Geoffrey Robson has emerged as a force of artistic leadership throughout the U.S. and the state of Arkansas. In 2017, he was awarded the Respighi Prize in Conducting by the Chamber Orchestra of New York. He currently serves as Artistic Director and is the principal conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
His dynamic leadership of the ASO during the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in state-wide and national visibility for the organization. By overseeing an aggressive shift to virtual offerings of performances and educational content, Robson helped ensure the ASO’s continued success and full employment of all musicians and staff.
The orchestra’s online Bedtime with Bach series received nationwide acclaim and was featured by the Washington Post and the Kelly Clarkson Show. During his tenure in Arkansas, he has conducted critically acclaimed and sold-out masterworks, pops, chamber, and educational concerts throughout the state.
He frequently collaborates with organizations in the community, such as Ballet Arkansas, Arkansas Children’s Theater, Opera in the Rock, the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, and many local choral groups. He served on the faculty of Hendrix College from 2018-2021. In 2013-2014 he served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Central Arkansas and conducted the Conway Symphony Orchestra.
Robson serves as Artistic Director of the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival, a summer concert series and 10-day intensive chamber music camp that provides a unique immersive experience to music students in central Arkansas in the art of playing chamber music.
He has worked with renowned artists such as Gil Shaham, Midori, Rachel Barton Pine, Vadym Kholodenko, Alexander Markov, Mandy Gonzalez, Calvin Lee, and the Beach Boys. He regularly brings emerging world-class talent to Little Rock to entertain audiences and educate and inspire young musicians.
A champion of new music, he collaborates with and explores the music of renowned living composers. In 2016, he conducted the premiere of James Stephenson’s Concerto for Hope with celebrated trumpeter Ryan Anthony and the San Juan (Colorado) Symphony. Recently, he conducted the premiere of Into the Beautiful North, by Joe Brent, performed by the trio 9 Horses. He has promoted works by composers with Arkansas connections, such as Jeremy Crosmer and Karen Griebling.
Robson is also an orchestral arranger, and his works have been featured in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s pops series concerts on numerous occasions. Additionally, he writes string arrangements for recording artists to assist them in achieving their musical goals in the studio. He also writes and produces At the Symphony, a concert preview radio series on KLRE Classical 90.5 in Little Rock.
As a violinist, he frequently performs on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s popular River Rhapsodies chamber music series, often sharing the stage with principal orchestra members. While in graduate school, he served as concertmaster of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of the Waterbury Symphony. Recognized for his skill and versatility as a violinist and fiddle player, he is increasingly sought after as a studio musician.
Robson studied orchestral conducting at the Mannes College of Music in New York City under the tutelage of David Hayes and holds violin performance degrees from Yale University and the Michigan State University Honors College. Primary violin teachers include Erick Friedman, Dmitri Berlinsky, and I-fu Wang.
He studied conducting at Yale University with Lawrence Leighton Smith, Edward Cumming, and Shinik Hahm. Other notable teachers include Leon Gregorian, John Farrer, Neil Thomson, and Larry Rachleff.