Ashley Hribar is an Australian born pianist-composer of German and Slovenian parentage. He has developed a reputation as a versatile musician embracing multimedia, world music, cross-disciplinary arts forms and a broad range of traditional genres. Ashley has a deep interest in contemporary aesthetics and is an advocate for the Australian music endeavour.
In 2005, Ashley won the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition and the 2008 Michael Kieren-Harvey Award. He has since performed in countless festivals including the Mersin International Music Festival, En Blanc en Noir Festival, The Port Fairy Spring Festival, Koper Biennale, Beethovenfest and The Gaudeamus Festival. Projects include: Index of Opals — commissioning Australian composers to write especially for the Australian Stuart & Sons; Anatolia, arrangements of Turkish folksongs with Ayșe Göknur Shanal (soprano), Deniz Şimşek (bağlama) and Ali Yıldız (kemane), performed at the Sydney Opera House and Sound and Colour in Scriabin’s Piano Sonatas, which incorporated video projections of Australian opals (2017 European Tour).
Ashley’s compositions are poly-stylistic collages often employing extended techniques, voice and the deployment of objects. Recent works Walkabout (2018) for piano and didgeridoo and the soundtrack/dance score to the silent film Richard III (Benson, 1911) commissioned by Silents Now and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Wiene, 1922) and Faust (Murnau, 1926). He composed and performed the music for Betty Rettet die Volksbühne in Berlin (Die Volksbühne) in collaboration with actress Bettina Lamprecht. His solo piano works Paganini Variations, ‘ash’ Fantasie and a cadenza for Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue appear on his album Piano Rhapsody (Auster Records).
Improvisation is also a key element to his creative process both in solo and collaborative works. He has performed live improvisations to classic silent films including Sherlock Jnr (Keaton, 1924) and Hamlet (Gade, Shall, 1921) with Adam Page (sax), Rachel Johnston (cello) and Julian Ferraretto (violin). His solo album for The Wizard Tone Records Improvisation Series was nominated for the South Australian Arts Awards in 2017.
Ashley is indebted to the invaluable guidance of his teachers Ann Adamek, Stefan Ammer, Stephen McIntyre, Eleonora Sivan, Graham Williams and Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. In 2018, he completed his performance PhD at the University of Adelaide focusing on the music by American composer, Frederic Rzewski. He is also a passionate visual artist, who enjoys painting, drawing and carving Australian opals.