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Composer, conductor, impresario, bassoonist — Robert Hughes did it all (SF Chronicle)

In Composers, Conductors

Obituary of the Great Robert Hughes (1933-2022) by Joshua Kosman

He co-founded the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, which is still going strong nearly 60 years later, and the Oakland Symphony’s Youth Chamber Orchestra, which is not. He collaborated with Frank Zappa, Laurie Anderson and Ezra Pound. He made contributions to the soundtracks of such Hollywood movies as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and composed for the San Francisco Ballet.

Poke around in the history of classical and new music in the Bay Area for any length of time, and sooner or later you run across Robert Hughes — often in the most unexpected contexts.

Hughes, who died at 88 at his home in Emeryville on Aug. 11, was a bit of a musical Zelig. He wasn’t always a headline figure, but throughout the 1960s and ’70s especially he played a key role in a vast range of ambitious and influential musical projects.

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Myra Melford walking against a gray wall.
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