Flute | Past Press Clients
Biography
 
Paula Robison's elegant artistry and passionate intellect have inspired the musical world. Born to a family of writers, actors, dancers and musicians, her groundbreaking performances have made her a role model for young flutists everywhere. Ms. Robison's playing spans a strikingly diverse repertoire and she has commissioned well over 30 works for flute. Her delight in Brazilian music adds yet another dimension to her programming of solo and chamber music. Beyond the concert stage, Ms. Robison is renowned for her masterclasses, original transcriptions and books on the art of flute playing.

Paula Robison's repertoire reflects the flutist's career-long commitment to exhilarating programs. She has soloed with the New York Philharmonic and Leipzig Gewandhaus Bach Orchestra and played Bernstein's Halil with Michael Tilson Thomas and the London and San Francisco Symphonies, as well as, Nielsen's Flute Concerto with the Denmark Radio Orchestra under Leif Segerstam. She has commissioned concertos by Leon Kirchner, Toru Takemitsu, Oliver Knussen, Robert Beaser and Kenneth Frazelle. She has performed with many distinguished artists and organizations, including I Solisti Veneti, the Budapest Strings, New York's Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center,the Marlboro and Santa Fe Music Festivals, guitarist Eliot Fisk, and pianists Ken Noda, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yefim Bronfman, and Ruth Laredo. This season at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall she and pianist Ken Noda give the world premiere performance of Notturno, composed for her by Michael Tilson Thomas, in a new setting for flute and piano. In January 2007 she joins Brazilian trio colleagues guitarist Romero Lubambo and percussionist Cyro Baptista at the First International Festival in Cartagena, Colombia, followed by an East Coast tour of the United States in the spring of 2007. Recital appearances include an all-JS Bach concert with harpsichordist John Gibbons at Boston's Jordan Hall, and her annual sold-out Vivaldi series in the Temple of Dendur at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

One of Paula Robison's favorite continuing projects is "With Art:" collaborations with visual artists in unusual spaces. In the fall of 2005, Ms. Robison - as Artist-In-Residence at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - initiated "Variations on a Theme," a collaborative project with the great conceptual artist Sol LeWitt and curator Pieranna Cavalchini. On view in the Special Exhibition gallery was a site specific wall drawing with daily performances at random hours of chamber music masterpieces for the flute. In the Spring of 2006 she traveled to Jerusalem to create a new collaborative project with painter Jim Schantz and the Pucker Gallery of Boston, to be released in the summer of 2007.


A prolific recording artist, Paula Robison's albums showcase her innovative programming ideas. Artemis Records has recently made available her Vanguard Classics recordings of the complete Bach and Handel Sonatas, music by Romantic and Impressionist composers and Brasileirinho, her first Brazilian disc. She has also recorded for Sony Classical, CBS Masterworks, Mode (the complete Berio Sequenzas), New World Records, King Records, MusicMasters, Musical Heritage Society and Bridge Recordings (her Marlboro Festival performance of Schubert's Introduction and Variations with Rudolf Serkin).

In 2006 Ms Robison founded Pergola Recordings, an independent label. The first release, "One Hundred Roses" features the Charleston Symphony conducted by David Stahl, with music for flute and orchestra by Chaminade, Griffes, Saint Saens, and Italian Love Songs arranged by Daniel Paget.

A founding member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Paula
Robison held the title of artist-member for twenty seasons. During the same period she was co-director with Scott Nickrenz of the Concerti di Mezzogiorno at the Spoleto Festival, earning her the 1987 Adelaide Ristori Prize for her contribution to Italian cultural life. Ms. Robison is currently co-director of Boston's Gardner Chamber Orchestra with conductor and oboist Douglas Boyd.


Ms. Robison's books are published by Universal, Schott and European-American Music. Her writings are not limited to performance ideas, but also examine each composer's life and the music's connections to other artistic disciplines as they illuminate the composition's interpretive possibilities. To A Wild Rose, published by G. Schirmer and released in the summer of 2003, consists of 15 romantic pieces transcribed for flute and piano by Fauré, Foster, Grieg, MacDowell, Rachmaninoff, Schubert and Strauss. Ms. Robison's numerous transcriptions for flute illustrate her abilities as a resourceful and inveterate musical explorer. Her constant search for music in which the essence of the material can be expressed by the sound of the flute has produced a list of transcriptions from Vivaldi to Hungarian and Neapolitan folk music.

Paula Robison is familiar to television viewers through profiles on CBS Sunday Morning, Christmas at the Kennedy Center and the Emmy Award-winning Live from Lincoln Center. In the winter of 2003, she helped celebrate the centenary of The Juilliard School as part of Public Television's American Masters documentary. Full-length features about her artistry and career have appeared in such diverse publications as The New York Times, People, Women Who Rock, Ovation and Musical America. Her many contributions to the city of Charleston, SC (including an ongoing project with the Charleston Symphony), have earned her an official Honorary Citizenship for Life. There is a dessert named after her at the Tric-Trac Café in Spoleto, Italy, called the "Coppa Paola."

Born Tennessee, Ms. Robison spent her childhood in California and began to play the flute in a school band at the age of eleven. From the age of nineteen she studied with Marcel Moyse and Julius Baker and when she was 20, Leonard Bernstein invited her to solo with the New York Philharmonic. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she gave her New York recital debut under the auspices of Young Concert Artists and the following year became the first American to win First Prize in flute at the Geneva International Competition.

Paula Robison's teaching has taken her all over the world, including a recent
Franz Liszt residency in Budapest. In the fall of 2005, she rejoined the faculty of New England Conservatory as the first occupant of the newly endowed Donna Hieken Flute Chair and began a series of masterclasses at New York's Diller-Quaile School of Music, now entering its second season. She plays a Brannen-Cooper flute and is a member of Red Sox Nation.
Back to Top