In 1979, Morton Feldman took a sabbatical from his duties at the University at Buffalo. As a result, the June in Buffalo festival did not take place that year. Yvar Mikhashoff filled the gap by presenting three programs of twenty-nine works from the twentieth-century piano repertory. It was a veritable one-man June in Buffalo festival. Included on the June 7th program was Morton Feldman's .
Yvar Mikhashoff worked with Morton Feldman to prepare his composition, for performance. Mikhashoff's copy of the score is full of detailed markings. Some of the markings directly reflect comments made by Feldman during their sessions together. The following quote is from a tribute to Morton Feldman that Yvar Mikhashoff wrote following Feldman's death on Sept. 4, 1987. The full tribute appeared in the Oct. 4, 1987 edition of the .
Mikhashoff studied at the Eastman School of Music, the Juilliard School, and the University of Houston, and received his doctorate in composition from the University of Texas in 1972. He also studied in France with Nadia Boulanger. He served as Professor of Music at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York from 1973 until his death, in 1993.
From 1983 to 1991 he commissioned no fewer than 127 tangos for solo piano from 127 composers.
A complete archive of Mikhashoff's works is held by the Music Library of the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.
Pianist and composer Yvar Mikhashoff was a member of the University at Buffalo Music Faculty from 1973 until his death in 1993. He was internationally known as a skilled interpreter and proponent of twentieth century music. He either commissioned or had works composed for him by many composers, including John Cage, Lukas Foss, Christian Wolff, Henry Brant, Sylvano Bussotti, Per Norgaard, Luis de Pablo, and Conlon Nancarrow. He was also responsible for initiating the International Tango Project which eventually collected and/or commissioned more than one hundred tangos from composers.
The list of performers who have participated in programs of contemporary music in Buffalo is as full of notable names as that of the list of composers whose works have been performed. It includes Eberhard Blum, Robert Dick, Gilbert Kalish, Ursula Oppens, Aki Takahashi, Frances-Marie Uitti, Nils Vigeland, Paul Zukofsky, the Kronos Quartet, Concord String Quartet, Cassatt Quartet, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York New Music Ensemble, Arditti String Quartet, American Brass Quintet, and the Amherst Sax Quartet. Three performers who belong on this list, and who were long-time members of the University at Buffalo Music Faculty, are Sylvia Dimiziani, Yvar Mikhashoff, and Jan Williams.