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Mills College to Present Concert in Honor of Composer Robert Ashley

Oakland, CA–October 27, 2014 The Mills College Music Department will present a concert honoring the life and work of Robert Ashley (1930–2014), composer, performer, teacher, and Mills faculty member from 1969 to 1981 on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at Littlefield Concert Hall. A distinguished figure in American contemporary music, Robert Ashley is known worldwide for his work in new forms of opera and multidisciplinary projects.

Ashley, who contributed to the internationally renowned legacy of experimental music at Mills, served as the director of the Center for Contemporary Music from 1969 to 1981. As Mills Music Professor David Bernstein noted, “The center really became an established entity during Ashley's tenure, with concerts and international figures visiting the Mills campus nearly every week.”

Ashley’s major contribution was the development of a new genre of 20th-century opera whose works were designed and created for broadcast on television. His compositions involve a collaborative effort that utilizes a multimedia presentation with video, electronic music, improvisation, and a vocal style that is somewhere between speech and song.

The concert will feature music from the 1960s and 1970s performed by Maggi Payne, Chris Brown, John Bischoff, Fred Frith, James Fei, Steed Cowart, Katherine Austin, Wendy Reid, Laetitia Sonami, the Contemporary Performance Ensemble, and the Music Improvisation Ensemble. The concert will include in memoriam … Crazy Horse (for large ensemble), as well as She Was a Visitor (for speaker and chorus); Title Withdrawn (excerpt, music theater on video tape); String Quartet Describing the Motions of Large Real Bodies; and The Wolfman (amplified voice, tape, and electronics).


“In Celebration of Robert Ashley”

8:00 pm, Saturday, November 1, 2014
Littlefield Concert Hall
Mills College

Several pre-concert events will be held, beginning at 5:00 pm.

For details and tickets, visit Mills Music Now.


Last Updated: 6/26/17