- Katherine K. Preston
(b New York, Feb 11, 1929; d Westerlo, NY, May 18, 2011). American composer and director . He attended the Curtis Institute (1945–50) and later Columbia University, and studied composition with Szell, Scalero, Menotti and Barber. In 1950–51 he was music director for a Broadway revival of Menotti’s The Medium and The Telephone and for Weill’s Lady in the Dark. Shortly thereafter he was assistant music director for NBC television’s Opera Theatre (1955–9); he also directed his own operas. He taught at SUNY, Albany, from 1978 to 1988. Principally a vocal composer, Kastle received several awards including an NEA grant; his opera The Pariahs, about whaling, was commissioned by the Deerfield Foundation. The Mother Ann operas are about the Shakers, while Desert is based on the life of the Mormon prophet Brigham Young. His music, although harmonically modern, is romantic, tonal and melodic.