”
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Winter’s Warmth

Release Date: April 14, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6091
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
One of the central tenets of Albert Camus’ philosophy is the indomitability of the human spirit, a subject on which he famously mused that “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” This quote encapsulates the theme of WINTER’S WARMTH, Navona’s latest orchestral compilation featuring works from John A. Carollo, J.A. Kawarsky, Andrew Schultz, and R. Barry Ulrich. These composers present conceptual pieces that all act as soundtracks to our resiliency during the toughest moments of the human experience.
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Moto Continuo

Release Date: July 10, 2015
Catalog Number: NV6003
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Cello
Piano Trio
Praised for his "bold and expressive" playing (Gramophone Magazine), cellist Ovidiu Marinescu and Navona Records present MOTO CONTINUO, a collection of six contemporary solo cello and piano trio works - from the intense, dark, and expressive to the calm, light, and austere - performed by Marinescu and his colleagues from Trio Casals, violinist Sylvia Ahramjian and pianist Anna Kislitsyna.
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Fine Music, Vol. 3

Release Date: January 1, 2012
Catalog Number: NV5868
21st Century
Chamber
Orchestral
Electronic
Orchestra
Piano Trio
FINE MUSIC, VOL. III is the third compilation of the Navona Records Fine Music digital series. This installment features the works of Lawrence Siegel, Sergio Cervetti, Tony Piccolo, Adrienne Albert, Daniel Perttu, Gerhard Stabler, Jane O'Leary, Jim Scully, Meira Warshauer, Piffaro, John Carollo, William Vollinger, Peter Van Zandt Lane, Lawrence Ball, and Benjamin Yusupov. This collection both highlights some of Navona's choicest tracks and offers a preview of things to come.
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Starry Night

Release Date: March 1, 2011
Catalog Number: NV5844
21st Century
Chamber
Orchestral
Clarinet
Orchestra
Saxophone
STARRY NIGHT is the latest release from Hawaii-based composer John A. Carollo. This release features compositions that span a decade, including the concert band version of Transcendence in the Age of War, previously released on the Navona label. Carollo's skillful representations of fear, suffering and sadness, as well as enthusiasm and determination, are on full display as he takes us through the course of emotion. From orchestra pieces to works for saxophone quartet, Carollo is able to capture the essence of what it means to be human.
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