NAME: Michael Cava

BIRTH DATE/LOCATION:
1951 (?), Queens, New York

DEATH DATE/LOCATION:
December 6, 1997, Seattle, Washington


  • identification & bio
  • works
  • uncompleted works
  • writings
  • discography
  • bibliography
  • affiliations
  • resources
  • musical executor
  • contacts
  • archives
  • back to index of composers


  • IDENTIFICATION AND BIO:
    Dance Composer, Pianist, Teacher

    Studied at The Juilliard School
    Graduated from Manhattan School of Music

    Music Director of Dance Program, University of Washington, Seattle Washington (1991-1995)

    Shortly after completing his studies at The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, Michael Cava became involved with the world of dance as a composer and accompanist. "Cava's decision to compose and play for dance was not a fallback day job, but a passionate first choice," wrote former Seattle Times dance critic Jean Lenihan in 1996.

    Cava worked as a pianist, composer and teacher with some of the most prestigious dance programs in the country, including Mount Holyoke, Juilliard, Harvard, Stanford and New York University. He was also a longtime associate of the choreographer Bill Evans as a musician in his Summer Institutes of Dance. Evans created several works to original scores by Cava, including Dreamweaver, Albuquerque Love Song and Climbing to the Moon.

    Cava first went to Seattle in the mid-1980s as an accompanist for a touring dance group, and settled there in 1991 when he joined the University of Washington faculty as music director of the Dance Program. There he began teaching and collaborating with Rip Parker, a dance instructor at the university, who also became his partner.

    Cava left the university in 1995 but continued to work closely with Parker. In 1996, with a special grant from the University of Washington Royalty Research Fund, the two artists formed a new company, Cava-Parker Dance, to perform their works. The company gave its debut performance with Songs in the Dark, an evening-length work about dealing with AIDS, presented at Broadway Performance Hall in Seattle in September 1996.

    Michael Cava died of AIDS in Seattle at the age of 46 on December 6, 1997.

    —Nurit Tilles

    WORKS:

    Dreamweaver
    Choreography by Bill Evans
    Music by Michael Cava
    performed: Bill Evans Dance (2001)

    Albuquerque Love Song
    Choreography by Bill Evans
    Music by Michael Cava
    performed: Bill Evans Dance (1997)

    Climbing To The Moon
    Choreography by Bill Evans
    Music by Michael Cava
    premiere: Rip Parker, Seattle, WA (1997)

    Songs in the Dark
    Choreography by Rip Parker
    Music by Michael Cava
    premiere: Cava-Parker Dance, Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle, WA (1996)
    note: full-evening work addressing AIDS

    Forever Fled
    Choreography by Rip Parker
    Music by Michael Cava
    performed: Ryan Corritson and Minh Tran, Lincoln Hall Theatre, Portland State University, Portland, OR (1999)

    UNCOMPLETED WORKS:
    Unknown

    WRITINGS:
    Unknown

    DISCOGRAPHY:
    Piano Solos, Deston Entertainment of Miami (1994).
    At least one studio recording, including a quartet for [violin?], clarinet, cello and piano, and other compositions.

    VIDEOGRAPHY:
    Documentary video of Songs in the Dark (1996), mentioned by dancer Bryce Jaffe in "A Man for All Expressions…" (see Bibliography).

    BIBLIOGRAPHY:

    • "Pianist Michael Cava Had Passion for Composing Music for Dancers" (obituary) by Carole Beers, The Seattle Times, December 14, 1997.
    • "A Man For All Expressions: UW Dance Department's Rip Parker" by Amy Swanson, The Daily (University of Washington student newspaper), September 30, 1996.
    • "Minh Tran: A Return Dance Performance" by Martha Ullman West (review of Forever Fled), Dance Magazine, December 1999.
    • (title unknown) by Jean Lenihan (review of Cava-Parker Dance), The Seattle Times, (date unknown), 1996.

    PERFORMING RIGHTS AFFILIATION:
    Unknown

    RESOURCES:
    Unknown

    MUSICAL EXECUTOR:
    Unknown

    OTHER CONTACTS:
    Unknown

    ARCHIVES:
    Unknown

     


    index of composers »

    TOP