Associate Professor of Double Bass
Biography: 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 (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 Festival and the Moab Music Festival among others. He has been a member of the Hartford Symphony and the Monadnock Festival Orchestra. 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) and an up-coming 2 CD set of mid 20th Century American Bass Music (New World Records). 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 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 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 Black 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 the French luthier, Patrick Charton. His principal German bow was made by Robert Dow.
Please visit the Robert Black's Web Site.