Robert Chumbley
Music Director Chamber Ensemble Program
Conducting Instructor

chumbley

SoBe Institute of the Arts
2100 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, Fl 33139
305 674-9220
 

Teaching:

  • SoBe Institute of the Arts (SoBe Arts) - Music Director Chamber Ensemble Program, Piano, Vocal Coach & Conducting/Composition Instructor (2010 - current)

Biography:

Robert Chumbley is one of the most versatile musicians of our day. Equally at home conducting for the musical theater, opera, ballet and symphony, Mr. Chumbley  has served as Music Director for Atlanta Ballet for five seasons, and for Cleveland Opera. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Breckenridge Music Festival (Colorado), American Repertory Ballet, Norwegian National Opera, the Royal Ballet Orchestra (London), the Carolina Chamber Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony and the Prague Chamber Orchestra among other groups. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the renowned Piedmont Wind Symphony, and as Artistic Advisor to the Chicago Chamber Musicians.

Recent conducting engagements include the Piedmont Wind Symphony (Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition), the Chicago premiere of Paul Dresher’s new chamber opera, The Tyrant,  featuring John Duykers and  the Chicago Chamber Musicians and multiple concerts with the Carolina Chamber Symphony.

His compositions have been commissioned throughout Europe and the United States and been performed by such organizations as Atlanta Ballet, the North Carolina Symphony, Omaha Symphony, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Piedmont Wind Symphony, Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, Voices of Change (Dallas), Boston Conservatory Chamber Players, the Da Vinci Trio, WGBH Radio (Boston, on a commission from Very Special Arts Massachusetts) and major international music festivals including An Appalachian Summer, Nestle/Musical Encounters Festival (Lisbon, Portugal), MANCA New Music Festival (Nice, France), North American New Music Festival and ArtsIgnite!. He has written incidental theatrical music, three large ballet scores and two operas. His works are recorded on MMC Records and published by Carl Fisher, Inc.

In 1989, Mr. Chumbley won the Composer Fellow Prize, presented by the North Carolina Arts Council and followed that award with the Composer Fellow Prize from the Nebraska Arts Council in 1993. In 1989 he was honored with a major grant from Opera America for the initial commission and development of his opera, Ordinary People, with the Piedmont Opera Theater and the Des Moines Metro Opera. In 1992, Opera America awarded him another grant for a second workshop production. Ordinary People  received a full, semi-staged reading in Baltimore in February, 2008, directed by internationally renowned stage director, Leon Major. Mr. Chumbley has also been the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation grant (1980), the Irwin Freundlich Prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition (1979) and First Prize in the International Musical Showcase Competition (1978).

He has served as Artistic Director of An Appalachian Summer, the North American New Music Festival and ArtsIgnite!, and as composer-in-residence at Atlanta Ballet, the North Carolina Symphony, the Nestle/Musical Encounters Festival (Lisbon) and the Entrecasteaux Festival (Nice).

As a pianist, Mr. Chumbley’s concert appearances have taken him throughout Europe, Japan, the United States and Africa. He has performed at Carnegie Hall at the invitation of Carnegie Hall, Kaufmann Hall at the 92nd St. Y, and, after accepting an invitation from the U.S. Congress and the Ford Foundation, at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton. He has appeared as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, South Florida Symphony, Lincoln Symphony, Orchestre Provence Cote d’Azur (Cannes) among others. He has performed the world and North American premieres of works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Michael Colgrass (Tales of Power for solo piano at the 92nd St. Y in New York and Memento  for two pianos and orchestra with the Minnesota Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin conducting) and Alfred Schnittke (Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Gerhardt Zimmermann conducting).

Mr. Chumbley has been a member of the faculties of Appalachian State University, University of Nebraska and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has served as a Music Panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland Arts Council (large organizations), co-chair of the national conference for ArtsMidWest, and as Chamber Music America National Conference presenter on commissioning new work. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts (high school), and the Juilliard School.

PRESS NOTICES AS CONDUCTOR

“Chumbley’s conducting revealed his abiding love for the score. He provided ample space for the singers to send phrases aloft or Tchaikovsky’s music to exert its magnetic passion.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer (Eugene Onegin)

“In a Friday local premiere performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art, John Duykers’ vocal lines and the Chicago Chamber Musicians, conducted by Robert Chumbley, interacted seamlessly throughout this gripping 70 minutes of drama.”

Chicago Tribune (The Tyrant)

PRESS NOTICES AS CONDUCTOR

“Chumbley’s conducting revealed his abiding love for the score. He provided ample space for the singers to send phrases aloft or Tchaikovsky’s music to exert its magnetic passion.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer (Eugene Onegin)

“In a Friday local premiere performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art, John Duykers’ vocal lines and the Chicago Chamber Musicians, conducted by Robert Chumbley, interacted seamlessly throughout this gripping 70 minutes of drama.”

Chicago Tribune (The Tyrant)

PRESS NOTICES AS COMPOSER

“Mr. Chumbley’s piece begins with solos – violin and cello lines of wide-leaping intervals and an intervening piano segment that is lyrical and simply accompanied. Even in the agitated imitative counterpoint to follow, Mr. Chumbley never lets his feelings get in the way of beautiful sound. Indeed, one hears the ambiguity of style in which clarity and mystery are made to coexist.”

The New York Times  (New York premiere of An Odyssey of Reminiscence for violin, cello and piano)

“Robert Chumbley evoked a much larger ensemble than the five players in “Three More Self Studies” might have suggested. His quintet fairly dripped with theatrical imagery and rhetoric. Chumbley used his material and instruments wisely, gradually expanding melodic fragments into full-size tunes, and reforming subgroups as the dramatic focus shifted.”

The Chicago Tribune (world premiere of Three More Self Studies for violin, horn, cello, piano and percussion).

“In a fall symphony season that has featured one world premiere after another, Chumbley’s Songs of Persuasion for mezzo soprano, tenor and orchestra, clearly stands out. The music, decidedly 20th-century in flavor, captures the relentless passion and complex emotions of the text. The lyric lines are well served by an often dissonant, often edgy but always changing score.”

Omaha World Herald

“Saving the best for last, Chumbley created a marvelous score, sung with moving elegance by Katherine Ciesinski.”

Newark News Tribune (World premiere of Windsongs for mezzo soprano and chamber ensemble)

“The piano quartet of Robert Chumbley is a good example of eclectic modern American writing; colorful, clear-textured, balancing rhythmic excitement and introspection. If his “Self Studies” are accurate, Chumbley is an interesting and complicated man.”

American Record Guide

“Robert Chumbley’s “Three Self Studies” are as introspective as the title suggests. Listeners with some patience for the polytonal language and the relaxed pacing will be rewarded by the visions of an articulate and sophisticated musical philosopher.”

Fanfare Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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