Stephen Robinson, Guitar
Heralded by The New York Times for his "effortless virtuosity with intelligence and good taste," by The Tallahassee Democrat for his "sweet, pure sound, technique to burn and strong sense of musical and poetic phrasing," and by (Puerto Rico's) El Nuevo Dia as a "magnificent North American guitarist, full of virtuosity, magnificent technical precision, and a masterfully delivered diverse range of sound," Stephen Robinson is a native of New York. He began his guitar studies in 1976 with Bruce Holzman at Florida State University, and worked closely with Andres Segovia, who called him "a magnificent guitarist, one of the most brilliant guitarists of our times." In 1984, High Fidelity/Musical America Magazine named him "Young Artist of the Year." And in 1987 after pursuing graduate work at the Yale School of Music, Florida State University awarded Robinson the first Doctor of Music Degree in Guitar Performance. Of a recent appearance, Soundboard Magazine said, "Anyone who has not heard Robinson play is missing one of America's great guitarists, a performer of brilliance, elegance, and lyricism."
A top prize winner in five major international competitions, including the XXIII Concours International de Guitare in Paris and the VI Concurso Internacional de Guitarra in Venezuela, Robinson tours extensively as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist. He has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras, and conducts master classes at leading musical institutions and festivals worldwide, including Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Columbia University, Yale University, Oberlin Conservatory, France's Moulin d'Andé, Peabody Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Germany's Iserlohn Gitarren-Symposium, California State University/Fresno, St. Louis Conservatory of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston Conservatory of Music, and Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), and The University of Toronto. Robinson performs throughout Florida as part of Florida's premier Arts on Tour Program. His performances and compact discs are heard throughout the world.
An alumnus of the distinguished Affiliate Artists Touring roster, Robinson has received numerous awards, fellowships and grants, including two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalists Awards, a National Endowment for the Arts Recording Award, a Fulbright Fellowship for Performance and Research in Music to Canada, two Hand Enrichment Awards, a MTNA Foundation Prize, nine Stetson University Professional Development Awards, a Koger Foundation Award, a Root Foundation Grant, and Stetson University's Hand Award for Excellence in Research and Creativity for his outstanding work with children and seniors.
Robinson's recordings for Clear Note Records, Centaur Records and Lakeside Records have received unanimous critical acclaim from American Record Guide, Soundboard, Guitar Review, On the Air, and Fanfare. Of his disc, "Stephen Robinson," Munich's Fonoforum states, "A guitarist of the first order . . . Robinson fills the melodic lines with a great individual emotion. Technically, the New York guitarist is at the top level: his scales are light and clean, his chords are clear as glass." With a strong commitment to the performance of new music, Robinson has commissioned and premiered many solo and chamber works. His solo CD, "An American Record," features the debut recording of works by Samuel Adler, Harold Blanchard and Harold Schiffman, which Soundboard calls "masterful and poetic." Lakeside Records' release of "Under the Influence" is the recording of Robinson with flutist Angeleita Floyd. Classical Guitar (UK) notes "the sound created by this brilliant duo is almost orchestra. One of the most delightful to come my way . . . I cannot recommend highly enough." "Grand Solos" (Lakeside Records) contains works by Albeniz, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Barrios, Rudnev, Sor, Ponce and Willis. Classical Guitar says "Robinson reveals himself as a quality purveyor, neat and nimble fingers capturing all the necessary brilliance and flourish." "A Christmas Feeling," a Lakeside Records' release, features Christmas works commissioned by or dedicated to Robinson by some of today's most renowned guitarist composers, including Roland Dyens and Andrew York. Robinson's release on Clear Note Records, "Felicidade," is an eclectic mix of music. Soundboard's Richard Long writes, "Stephen is a guitarist who invariably reminds me of why I fell in love with the guitar many years ago; to put it simply, he plays beautiful music, and he plays it beautifully." And Steve Marsh of Classical Guitar said "Occasionally a CD comes along in the review stack in which the featured performer immediately stands out from amongst the others for their sheer musicality, technical virtuosity and 'listenability' factor, and this new release from North American guitarist Stephen Robinson is such a CD. Everything about this disc smacks of quality. The more astute amongst you will have gathered by now that I liked this new disc enormously, and with a recording quality second to none, Felicidade is indeed a jewel in the crown of the Clear Note Publications CD catalogue and is to be highly recommended." Clear Note Records has just released Robinson's newest CD, "Découpage," a collection of works spanning nearly three centuries, combining recent jewels with timeless standards.
Stephen Robinson is Professor of Music at Stetson University, where he is the founding director of the Guitar Program (since 1983). His graduates have excelled in the finest graduate programs, such as Yale University, The Eastman School of Music, The Peabody Conservatory, Florida State University, and The University of Southern California, among others, and many now hold prominent positions in the professional music world. Of his multi-faceted career, Guitarra Magazine says "Robinson's career as a teacher is well known. He founded and runs the guitar program at Stetson University. At the same time, he has won a bunch of competitions, recorded a score of CDs, and continues touring regularly. What you have with Robinson is a player who has married the two opposite ends of the guitar experience (teaching/performing) by finding a way to express the impetus for both simultaneously. It's a remarkable feat and one to aspire to." Stephen Robinson resides in DeLand with his wife, Patrece, and together they have raised four sons.