Gary Robinson, conductor
Caroline Robinson, harpsichord
Christoph Wilibald Gluck: Overtura from Orfeo ed Euridice
Philip Glass: Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra
Ottorino Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 3
Johann Sebastian Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3
If for you, the sound of the harpsichord conjures the luxury and excess enjoyed at the court of Marie-Antoinette, this concert starts there and takes you to places you couldn’t imagine. The experience is a romp through eras starting with Gluck’s response to the excesses of the Enlightenment, his Orfeo ed Euridice Overture. Then it takes a hard left with composer Philip Glass who was sick and tired of being called a minimalist and decided to explore the flowery Baroque period with his Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra, premiered in Seattle in 2002. The last movement will make you want to dance. The grace of Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances is all the bright-toned elegance you could wish for, followed by the original master of the Baroque, the one and only Johann Sebastian Bach. The instantly-recognizable majesty and beautiful melody of his third orchestral suite brings everything that’s just happened into sharp focus, and ties it in a profoundly Baroque bow.
Conductor Gary Robinson collaborates here with his daughter and celebrated keyboardist Caroline Robinson. This is an unforgettable program for them and for all who will be in the room to share it.
Gary Robinson, Conductor
Gary Robinson has been a part of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra family since joining GSO’s percussion section in 1985. He has performed as an orchestral percussionist since 1977 in Connecticut, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina, as well as with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra of Pittsburgh, PA
In the 1990s, Robinson teamed up with then-GSO conductor David Pollitt to found the Side-By-Side project (at the time, the Apprentice Project) which paired GSO and student musicians for rehearsal and performance. Following the1997 completion of his Doctor of Music in Orchestral Conducting at the University of South Carolina, Robinson took on other GSO assignments that included conducting chamber concerts, GSO/Greenville Ballet productions of the Nutcracker ballet, and Symphonic Expeditions concerts for school-aged children. Robinson’s work in joint student/professional concerts continued through 2021 in the Side-By-Side pairing of GSO musicians and the orchestra he nurtured starting in 1985, Greenville County Young Artist Orchestra.
In addition to his DMA, Robinson received a B.F.A. from the University of Connecticut, Education Certification from the Hartt School of Music, and an M.M. in Instrumental Conducting from Mississippi College. He received additional training in orchestral conducting from the Symphony School of America, the Florida Festival Conductors Symposium, and the Conductors Guild Institute.
Robinson served as Director of the Young Artist Orchestra from 1985 to 2019 (with a three-year hiatus from 2016 to 2019), and was Music Director of Greenville’s Foothills Philharmonic from 2000 until 2010. He has appeared as a guest conductor with the Hendersonville (NC) Symphony Orchestra, the Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra, and the Clemson University Symphony Orchestra. Robinson was Founder and Director of the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra of Jackson, Mississippi, and has conducted student workshop and festival orchestras.
Robinson currently teaches percussion and conducting at the South Carolina Governor’s school for the Arts and Humanities. From 1985 to 2019, Robinson served on the faculty of Greenville’s Fine Arts Center, where he developed its percussion and winds & brass chamber music programs and taught music theory. He has served as percussion instructor at Limestone College and filled sabbatical posts at the University of Connecticut and at Furman University.
The proud dad in a musical family, Gary’s wife, Kathleen, is an accomplished violinist, classroom and studio strings teacher, conductor, and clinician. Violinist daughter Chloe, a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, performs with the Louisiana Symphony Orchestra as well as chamber ensembles, and manages a robust Suzuki violin studio in New Orleans. Daughter Caroline earned a DMA in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music, holds the post of Organist Associate-Choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta and is a performing artist under management with Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.
Guest Artist: Caroline Robinson, Harpsichord
Organist and church musician Dr. Caroline Robinson has been featured as a solo recitalist across the United States, in venues including New York City churches St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, St. John the Divine, Trinity Church Wall Street, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral; in Boston: Church of the Advent, Harvard Memorial Church, Cambridge, Methuen Memorial Music Hall; St. James in the City, Los Angeles; and Kansas City’s the Kauffman Center. She has also performed in England, France, and Germany. Her playing has been broadcast multiple times on American Public Media’s “Pipedreams,” “Pipedreams LIVE!,” and Philadelphia-based public radio station 90.1 WRTI’s Wanamaker Organ Hour. She has been a featured performer at conventions of the Organ Historical Society, the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival, and the American Guild of Organists, most recently performing in the closing concert of the 2022 AGO Convention in Seattle in collaboration with Seattle Pro Musica.
A prize winner at several distinguished organ competitions, Dr. Robinson is a laureate of the 2018 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP) and holds First Prize from the 11th annual Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival (2008) and from the 10th annual West Chester University Organ Competition (2010). She was a semifinalist in the 2014 Dublin International Organ Competition. In 2016, she was chosen as one of the Diapason’s “20 Under 30” promising young organists in the United States.
Caroline holds the post of Organist and Associate Choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. There, under the direction of Canon Dale Adelmann, she shares organ playing and accompanying responsibilities with Artist-in-Residence Jack Mitchener, and she leads the RSCM-based Chorister program. She is an active continuo player with early music ensembles, having performed at the Rochester Early Music Festival, San Francisco’s American Bach Soloists Academy, and now regularly with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra.
Dr. Robinson completed her undergraduate work at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Alan Morrison. Aided by a grant from the J. William Fulbright fellowship fund, Caroline studied at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Toulouse with Michel Bouvard and Jan Willem Jansen (organ) and Yasuko Bouvard (harpsichord). Caroline holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Master of Music in Organ Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with David Higgs. Dr. Robinson also received from Eastman the Performer’s Certificate and the Advanced Teaching Certificate in Theory Pedagogy.
Dr. Robinson is represented in North America by Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.