Robert Fraser, Bass Trombone

Robert Fraser - Bob in opera rehearsal 2011

Robert (goes by Bob to his friends) grew up around music; his parents were school teachers who taught both music and other subjects, as well as being semi-professional musicians themselves. He studied Music Education at Brandon University and trombone performance at McGill University before winning his position in the Victoria Symphony. In 2008, he finished a Master of Arts from UVic, where he did a double major in musicology/performance.

Bob has also played with the Calgary Philharmonic in 2005-06 and the Winnipeg Symphony in 2009 as a leave replacement. He has served on a number of committees representing musicians: Secretary-Treasurer of Local 247 of the Canadian Federation of Musicians (1991-2002) and is currently (since 2014) President of the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians.

He also gives pre-concert lectures for VS main series performances in the Royal Theatre lobby one hour prior to performance.

Hometown: Neepawa, MB

First season with the VS: 1990/91

Most memorable VS experience: I’ll pick a favourite from each one of our Music Directors/Principal Guest Conductors (to avoid choosing just one!)

Peter McCoppin: Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler”
Kees Bakels: Nielsen Flute Concerto (with Marina Piccinini) and Glazunov’s “The Seasons”
Yannick Nézet-Séguin: The 4 Brahms Symphonies; Strauss’s “Tod und Verklärung” and “Don Juan”
Tania Miller: Witold Lutoslawski’s “Concerto for Orchestra”
Alain Trudel: Rhea (best time a conductor conducted one of his own works!)
Bernhard Gueller: Brahms’ Fourth Symphony

Hobbies and interests: Any TV show that might have a panel at a Comic-Con!; Calligraphy; self-confessed cat fanatic

Favourite things to do around the capital region: Cycling (I haven’t owned a car since 2005), walking, neighbourhood haunts

“As if being a bass trombone player wasn’t fun enough, I love to sing: I’m a founding chorister of the St Christopher’s Singers at Christ Church Cathedral and the Vox Humana Chamber Choir, both of which have performed with the VS. I also love jazz and early music; I play with the Victoria Jazz Orchestra occasionally and am on the board of the Ancient Music Society of Victoria.” -RF



  1. Great to be able to read all of these profiles. Robert Fraser is also known as Bobby John by his cousins! Love ya brother.

  2. Pat and Laird McConvey May 10, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    We greatly enjoy and appreciate your informative and entertaining pre concerts talks at the Victoria Symphony.

    • Thank you! Doing pre-concert talks has been a lot of fun; it’s a great way to make connections between musicians, composers, conductors, and audience members.

  3. In town on holidays bobby!! Can’t wait hear music tonight. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Gwen the former neighbor from 4th st

  4. Bob, please remember to point out that Rach 2 is the music chosen to seduce MM in the Seven Year Itch: “It never fails.”
    In fact she preferred Chopsticks. Joe Harvey

  5. Fred & Dianne Oswald June 17, 2021 at 10:35 am

    My wife & I enjoy Bob’s programs as well, of course, as the concerts, especially now that we can access them from home in Prescott, AZ. While we look forward to post-pandemic visits to Victoria again we hope the online presence continues.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad that our online programs are able to reach across borders like this!

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