Electronic music pioneer Bob Moog passed away on August 21, 2005, at his home in Asheville, N.C. He was 71. Moog was diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme or GBM) in late April 2005. He had received radiation treatment and chemotherapy to help combat the disease. He is survived by his wife, Ileana; his five children, Laura Moog Lanier, Matthew Moog, Michelle Moog-Koussa, Renee Moog and Miranda Richmond; and the mother of his children, Shirleigh Moog.
In1954, Moog sat down with his father and began building theremins; after 10 years, Moog met experimental composer Herbert Deutsch, whose quest to find electronic sounds inspired Moog to build the first Moog Modular, which premiered at the October 1964 AES convention. By the time Moog received his Ph.D. in engineering physics in the summer of ’65, the R. A. Moog Co. (later switched to Moog Music in 1971) had delivered several modular synthesizer systems, mostly to academic and experimental composers, including Wendy Carlos, who made extensive use of the unit on her landmark Switched-On Bach.
In 1977, Moog left Moog Music to form Big Briar and later served as Kurzweil Music Systems’ VP of new product research from 1984 through 1989. In 2003, Moog reclaimed the rights to use the Moog Music and Minimoog trademarks and immediately changed the name of Big Briar to Moog Music Inc. Commenting on his amazing run, Moog said, “Keeping in constant touch with musicians from all fields of music and from all over the world has enabled us to design instruments that have proven to have enduring music worth.”
His family has established The Bob Moog Foundation dedicated to the advancement of electronic music in his memory. For more information about the foundation, contact Matthew Moog at [email protected]. Send your memories to [email protected].