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Robert Black ('79)

Associate Professor of Double Bass
Chair, String Department
Co-Director, Performance 20/20

Why I Chose Hartt

The reasons that I chose The Hartt School for my undergraduate studies and as a place to spend my teaching career are the same. Mainly, I received (and watch others receive) a first rate education at The Hartt School. The school is small enough to allow for a lot of individual and personalized instruction, yet large enough to accommodate an incredible amount of activity. The atmosphere is friendly and nurturing, yet there is a healthy competitive side. Standards and expectations are high, but there is a relaxed vibe. It is friendly but demanding. Serious work is accomplished and we have fun doing it. The students are richly diverse and the faculty is highly qualified. From my perspective as a former student, and current faculty member and administrator, I feel a strong sense of community. An education from The Hartt School is a great value and I am proud to be a part of it!

More about Robert

Robert Black's interests range from traditional orchestral and chamber music to solo recitals, 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 from John Cage to D.J. Spooky, Elliott Carter to Meredith Monk, Cecil Taylor to young emerging composers.

His recital activities frequently take him to five continents and he has appeared at major festivals (Takefu International Music Festival, Japan; Festival de Eleazar Carvalho, Fortalzea, Brazil; Colombo-Catalan Festival, Medellin, Colombia; the Helsinki Festival; NYYD, Estonia; etc.), on radio and television broadcasts (Asia Live, Singapore, VPRO, Holland; NPR, United States; CBC, Canada; etc.) and as an artist-in-residence (American Center, Paris; the Banff Centre, Canada; Studio P.A.S.S., NYC).

Currently, Robert performs with the Bang On A Can All Stars, New York City's hard-hitting new music ensemble. Additional chamber music activities include performances with the Ciompi and Miami String Quartets. He recently created and performed the music for Kathryn Walker and the Music Theater Group's production of The Odyssey, and with the Full Force Dance Company, Time On Our Hands. Other collaborations include films by Rudy Burckhardt and live action-painting improvisations with the Brazilian painter Ige D'Aquino. He annually appears at Monadnock Music and the Moab Music Festival among others. He also performs with the Hartford Symphony and the Monadnock Festival Orchestra. Robert maintains a full teaching schedule at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, and at the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho (Brazil).

A recipient of numerous grants, he received a 1998 Bessie Award for his collaborative work with The School of Hard Knocks in NYC. His solo CDs are State of the Bass (O.O. Discs), The Complete Bass Music of Christian Wolff (Mode Records), The Complete Bass Music of Giacinto (Mode Records) and an up-coming 2 CD set of mid 20th Century American Bass Music. Robert has also recorded for Sony Classical, Point/Polygram, Koch International, CRI, Neuma Records, Gasparo, Opus One, Artifact Recordings, and Folkways Records.

Robert joined the 2001 International Society of Bassists (ISB) Board of Directors in 2001, and is the Director the ISB's biennial International Composition Competition. He serves as the editor of the New Score column in the Journal Bass World. He recently completed a 5 year term on the Board of Directors for All Aboard, Inc., a Connecticut mass transit advocacy group.

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