Robert Taub - uncommonly eloquent, unusally powerful performances. - The New York Times
From New York’s Carnegie Hall to Hong Kong’s Cultural Centre to Germany’s avant-garde Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Robert Taub has been acclaimed internationally as a concert pianist and recording artist. He has performed as guest soloist with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, including the MET Orchestra in Carnegie Hall (James Levine), the Boston Symphony Orchestra (James Levine), BBC Philharmonic (Sir Edward Downes), The Philadelphia Orchestra (Charles Dutoit), San Francisco Symphony (Herbert Blomstedt), and many others. Robert Taub has also performed solo concerts on the Great Performers Series at New York’s Lincoln Center and other major series worldwide, and has been featured in international festivals, including the Saratoga Festival, the Lichfield Festival in England, San Francisco’s Midsummer Mozart Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and the Geneva International Summer Festival, among others. He has also initiated and led several concert series and festivals, including a highly touted series at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (where is only predecessor as Artist-in-Residence was TS Eliot).
Following the conclusion of his highly celebrated New York series of Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Taub completed a sold-out Beethoven cycle in London at Hampton Court Palace. His recordings of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas have been praised worldwide for their insight, freshness, and emotional involvement. In addition to performing, Robert Taub is an eloquent spokesman for music, giving frequent engaging and informal lectures and pre-concert talks. His book – Playing the Beethoven Piano Sonatas – has been published internationally by Amadeus Press and has become a standard for the Beethoven Sonata literature.
He has recorded the complete Sonatas of Beethoven and Scriabin, as well as works of Babbitt, Schumann, and Liszt, several of which have been selected as “critic’s favorites” by Gramophone, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. His most recently released recording is the Sessions Piano Concerto with James Levine and the Munich Philharmonic
Robert Taub has been in the vanguard of new music, having premiered piano concertos by Milton Babbitt (MET Orchestra, James Levine) and Mel Powell (Los Angeles Philharmonic), and making the first recordings of the Persichetti Piano Concerto (Philadelphia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit) and Sessions Piano Concerto. He has premiered six works of Milton Babbitt (solo piano, chamber music, 2nd Piano Concerto). Taub also formed collaborations with several younger composers, including Jonathan Dawe (USA), David Bessell (UK) and Ludger Brümmer (Germany) performing their 21st century works in America and Europe.
During his first term at the Institute for Advanced Study, Robert Taub initiated a concert series dedicated to the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas. So popular were these concerts that he played each program three times to sold-out houses; the series was featured in the national press. In addition, Taub started a lunchtime series of informal discussions about music. In his subsequent two terms, he included chamber music in the concert series, bringing in world-renowned colleagues, with at least one work from every concert broadcast on NPR’s “Performance Today.” He also expanded the popular informal talks to include interviews with important young composers. As part of this series he arranged a special evening with James Levine and Milton Babbitt, discussing Babbitt’s 2nd Piano Concerto prior to his premiere performance of this work in Carnegie Hall (with Levine and the MET Orchestra).
Taub is featured in a PBS television program – Big Ideas – that highlights him playing and discussing Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Filmed during his final year at the Institute for Advanced Study, this program has been broadcast throughout the U.S. on PBS affiliates.
Dr. Taub is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton where he was a University Scholar. As a Danforth Fellow he completed his doctoral degree at The Juilliard School where he received the highest award in piano. Taub has served as Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University and at UC Davis prior to his time at the Institute for Advanced Study. He has led music forums at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and The Juilliard School. Taub has also been Visiting Professor at Princeton University and at Kingston University (U.K.). Following his time at the Institute, he founded and directed the Musica Viva Concert Series and Festival in New Jersey, which featured orchestral and chamber music of Beethoven, Ravel and Gershwin.
In addition to his recordings of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas and his book about them, Taub has prepared a new edition of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas for Schirmers Performance Editions, published by Hal Leonard Corporation. He has also performed several “historic pianoforte” concerts in London of Beethoven Sonatas, playing pianofortes – 1795 Longman and Broderip, 1816 Broadwood, and 1823 Streicher – specifically associated with Beethoven during his years of composition of particular Sonatas.
Having achieved many goals in the arena of the performing arts, Taub widened his focus and founded MuseAmi (May 2007) with the vision to empower everyone worldwide to more easily facilitate their innate musical creativity – to create, learn, collaborate, and share – and participate as fully as possible with the music they love. MuseAmi has attracted a high-powered and closely-knit team of leading machine learning experts, signal processing engineers, and creative developers. Under Bob’s leadership, the company has developed significant intellectual property that the company has begun to commercialize with several world-leading strategic partners, enabling wholly new levels of interactive participation in music – personalization of education and entertainment.
In 2016, Robert Taub returned to performing, teaching, and researching. His focus is currently on programs for Babbitt Centenary Celebrations this year, and re-examining Beethoven source material for his Piano Sonatas.