Mills Music Now: Celebrating Milhaud and Mills
is one of those composers who sits on the edge of fame and familiarity. A few of his earlier works are popular concert items — La creation du monde (The creation of the world), Scaramouche, the Brazilian-influenced Le boeuf sur le toit (The ox on the roof), and the dance suite Saudades do Brasil.
But Milhaud was not just the eclectic master mimic of popular styles; his more than 440 compositions have a wide range of influences, as befits an enthusiastic traveler. Mills College, where he taught in alternate years from 1947-1971, holds an annual concert in his honor and this year students and alumni are coming together to perform a swath of his chamber music ranging from an early sonata to the Élégie for Cello and Piano, Op. 251. This is an excellent chance to get to know a composer who did much more than visit Harlem once and spend a year in Brazil.
Michael Zwiebach is the senior editor/ content manager for SFCV. He assigns all articles and content, manages the writing staff and does editing. A member of SFCV from the beginning, Michael holds a Ph.D. in music history from the University of California, Berkeley.