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United States Music

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Author Topic: United States Music  (Read 27467 times)
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« Reply #165 on: January 21, 2015, 03:45:22 pm »

Music of John Donald Robb

From the collection of Karl Miller


Matachines Dance Op.28a (1958)

Houston Symphony/Maurice Bonney
[possibly 8 January 1957]

Piano Concerto Op.18 (1950)
Andor Foldes, piano
Albuquerque Civic Orchestra/Hans Lange
[25 February 1952]

Symphony No.2  in C major, Op.23 (1952)
El Salvador Symphony Orchestra/Composer

Symphony No.3 Op.34 (1962) (complete?)
Guatemala National Symphony Orchestra/Composer

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Ricardo; Borreguero; Leonore
Andor Foldes, Piano
Albuquerque Civic Symphony Orchestra/Hans Lange
Carlisle Gymnasium, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
[25 February 1952]

Sonatina for Piano
(Manuscript Title: “Sonatina for Piano, Three Incidents from Iliom” – “To George Robert”) The Carnival; The Star;?
John Ranck, Piano
Composers Group of New York Concert
Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, NY
[13 October 1955]

Variations on a Chromatic Line with Interludes, For Horn and Piano, Opus 29, 1957
Joseph Singer, Horn;  Antonio Lara, Piano
Composers Group of New York Concert
Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, NY
[3 October 1957]
B&C Recordings 13391

About the Composer (from

John Donald Robb (1892-1989) led a rich and varied life as an attorney, composer, arts educator, and folk song collector and preservationist. He composed an impressive body of work including symphonies, concertos, sonatas, chamber and other instrumental music, choral works, songs, and arrangements of folk songs, two operas, including Little Jo, a musical comedy, Joy Comes to Deadhorse, and more than 65 electronic works. Robb’s orchestral works have been played by many major orchestras in the United States and abroad under noted conductors, such as Hans Lange, Maurice Bonney, Maurice Abravanel, Leonard Slatkin, Gilberto Orellano, Yoshimi Takeda, Guillermo Figueroa and James Richards.

During his two decades as an international lawyer in New York City, Robb studied composition with Horatio Parker, Darius Milhaud, Roy Harris, Paul Hindemith and Nadia Boulanger. In 1941, at the age of 49, Robb left his law career to become head of the Music Department at the University of New Mexico. He served as dean of the UNM College of Fine Arts from 1942-57.

During his tenure at UNM, Robb’s fascination with Hispanic folk music led to his recording of more than 3,000 traditional Hispanic folk songs and dances from the American Southwest and South America, all of which formed the nucleus of the John Donald Robb Archive of Southwestern Music at the University of New Mexico. He wrote two books on the subject, including Hispanic Folk Songs of New Mexico (1954; revised edition by UNM Press, 2008) and his authoritative book, Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the Southwest: A Self Portrait of a People (1980), which is scheduled for re-publication in 2014. Robb received numerous honors and grants, including the honorary Doctor of Music from the University of New Mexico.

Robb's music has been performed by more than 16 symphony orchestras in the U.S., Central America and South America, including the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. His compositions have been performed in many other venues, such as six recitals in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York (some of which were reviewed by the New York Times).

The St. Louis Symphony premiered his Third Symphony in 1962, and his music is performed every spring at the renowned UNM John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium. His folk opera, Little Jo, was conducted by Guillermo Figueroa at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in 2005, and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra under Figueroa performed his Dances from Taxco in their 2007 season.

In June 2008, KNME-TV, New Mexico's PBS station, premiered a documentary about Robb entitled, "The Musical Adventures of John Donald Robb in New Mexico." The documentary can be viewed at an interactive website that features folk song recordings and photographs from the Robb archives in UNM Libraries' Center for Southwest Research.

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All download links I have posted are for works, that, to  my knowledge, have never been commercially released in digital form.  Should you find I've been in error, please notify myself or an Administrator.  Please IM me if I've made any errors that require attention, as I may not read replies.

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