Robert Black was chosen as the Artistic Director of the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra for a three-year period in 1992 but his season was rudely disrupted by his sudden death in November 1993.
During his season in Kuopio this talented musician, well known especially to New York audiences as a pianist and conductor, was simultaneously engaged as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestras in New Amsterdam and Bronx as well as the Prism Chamber Orchestra. Robert Black was also the conductor of the acclaimed Speculum Musicae ensemble and the founder of the New York Music Ensemble.
Originating from Dallas, Texas Black started his piano studies already at the age of five. He gave his first public performance at the age of 13 in Louisiana.
Robert Black graduated from highly respected and famous music institutions such as the Oberlin College of Music and the Juilliard School of Music having studied for instance with Beveridge Webster.
Originally known as a concert pianist Black was forced to give up the piano due to hand injury. Later on he concentrated solely on orchestra conducting and visited behind the piano merely when playing as an orchestra member. He also embarked on conducting. Concerning his music and personal selection Robert Black was highly versatile. In addition to traditional music Black’s repertoire included also opera as well as lighter and jazz-oriented music. He was also very interested in modern music and the opportunities it offered. Black also conducted numerous recordings, some of his finest leading the Warsaw Philharmonic. Black’s pianism was much admired in repertoire centering around Beethoven, Liszt (for which he was rewarded with the Grand Prix du Disque), and the masters of twentieth century music.
It is said that the superb rhythmic elan and sense of line made Robert Black one of New York’s finest conductors during the 1970s and 80s.