About Robert Chumbley
Robert Chumbley is a most versatile musicians. Equally at home conducting for the musical theater, opera, ballet and symphony, Mr. Chumbley has served as Music Director for Atlanta Ballet for five seasons, and for Cleveland Opera. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Breckenridge Music Festival (Colorado), American Repertory Ballet, Norwegian National Opera, the Royal Ballet Orchestra (London), the Carolina Chamber Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony and the Prague Chamber Orchestra among other groups. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the renowned Piedmont Wind Symphony, and as Artistic Advisor to the Chicago Chamber Musicians.
Recent conducting engagements include the Piedmont Wind Symphony (Stravinsky's The Firebird and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition), the Chicago premiere of Paul Dresher's new chamber opera, The Tyrant, featuring John Duykers and the Chicago Chamber Musicians and multiple concerts with the Carolina Chamber Symphony.
His compositions have been commissioned throughout Europe and the United States and been performed by such organizations as Atlanta Ballet, the North Carolina Symphony, Omaha Symphony, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Piedmont Wind Symphony, Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, Voices of Change (Dallas), Boston Conservatory Chamber Players, the Da Vinci Trio, WGBH Radio (Boston, on a commission from Very Special Arts Massachusetts) and major international music festivals including An Appalachian Summer, Nestle/Musical Encounters Festival (Lisbon, Portugal), MANCA New Music Festival (Nice, France), North American New Music Festival and ArtsIgnite!. He has written incidental theatrical music, three large ballet scores and two operas. His works are recorded on MMC Records and published by Carl Fisher, Inc.
In 1989, Mr. Chumbley won the Composer Fellow Prize, presented by the North Carolina Arts Council and followed that award with the Composer Fellow Prize from the Nebraska Arts Council in 1993. In 1989 he was honored with a major grant from Opera America for the initial commission and development of his opera, Ordinary People, with the Piedmont Opera Theater and the Des Moines Metro Opera. In 1992, Opera America awarded him another grant for a second workshop production. Ordinary People received a full, semi-staged reading in Baltimore in February, 2008, directed by internationally renowned stage director, Leon Major. Mr. Chumbley has also been the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation grant (1980), the Irwin Freundlich Prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition (1979) and First Prize in the International Musical Showcase Competition (1978).
He has served as Artistic Director of An Appalachian Summer, the North American New Music Festival and ArtsIgnite!, and as composer-in-residence at Atlanta Ballet, the North Carolina Symphony, the Nestle/Musical Encounters Festival (Lisbon) and the Entrecasteaux Festival (Nice).
As a pianist, Mr. Chumbley's concert appearances have taken him throughout Europe, Japan, the United States and Africa. He has performed at Carnegie Hall at the invitation of Carnegie Hall, Kaufmann Hall at the 92nd St. Y, and, after accepting an invitation from the U.S. Congress and the Ford Foundation, at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton. He has appeared as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, South Florida Symphony, Lincoln Symphony, Orchestre Provence Cote dzur (Cannes) among others. He has performed the world and North American premieres of works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Michael Colgrass (Tales of Power for solo piano at the 92nd St. Y in New York and Memento for two pianos and orchestra with the Minnesota Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin conducting) and Alfred Schnittke (Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Gerhardt Zimmermann conducting).
Mr. Chumbley has been a member of the faculties of Appalachian State University, University of Nebraska and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has served as a Music Panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland Arts Council (large organizations), co-chair of the national conference for ArtsMidWest, and as Chamber Music America National Conference presenter on commissioning new work. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts (high school), and the Juilliard School.