Joseph DiTullio was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 4, 1907. His grandfather, Guistino DiTullio, was a clarinetist in Italy and the US. In 1914 his family moved to Los Angeles. Shortly after their arrival he began his musical studies, first on the violin and then on the cello. His teachers were some of the finest, including Andre Maquarre, conductor of the Boston Pops; Ilya Bronson, first cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Emanuel Feuermann.
As teenagers, Joseph along with his younger brothers Adolph (a violinist) and Mario (a pianist) formed the DiTullio Trio. When Joseph was 17, along with his younger brother Adolph, and three others, made one of the first coast-to-coast radio broadcasts. For one year the Trio was under contract with one of the major west coast radio stations, presenting a one-hour concert each evening. At age 20, he became a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic where he remained for 15 years. During that time, he formed the successful Philharmonic Trio.
During world War II Joseph entered the motion picture industry, first at Warner Brothers and then at Fox Studios where remained on contract from 1948 to 1970. This was the heyday of musical extravaganzas, where under the baton of Alfred Newman he performed in many Oscar-winning films, like The Sound of Music.
In 1970 he became a free-lance musician in the recording, motion picture and TV industries and was heard in such shows as Gunsmoke, Peyton Place, Bonanza and many others. As the same time he remained active as a soloist, performing with many community orchestras in the Los Angeles area.
When the Fine Arts Cello Ensemble was formed, Joseph sat next to his brother-in-law, Kurt Reher, on the first stand. This group performed music by Villa-Lobos, for Villa -Lobos, in a concert honoring him at UCLA.
Joseph formed a second version of the DiTullio Trio with his daughters Virginia (a pianist) and Louise (a flutist). The trio performed extensively on the west coast of the US and was chosen to play the opening concert of the first Brand Library Concert Series in Glendale, where they all lived.
One of Joe’s greatest contributions to the musical community was as a cello teacher, with many of his students becoming professional musicians. Besides a busy private studio, Joe worked on the faculties of Whittier College, Occidental College and UCLA.