Robert Ceely


"To me music is organized sound in time. Whether my music is instrumental, vocal, electronic or a combination, the impetus is the idea; the medium chosen is a result of the idea." - Robert Ceely (1930-2015), was a composer and an educator. His compositions include solo, chamber, and orchestral music as well as music for tape and tape with instruments. He attended the New England Conservatory where he studied with Francis Cooke and completed further studies with Darius Milhaud and Leon Kirchner at Mills College, with Roger Sessions, and with Edward Cone and Milton Babbitt at Princeton University.

From 1963-64, he composed music in the Electronic Music Studio in Milan as a guest of The Italian Government. His ballet “Beyond the Ghost Spectrum”, commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation with choreography by James Waring, was performed at Tanglewood with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting and the opera, “Automobile Graveyard”, after a play by Fernando Arrabal, was presented at the New England Conservatory in 1995. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ditson Fund, the Manon Jarrof dancers, the Massachusetts Arts Council, the Fromm Music Foundation and others. He has taught at the Naval School of Music, The Lawrenceville School, Robert College in Istanbul, and for thirty-eight years at the New England Conservatory where he established and directed the Electronic Music Studio and taught composition. In 1995, he was honored with an Outstanding Alumni Award. He retired from teaching in 2003 and continued to devote his time and energy to composition.


Robert Ceely, ACA Festival rehearsal, 2010Robert Ceely

ACE Publications

52 title(s)
Robert Ceely AUROS ob, cl, vln, vcl, pv
Robert Ceely AUTOMOBILE GRAVEYARD chamber ensemble, jazz quintet
fl/pic/altofl, ob/Eh, cl/clA/bscl, hn, bsn; Bari sax, tbn, piano/cel; vln, vla, vcl, cb; Jazz Quintet: Tpt, AltoSax, Piano, ElecBs, Drum set; 6 Singers, audio playback
Robert Ceely BOTTOM DOGS
4 double basses
Robert Ceely Canons alto flute, clarinet in A, and bassoon
Robert Ceely CAROL FOR A NEW YEAR Mixed Chorus and Solo Trumpet in C
Robert Ceely CHAMBER VARIATIONS 18 players
pic, fl, ob, Ehn, cl, bscl, bsn, cbsn, hn, tpt in C, tbn, tba, vln, vla, vc, cb, piano, drum kit
Robert Ceely COMPLAINT Solo Cello
Robert Ceely DIALOGUES fl
Robert Ceely DUEL FOR BASS CLARINET AND PIANO bass clarinet, piano
Robert Ceely DUOLOGUE trumpet in C, piano
Robert Ceely EXTENSIONS FOR PIANO solo piano
Robert Ceely FIVE PIANO PIECES piano
Robert Ceely GIOSTRA oboe, piano
Robert Ceely GROUP SAX sax quartet
Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bari Saxophones
Robert Ceely GYMEL 2 ob
Robert Ceely HARLEQUIN double bass, tape
Robert Ceely HYPALLAGE tpt,tape
Robert Ceely LOGS 2 dbl basses
Robert Ceely LULLABY high soprano voice, trombone
Robert Ceely Metamir
trio with tape
Robert Ceely METAMIR (Acoustic Version) Alto flute, Bass clarinet, Viola, Piano
Robert Ceely Minute Rag piano
Robert Ceely MODULES for SEVEN PLAYERS fl, AltoSax, Pf, Vln, Vla, Cb, Perc (vib, timp, hi cymb, 3 temple blk, cowbell, timbales, lg triangle)

Additional Works