about robert

Robert Black's interests range from traditional orchestral and chamber music to solo recitals of cutting-edge music, collaborations with actors, music with computers, movement-based improvisations with dancers, and live action-painting performances with artists.  He has commissioned, collaborated, or performed with musicians including Philip Glass, John Cage, Julia Wolfe, Elliott Carter, David Lang, MeredithMonk, Michael Gordon, Cecil Taylor, Paquito d’Rivera, as well as many young emerging composers. His recital activities take him throughout the world and he has appeared at major festivals (Festival de Eleazar Carvalho, Fortalzea, Brazil; Colombo-Catalan Festival, Medellin, Colombia; Moab Music Festival (Utah),  New Music on the Point (Vermont), etc., on radio and television broadcasts (Asia Live, Singapore, VPRO, Holland; NPR, United States; CBC, Canada; etc.) and as an artist-in-residence (Omnibus Ensemble, Tashkent, Uzbekistan; American Center, Paris; the Banff Centre, Canada. Robert is a current and founding member of the Bang On A Can All Stars, New York City’s hard-hitting new music ensemble.  Herecently joined the chamber group, Cuatro Puntos.  Additional chamber music activities includeannual appearances at the Moab Music Festival and the Festival de EleazarCarvalho in Fortaleza, Brazil.  Collaborative performances include dancer/choreographerKatie Stevinson-Nollet(“Je Ne SaisQuoi”),Kathryn Walker and the Music TheaterGroup (The Odyssey), the Full ForceDance Company (Life, Death, Immortality),films by Rudy Burckhardt, and live action-painting improvisations with theBrazilian painter Ige D'Aquino.Current commissions includea doublebass quartet by John Luther Adams, an evening length work by Swisscomposer, Marcel Zaes for double bass and electronics (or double bass trio), a10 channel audio/video installation with sound artists Brian House and SueHuang, filmed at the Freshkills landfill in NYC,and site-specific outdoor work in Southern Utah for solo double Bass bycomposer DanielSabzghabaei. Recently completed are a Philip Glass commission for a 7-movement solo Partitathat includes recited poetry by 7 of downtown New York’s most illustriousmusician/poets, a 15-minute collaborative dance/theater/movement work withchoreographer/dancer, Katie Nollet-Stevinson, and Possessed, a series ofsolo improvisatory outdoor performances in Utah’s rugged canyon/desertlandscape released as a DVD and on Cantaloupe Music.  His solo recordings include Philip Glass-Bass Partita and Poetry(Orange Mountain Music), Possessed(Cantaloupe Records), the double CD Modern American Bass featuringmid-20th Century American bass repertoire (New World Records), The CompleteBass Music of Giacinto Scelsi (Mode Records), The Complete Bass Music ofChristian Wolff (Mode Records), and State of the Bass (O.O. Discs).He has recorded 25 CDs with the Bang On A Can All Stars (Cantaloupe Music) andhas also recorded for Sony Classical, Point/Polygram, Koch International, CRI,Opus One, Artifact Recordings, Folkways Records, and others. A recipient of numerous grants and awards, he recently received the Degree of Comendador - Mérito Cultural e Artistico from the FundaçãoEducacional, Cultural e Artistica Elezar de Carvalho in recognition of 25 yearsof distinguished contributions to the cultural and artistic life ofBrazil.  He also received a Bessie Award for his collaborative workwith Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks.Robert maintains a full teaching scheduleat The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, the Festival Eleazarde Carvalho (Brazil), and is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music’sContemporary Performance Program.  He wasrecently on the Faculty of the New Music on the Point Festival. For 10 years, Robert was on the Board ofDirectors for the International Society of Bassists (ISB), and for 7 years, heserved as the editor of the New Scorecolumn in the Journal Bass World.  He is currently the Director of the RobertBlack Foundation, judge emeritus of the ISB’s biennial InternationalComposition Competition and a frequent adjudicator for the Concert ArtistsGuild Competition in New York City. Robert performs on a French double bassmade by Charles Brugere in Paris in 1900. He tours with a B-21 instrument that he commissioned from Frenchluthier, Patrick Charton.  His principalGerman bows were made by W. Renz (1920’s) and Sue Lipkins (modern).