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
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