Rob Haskins is an associate professor of music at the University of New Hampshire, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music history. He holds a D.M.A. in harpsichord and Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music. His research concerns American music in the second half of the twentieth century, especially the music of John Cage. He has presented papers on Cage (including performances of his work) in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Canada, and the U.S. He is working on two book-length projects: a short cultural history of the piano for Reaktion Books and a study of Cage’s exploration of Zen Buddhism and its importance for his compositions, analysis, and performance. He is also interested in the performance practice of Cage’s music and the cultural reception and appreciation of serial music. His new book, tentatively titled Classical Listening, Classical Reading: Two Decades of Reviews from the “American Record Guide,” will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2015.
In addition to his work as a musicologist, Haskins performs as a text works performer, pianist, and harpsichordist. He has recorded for Mode Records and served as musical director for Alarm Will Sound’s 2012 new production of John Cage’s Song Books at the Holland Festival with additional performances at the River to River Festival (New York). A new recording of Marc Chan’s My Wounded Head 3, a solo piano piece dedicated to him, will be released on Mode in 2015. Between 1985 and 1993, he was active as a composer/performer and appeared principally as a member of the synthesizer ensemble Industrial Arts (which he co-founded with composers Scott Pender and Thom Robinson). His works often incorporate theater, and were premiered at Baltimore’s Theatre Project, Loyola University, Goucher College, and other venues. His music is licensed by BMI.