The Magical Joseph Macerollo


Joseph Macerollo
Joseph Macerollo

Within music lies the power to transport the listener to a different place. Joseph Macerollo and his piano accordion add to the magic when Joe masterfully performs the suite from “The Life of Pi” with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The “Life of Pi,” is the story about an Indian youth named Pi Patel, and a Bengal tiger, an unlikely pair of castaways who were the only survivors of a shipwreck.  Mychael Danna, composer of the score for the film, deliberately used both eastern and western instruments to illustrate the connection that the film’s characters had to places to which they were bonded. The 2017 concert was conducted by Peter Oundjian.

The suite begins with the haunting and beautiful “Pi’s Lullaby,” cowritten by Danna and the renowned singer, Bombay Jayashri.  She performed the piece on the soundtrack and in concert, along with drum master V. Selvaganesh, in the Indian language of Tamil.  The lullaby was awarded the Oscar by the Academy of Film Arts and Sciences for Best Original Song in 2013.

Mychael Danna, “Suite from Life of Pi” with Peter Oundjian conducting the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Joe Macerollo on the piano accordion.

Joseph Macerollo was born and raised in Guelph, Ontario, Canada and began his studies on the accordion at the age of six. Along with the accordion, Joseph studied the piano and earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music from the University of Toronto. Soon, after graduating, he began his career as a teacher of music at Queen’s College and continued at the University of Toronto. Some years later, he also joined the staff at Wilfrid Laurier University.

As an accordionist, Joseph Macerollo’s specialty is the free bass accordion. A “free bass” section is designed without preset chords and considered to be more difficult to master, while it affords the accordionist the freedom and challenge to form one’s own chords.

Joe Macerollo has made numerous public appearances on television and radio, and has performed in concert with many esteemed artists throughout his long career. Throughout two decades, Joe is no stranger to contributing to Canadian and American television in projects such as “The Taming of the Canadian West,” “The National Dream,” “The Private Capital” and “Onassis: The Richest Man,” or film scores, “The New Canadians,” and “Without a Clue,” and “Brown Bread Sandwiches.” He has composed for the stage and organized a multimedia event that was experienced in a medieval castle. Joe is a member, and past president of several organizations, and has authored many articles relating to music and to the free base accordion.

In 2013, Joseph Macerollo received the Order of Canada and was cited at that time “for his pioneering achievements as a musician and educator, and for bringing the classical accordion to Canadian concert halls.”

Articles about Joseph Macerollo:

The Star, Review (2017) of the TSO concert of the “Life of Pi”

Film Music Notes (2013) “Oscar Nominations for 2013”

The Canadian Encyclopedia, “Joseph Macerollo” by William Schabas

Guelph Mercury Tribune,(2013) “Accordion Master Joseph Macerollo to receive the Order of Canada”

Joseph Macerollo awarded the Order of Canada 2013