Bragato: Tango for Cello and Strings (excerpt)
“Robinson made handy work of the Tchaikovsky showpiece [Rococo Variations], which calls for everything in the cellist’s bag of tricks, from thumb position acrobatics to high harmonics.”
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Winner of the Avery Fisher Recital Award, the Piatigorsky Memorial Award, the Pro Musicis Award, and a Grammy nominee, cellist Sharon Robinson is recognized worldwide as a dynamic artist and one of the most outstanding musicians of our time. Whether as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, or a member of the renowned Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, critics, audiences and fellow musicians worldwide respond to what the New York Times called “an artistic personality that vitalizes everything she plays.” Her guest appearances with orchestra include the National Symphony, the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and San Francisco Symphonies, and in Europe, the London Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Zürich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, and the English, Scottish and Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestras.
Appointed to the renowned cello faculty of Indiana University School of Music in 2005, Ms. Robinson divides her time between teaching, solo engagements, performing with her husband, violinist and conductor Jaime Laredo, and touring with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. The 2007-08 saw Sharon Robinson and violinist Jaime Laredo in double concerto performances with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the Delaware Symphony, as well as the Sacramento Philharmonic in the world premiere of Daron Aric Hagen’s Double Concerto Masquerade. The Duo presented a recital in New York City featuring Suite for Two by Andy Stein, a work written for their 30th anniversary. Her Trio dates feature a special Beethoven Trio marathon at the 92nd Street Y in September, followed by concerts throughout the season in Massachusetts, Arizona, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C. (Kennedy Center), Detroit, Miami, Indianapolis, Albuquerque, and back to 92nd Street Y for the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour’s piano quartet Books of Hours – a special commission for the Trio’s 30th anniversary last season.
The 2006-07 season held special significance for Sharon Robinson and Jaime Laredo, who celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary, as well as the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio’s 30th anniversary. To commemorate the Duo’s 30th, Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson commissioned a new work from composer Andy Stein as well as a new double concerto from Richard Danielpour. In addition, Naxos released the Double Concerto by Ned Rorem, also written for Laredo-Robinson, with the Iris Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Michael Stern. The husband-wife team also appeared with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the Austin Symphony, as well as at Carnegie Hall and the Mostly Mozart Festival.
The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio celebrated its 30th anniversary in the 2006-07 season, with major concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the 92nd Street Y in New York, and was also heard in Boston, Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Tucson, La Jolla, El Paso, and Lisbon, Hamburg, Copenhagen in Europe and Calgary, Canada. They have commissioned the stellar American composer Richard Danielpour for a new Piano Quartet, performed in 10 cities nationwide in 2006-07 and 2007-08. On the recording front, KOCH International Classics released the Trio’s recording of Arensky & Tchaikovsky trios, as well as re-releases from their vast existing discography.
Highlights of the celebrated Duo’s 2004-05 season included the New York premiere, at Carnegie Hall, of In the Arms of the Beloved, Richard Danielpour's 2002 Concerto for Violin and Cello written for the duo to celebrate 25 years of marriage. The April 2005 performance in New York and a subsequent performance in Philadelphia were led by Michael Stern, who conducted the world premiere and the KOCH release.
Ms. Robinson's television appearances have included The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Kennedy Center Honors on CBS, and a profile on CBS Sunday Morning and the Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. Equally impressive are her festival engagements, which have included Spoleto, Mostly Mozart, Aspen, London's South Bank, Madeira, Granada, Edinburgh and Prague's Autumn Festival where she performed the Dvorák Cello Concerto at the famous Dvorák Hall.
2001 marked the beginning of the tenure of Sharon Robinson and Jaime Laredo as co-artistic directors of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle, the beloved annual summer series at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
Born into a musical family (her father was a bass player, her mother a violinist and all her siblings are string players), Ms. Robinson gave her first concert when she was seven and has since received numerous honors and awards: the Avery Fisher Recital Award, the Pro Musicis Award, the Leventritt Foundation Award and the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Award. As winner of the Avery Fisher Recital Award, Ms. Robinson appeared on Lincoln Center's Great Performers series, giving the premiere of Ned Rorem's After Reading Shakespeare, a work she commissioned and performed on the Dick Cavett Show, and recorded for Naxos. Ms. Robinson's close relationships with today's composers has led to numerous commissions for solo and chamber works as well as concerti from Leon Kirchner, Arvo Pärt, Stanley Silverman, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, David Ott, Katherine Hoover, Richard Danielpour, Andy Stein, Darin Aric Hagan and Ned Rorem.
Renowned for her chamber music performances, Sharon Robinson co-founded the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio thirty years ago and has collaborated with Rudolf Serkin and Alexander Schneider at the Marlboro Music Festival, Leon Fleisher, Rudolf Firkušný, Yo-Yo Ma, Eugene Istomin, Itzhak Perlman, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, and the Emerson, Guarneri, Miami, Juilliard, Orion and Tokyo Quartets. In the 1998-99 season, the Trio performed the complete Beethoven and Shostakovich piano trios at New York's 92nd Street Y, where they have been performing annually since their formation. In December 2001, Musical America named the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio the 2002 Ensemble of the Year.
Sharon Robinson's CDs include the Vivaldi Cello Sonatas on Vox and a Grenadilla disc of solo cello works by Debussy, Fauré, and Rorem. The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio has recorded chamber works of Ravel; Legacies, a disc of commissioned works; and a two-CD set of the complete piano trios and sonatas by Shostakovich for KOCH International Classics. The Trio has also recorded the complete piano trios of Brahms and Mendelssohn for Vox as well as the Beethoven Triple Concerto for Chandos. Additionally, KOCH released Conversations, a Laredo/Robinson CD featuring duos by Handel, Gliere, Kodaly, and a work composed for them by David Ott. Ms. Robinson received a Grammy nomination for the Two Brahms Sextets CD with Isaac Stern, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Michael Tree and Yo-Yo Ma. To celebrate Schubert's anniversary, that same ensemble (sans Michael Tree) recorded Schubert's great Cello Quintet for Sony as well. In August 2002 KOCH released an all-Zwilich Concerto CD (including a double concerto written for Robinson and Laredo, and a triple concerto written for the Trio). Other releases included the Trio’s 4-CD all-Beethoven project, and Danielpour’s In the Arms of the Beloved. In 2006, Naxos released the Double Concerto by Ned Rorem, performed by Ms. Robinson and Mr. Laredo.