Robin Spielberg

Composer and Pianist

USA

Author

About

Robin Spielberg is a Pianist, Composer, Author, Storyteller, Educator, Entrepreneur & Spokesperson for American Music Therapy Association

Robin has recorded 18 albums of piano-based instrumentals including albums of solo piano originals, holiday CDs, an album of lullabies, an album of Americana music, and songs from American music theater and films.

Robin is a well-known speaker on the subject of music & wellness; her TEDx Talk can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LTusPwrH9E&t=399s

She is the author of “Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland,” (available in softcover and audiobook) which chronicles Robin’s journey as an artist and lessons learned on and off the piano bench.

She is co-founder and partner of Kosson Talent, an entertainment booking agency for national touring acts, an Adjunct Professor in the Music Business & Technology program at Millersville University, Secretary of the Board for the Ohio Arts Professional Network, a voting member of the Recording Academy, and a member of both the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Musicians. Robin Spielberg was named to the prestigious Steinway Artist Roster in 1996.

A web site devoted to Robin’s projects can be found at http://www.robinspielberg.com , and her music can be purchased/streamed on Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services

“THIS IS ROBIN SPIELBERG” on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DZ06evO0V8nf9

Twitter: @robinspielberg

Instagram: robinspielberg.real

Robin Spielberg rehearsals and tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg4iI2l14yP9C4x0-mHpu5iVPRBZpIpSl

Robin Spielberg OFFICIAL music videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg4iI2l14yP_R4xlzGwTmemZez81uMMsW

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is my life; there is nothing that I do that doesn’t involve music in some way. There is music in the way we walk, speak, in the sound of the wind; I hear it everywhere, even in my dreams. Music is the only language where I feel I can express the deepest and truest part of myself.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Actually, I disagree with that idea. I feel that music is not about fantasy, but about the truth. When I compose music, I am writing the soundtrack for what I see, feel and experience. Just as great acting is telling the truth under imaginary circumstances, music can take us to places deep in our imaginations.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

There are many professions that appeal to me, but music is the one I cannot live without. I suppose if that were not possible, I would choose a career in creative writing or gardening.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

Not at all. Great music is great music. The classical music we know and love will remain important—-it is just being re-invented a bit. I have seen this music being presented in more creative ways that keep audiences engaged. The US can do a better job by educating young people in music as part of the required curriculum. Children exposed to great classical music in other countries are still showing up to these concerts. I think taste in music has cycles, and development of new audiences is definitely possible.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

It is hard to say how history will view this century in terms of music. It seems to be a very transitional time, especially in the way listeners consume music. Personally, I still sell physical recordings (CDs) at concerts, but most listeners listen to my performances on Youtube, Spotify, Pandora radio and other digital platforms. There seems to be a tremendous amount of content being created, that’s for sure! Music will continue to reflect the culture of the times, the political climate, the consciousness of humanity.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I will not condemn any particular type of music because I like to think that there is room in the world for everyone to create what they wish to create. However, audiences decide what is good, what is relevant, what needs to be heard. The best music will last generations, so yes, creativity and paying attention to details in the music process is most important. I am very proud that music I have composed over twenty years ago is still streaming and growing in listenership. It is important to me that the music I create holds up listen after repeated listen.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Education, education, education. No young adult will go to the opera if they think they will not relate to it, understand it, appreciate it. It wouldn’t be fun. When I was a young girl, our school sponsored class trips to the Metropolitan Opera House every year. Prior to the trip, we studied the libretto and music and knew the plot well in advance of the trip. It was so exciting to be at the Met!! Without education and exposure to different musical genres, it is difficult to expect people to want to come to shows “outside of their experience.” I spend a good deal of time visiting universities and high schools to give master classes and enjoy introducing young people to different types of music.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

This is the hardest question of the interview so far! I have to narrow this down to several pieces out of the hundred I have composed! One is “A Song for Jennie.” I think this piece resonates with many people because it is a soundtrack for my grandmother’s journey (from Russia) to America in the 1920’s. I began working on it by thinking of the stories she told me about her journey. Now when I perform it in concert, I have a “concert film” that plays in the background showing the sea, the ship, and the thousands of people arriving to America.

Another is “Dreaming of Summer.” I am passionate about gardening and Summer is my favorite time of year. I always feel joy when I play this piece. “Ireland” is one of my longer pieces (9 minutes) and it is the first piece I ever composed away from the piano. I used visuals of beautiful photos of Ireland’s landscape as inspiration and imagined a bird flying over the land, seeing it from a bird’s eye view. It is an epic, sweeping piece that I hope to orchestrate one day.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Listen, listen, listen. Thanks to modern technology, this is very easy to do these days. There are classical play lists and stations featuring classical music. Everything I compose is based on knowledge I gained by listening to the masters, as well as the melodic music of American musical theater. I combine my love of hummable melody with classical structure to achieve my music, but one thing is for certain: having a strong classical base is extremely important in order to find your own voice.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

I do not! The music comes first, and everything I compose must be in service to the piece. It is only after the piece is complete that I figure out who might like to hear it. For example, I wrote a number of slow waltzes that later became very popular in ballroom dance competitions. I wasn’t thinking about that when I composed them, but they landed in just the right spot.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I have two new projects in development. One is an album of arrangements of popular music. I haven’t created an album like that in a long while. The other contains all new piano-based music, with some instrumentation. The last project I did, “On the Edge of a Dream,” was very experimental. It contains 14 completely improvised pieces! I recorded about 6 hours of music, while improvising in the studio, and ended up using about one hour of the work for the album. I used creative techniques like recording with the uno corda pedal. This album spent 4 weeks on the Billboard New Age chart and has been nominated for a few awards. It is important to experiment with different ideas to keep things fresh, and this album was the first album I ever made of “unstructured” pieces.