Guest Conductor: French Connection
October 21 & 22, 2017
Geoffrey Robson has been the Associate Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and the Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles since 2012. In 2017, he was named the first winner of the Respighi Prize in Conducting, and led the Chamber Orchestra of New York in concert at Carnegie Hall. He has conducted many critically acclaimed performances with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, including masterworks series, sold-out pops concerts, educational programs, and chamber orchestra concerts. He has built lasting relationships with organizations in the community such as Ballet Arkansas, the Arkansas Children’s Theater, the University of Central Arkansas, and Hendrix College. In 2013-2014 he served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Central Arkansas, and conducted the Conway Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with renowned soloists such as Midori, Rachel Barton Pine, Vadym Kholodenko, Alexander Markov, Christiane Noll, Calvin Lee, and the Beach Boys. In addition, Robson writes and produces At the Symphony, a concert preview radio series on KLRE Classical 90.5 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
He is regularly asked to collaborate with composers and performers on works of new music. In 2015, he conducted three world premieres, including scenes from Richard III: A Crown of Roses, A Crown of Thorns, a new opera by Karen Griebling. In 2016 he conducted the premiere of James Stephenson's Concerto for Hope, with the San Juan Symphony and trumpeter Ryan Anthony. Most recently he conducted the premiere of Into the Beautiful North, by Joe Brent, performed with the trio 9 Horses.
Geoffrey completed his M.M. in violin performance at Yale University in 2004, studying with Erick Friedman. He studied conducting at Yale with Lawrence Leighton Smith, Edward Cumming, and Shinik Hahm. While in Connecticut, he served as co-concertmaster of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, and assistant concertmaster of the Waterbury Symphony. He also studied orchestral conducting at the Mannes College of Music in New York City under the tutelage of David Hayes. Other important conducting teachers have included John Farrer, Larry Rachleff, and Neil Thomson.
Robson graduated from the Honors College at Michigan State University in 2002, where he studied violin performance with Dmitri Berlinsky and I-fu Wang, and conducting with Leon Gregorian. He performs frequently as a violinist, including appearing in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s popular River Rhapsodies chamber music series. In 2017, Geoffrey became the Artistic Director of the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival, which provides an immersive musical experience for young musicians, and presents a summer series of chamber music concerts with visiting faculty. He is an increasingly sought after studio musician, known for being able to play a wide variety of styles, and for quickly creating string arrangements that realize an artist/producer's vision. He arranges music for ensembles large and small, and his symphonic arrangements have been featured on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's pops series on numerous occasions.