Anthony Kelley

Dr. Anthony Kelley is very connected to the arts at Duke.  In 1991 he received a joint Bachelor and Masters degree in music from Duke and he got his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.  In 2000 he returned to Duke as a faculty member in the music department.  Dr. Kelley is a recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters.

Kelley is a classical composer but also studies the role of hip-hop and minorities in classical music.  One of his earlier compositions “The Breaks” premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1998 and has since been performed at symphony halls on both coasts.  He also composed the scores for the films “The Doll” and “Conjure Bearden” as well as the incidental music for the Duke Theater department’s production of “Spring Awakening”.

One of his works that really stood out to me was his 2002 work entitled “Sidelines”.  This is three movements of classical music, each inspired by a different sport: basketball, football, and baseball.  In an interview with the Duke Office of News and Communication, he said the work was inspired by his athletic relatives, the Cameron Crazies, Julius Erving, ragtime music, and George Carlin’s stand up routine.  Needless to say I wish I had been at Duke for that performance.

Steven Feister

More Information:

Faculty Website:

Works Cited:

Hicks, Sally. “Ciompi Quartet Premieres Sports-Theme Piece.” Duke News & Communications. 30 Oct. 2002. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. <;.

“Jack Kent Cooke Foundation – Dr. Anthony Kelley.” Jack Kent Cooke Foundation – Homepage. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. <;


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