Ashley Hribar is an Australian born pianist/composer of German and Slovenian parentage. He has developed a reputation as a most 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 Australian music endeavour – ‘Cultural ownership is an important element to engagement, particularly in an increasingly globalized world where the fragility and uniqueness of innovation can be easily overwhelmed’.
Recent collaborative projects include: Correspondance – the commissioning for young Australian composers to write especially for the Australian Stuart & Sons, the first acoustic piano to reach a frequency range of nine octaves (108 keys); 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 incorporating 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 include A Night in the Outback (2017) and Walkabout (2018) both for piano and didgeridoo and the soundtrack/dance score to the 1911 silent film Richard III commissioned by Silents Now. 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 solo and collaboratively. He has performed ‘live’ improvisations to classic silent films including The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Sherlock Jnr and Hamlet. His solo album for The Wizard Tone Records Improvisation Series was nominated for the South Australian Arts Awards in 2017. His most recent album New Directions is a selection of improvisations recorded on the Stuart & Sons piano of 102 keys at Beleura House, Mornington Peninsula.
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, The Port Fairy Spring Festival, Koper Biennale, Beethovenfest and The Gaudeamus Festival.
Ashley is indebted to the invaluable guidance of his teachers Stefan Ammer, Stephen McIntyre, Eleonora Sivan, Graham Williams and Karl-Heinz Kaemmerling. In 2018, he completed his performance PhD at the University of Adelaide focusing on the music by American composer, Frederic Rzewski.
Ashley is a passionate visual artist, who enjoys painting, drawing and carving Australian opals.