Professor of Double Bass
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 from John Cage to D.J. Spooky, Elliott Carter to Meredith Monk, Cecil Taylor to Paquito d’Rivera, as well as many young emerging composers.
His recital activities frequently take him to five continents and 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 (Omnibus, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 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, Life, Death, Immortality. Other collaborations include films by Rudy Burckhardt and live action-painting improvisations with the Brazilian painter Ige D'Aquino. He annually appears at the Moab Music Festival among others. He has been a member of the Hartford Symphony. Robert maintains a full teaching schedule at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho (Brazil), and is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program.
A recipient of numerous grants, he received a 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) a 2 CD set of mid 20th Century American Bass Music, Modern American Bass (New World Records). He is currently involved in a CD/DVD recording project of solo improvisations in the Utah (USA) dessert (Cantaloupe Records). Robert has also recorded for Sony Classical, Point/Polygram, Koch International, CRI, Neuma Records, Gasparo, Opus One, Artifact Recordings, and Folkways Records.
From 2001-2010, Robert was on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Bassists (ISB) in 2001, and is the Director the ISB’s biennial International Composition Competition. For 7 years, he served as the editor of the New Score column in the Journal Bass World. He is a frequent adjudicator for the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City. He is also on the Advisory Board for the international radio program, Art of the States.
Robert performs on a French double bass made by Charles Brugere in Paris in 1900. He tours with a B-21 instrument that he commissioned from French luthier, Patrick Charton. His principal German bows were made by W. Renz (1920’s) and Robert Dow (modern).
Please visit the Robert Black's Web Site.