The Daniel Catán papers consist of audio files, awards, certificates,
clippings, a diploma, photographs, posters, printouts of web pages, programs,
scores, scrapbooks, serial publications, sheet music, and video files documenting
the career of Daniel Catán, Mexican-born composer of operas and other
musical works. The papers are arranged in two series: I. Musical Works, 1975-2010,
undated; and II. Career-related Materials, 1975-2010, undated.
The papers cover the entirety of Catán's professional career, from the
period when he returned to Mexico after receiving his PhD until his death; however,
the archive is not complete. For example, there are no materials relating to
Catán's personal life and there is almost no correspondence. Also missing
are the scores of a number of his smaller compositions such as his chamber works,
his score for the film I'm Losing You, his
work-related diaries, materials prepared for his published collections of essays,
and the score for his last, uncompleted opera, Meet John
Series I. Musical Works is the largest portion of the archive and fills 18 oversize
boxes. It is divided into two subseries: A. Operas, 1979-2010, undated; and B.
Musical Works, 1975-2007, undated. Within each subseries works are arranged in
alphabetical order and within each title, insofar as possible, manuscripts are
arranged chronologically. This arrangement has been made difficult by the fact
Catán almost never dated any of his manuscripts; internal evidence, such as
the sequence in which corrections have been made to scores, has been used where
dates are lacking. Dates following the titles of works are the dates given in
catalog of his works by his publisher G. Schirmer Inc./Associated Music Publishers,
in Grove Music Online, and in Catán's own
list of his compositions found in the folder titled 'Curriculum.'
Throughout this finding aid, the following terminology has been used. "Vocal score" refers to a score showing all vocal
lines, but with the accompaniment arranged for keyboard. A "close score" is a score giving all the parts on a
minimum number of staves, normally two, as with hymns. "Condensed score" refers to a score giving only the principal musical
parts on a minimum number of staves generally organized by instrumental
There are a very small number of notes to and from Catán, mostly concerning
the preparation of scores or the production of his operas. These have been left
place and are not indexed.
Subseries A. Operas contains material related to the composition of Catán's
five completed operas. Catán frequently used sticky notes and flags to call
attention to the locations of corrections in successive versions of his opera
scores. For preservation reasons, these have been removed from his manuscripts.
Where any of these tags bore writing, it has been photocopied in place and the
photocopy inserted before the original manuscript page.
Subseries B. Other Musical Works contains the scores of his non-operatic output. Many
of these scores are represented only as photocopies of the original manuscripts.
to the age and condition of these photocopies, and the fact that the toner used
in some cases turned sticky over time, some portions of these scores have been
interleaved to prevent pages from adhering together. Also, many of these scores
originally bound using plastic comb or coil bindings. Over time, many of these
bindings have broken or deteriorated to the point where they were potentially
harmful to the manuscripts. To better preserve the scores, these bindings, as
as any paper envelopes or ring binders that contained scores, have been removed;
where the original cover bore any writing, a photocopy has been inserted in its
Series II. Career-Related Materials contains 7 boxes of awards, certificates,
clippings, a diploma, posters, printouts of web pages, programs, scrapbooks, and
serial publications. Much of this material arrived in file folders individually
labeled. It is not certain that Catán had any part in arranging or labeling
these folders, but their organization has been preserved, as have the folder titles,
which are shown in single quotes.
Because the folder titles do not always clearly identify the contents, the following
notes may be helpful. 'Basic Set' contains materials
relating to the first performance of Florencia en el
Amazonas. 'Curriculum' contains a
biographical sketch and list of Catán's compositions. 'Florencia' also contains materials relating to Salsipuedes and other works. 'IInd Round Reviews' relates to the revival of Florencia en el Amazonas in Houston in 2004. 'Journals' refers to periodicals, not to diaries. 'Visita Baja California' refers to a stint teaching
orchestration at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in 1997. There
is a great deal of overlap among the folders, with the same printed material often
appearing in more than one file.
Photographs primarily document the staging of his operas La
hija de Rappaccini and Florencia en el
Amazonas, but there are also photographs of mostly unidentified groups
The material cataloged as "Scrapbooks" consists of
five albums containing clippings, copies of concert programs, and some photographs.
Because these albums employed a system of adhesive-coated pages with clear plastic
overlays that has deteriorated over time, the albums are fragile, and consequently
their use requires permission from a curator. The albums have been digitized and
printouts are available for viewing.