Pianist Gerald Robbins has distinguished himself internationally as a soloist and chamber musician having performed throughout the world in virtually every major music center including New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bonn, Munich, Athens, Frankfurt, Belgrade, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rio de Janeiro, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo. In November 2016, Gerald Robbins was a recipient of Armstrong Chamber Concerts’ Lifetime Achievement Award with the following dedication: "This award is for decades of musical-artistic excellence in concert performances with Armstrong Chamber Concerts and Violinist-Founder Helen Armstrong"
He has appeared as guest soloist with many major orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and its affiliates, London Mozart Players, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, and the New York Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra under such conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Edouard van Remoortel, Harry Blech, Okko Kamu, Jorge Mester, Lawrence Foster, Ezra Rachlin, Kenneth Klein, Louis Frémaux, Kypros Markou, Yaacov Bergman, and Zubin Mehta.
A champion of neglected romantic repertoire, Gerald Robbins has received critical praise for his solo recordings for the London-Decca, Orion, and Genesis labels. His world premiere recordings of concerti by Litolff and Reinecke, performed in collaboration with the Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra and conducted by Edouard van Remoortel, were successfully re-released on compact disc for Genesis Records. The critical acclaim for these recordings include statements, such as “Gerald Robbins”, who plays the poet of the piano so effectively in the Reinecke concertos, here takes on the demonic persona that Litolff requires, and burns up the keyboard with velocity and brachial power…when permitted to sing, he proves to have a keyboard voice of true eloquence” and “Gerald Robbins’ technical prowess is phenomenal” and Robbins does this with a strength and delicacy that enhances both the orchestra and piano lines” and “Robbins turns in a first-class, bravura performance.”
His other commercial CD recordings include an exemplary solo performance of Dvořák’s “Poetic Tone Pictures,” and Goetz’s Complete Chamber Music for Piano and Strings, all for the Genesis label. Mr. Robbins recorded with violinist Glenn Dicterow, the Leonard Bernstein and John Corigliano Sonatas together with the Erich Wolfgang Korngold Suite “Much Ado About Nothing” for Cala Records, and the Mendelssohn Complete Works for Cello and Piano with cellist James Kreger for the Koch Discover International label. His CD release on MSR Classics includes a critically acclaimed collaboration with the conductor Kenneth Klein and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra of the Schumann Piano Concerto that was used as part of the music soundtrack for the celebrated film, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”, which traces and documents the African-American civil rights struggle from the 1950’s to the present. There is also a recent CD re-release on Genesis of piano works by Sjögren and Kjerulf as well as a highly esteemed recording of the Strauss and Turina Piano Quartets performed by the Lyric Piano Quartet on the Black Box Sanctuary Classics label.
Gerald Robbins’s many television activities, over the years, included recital and variety show performances in the United States on the three major television networks, CBS, NBC and ABC which included appearances on the Della Reese Show, the Lawrence Welk Show, and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme’s TV Variety Show special salute to George and Ira Gershwin, “Our Love is Here to Stay” which was filmed for ITV, broadcast originally in London and Paris, in 1975, and starred the legendary dancer-actor-director, Gene Kelly together with Mr. Robbins as the two featured guest performing artists. This show was honored with an Emmy award nomination and was broadcast throughout Europe and the United States. He also appeared on radio in live recital and with the BBC Symphony and its affiliates on BBC radio in London, and French ORTF in Paris, as well as the TV variety show Michel Drucker’s “En Sports en Fetes” which later became known as “Champs Élysées.” Mr. Robbins gave the first performance in London’s Royal Albert Hall in July 1976 of Gershwin’s Variations on “I Got Rhythm” with Lawrence Foster conducting the BBC Symphony, as part of the BBC’s Promenade Concerts that were televised and broadcast in the UK and throughout Europe.
In addition to his solo activities, Robbins has distinguished himself as a chamber musician. He was in close collaboration with such legendary artists as Nathan Milstein, Aaron Rosand, Pinchas Zukerman, Bronislav Gimpel, Zara Nelsova, Joseph Schuster, Ruggiero Ricci, Eudice Shapiro, Larry Adler, Stanley Drucker, and Kyung-Wha Chung. Among the countless other eminent artists with whom he has collaborated include Mayumi Fujikawa, Richard Markson, Mark Peskanov, Stephen Kates, Nathaniel Rosen, James Kreger, Haroutune Bedelian, and Glenn Dicterow. He has worked closely with New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, as part of the Lyric Piano Quartet, with fellow members, violist Karen Dreyfus and cellist Frederick Zlotkin. He has also appeared as a frequent guest artist with solo members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra as part of its subscription concert series at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, as well as performing with them at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Merkin Hall in New York City.
Mr. Robbins is also an accomplished conductor. He co-founded with Kenneth Klein the Westside Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles, presently called the Beverly Hills Symphony, and is a co-founder of the London Concertante, an ensemble that specializes in 18th and early 19th-century concerto repertoire.
Mr. Robbins has received important prizes in major international competitions such as the Van Cliburn and Tchaikovsky International Competitions. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Southern California where he assisted in the string master classes of Jascha Heifetz, William Primrose, and Gregor Piatigorsky. For two decades, he made his residence in London, where he had the privilege of the mentorship of the great violinist, Nathan Milstein. He performed frequently on the BBC and at all the major venues in London including the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, and Queen Elizabeth Hall. Throughout those two decades, he received considerable critical acclaim for concerts and recitals given throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. A native of California, Mr. Robbins now resides in New York, where he is Artist-in-Residence with the Lyric Piano Quartet at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY, and is also a member of its collaborative piano faculty. He developed a highly successful chamber music concert series, “Chamber Music Live” at Queens College that continues to serve the community. He is also affiliated with the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan, the Hoff-Barthelson School of Music in Westchester, and is a member of the chamber music faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.