“A men’s chorus prepared by Richard Robbins sang with moving tenacity.”

– Houston Chronicle

Richard W. Robbins is a conductor and the current Director of Choral Activities at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he leads the University Singers, Chamber Singers, and teaches courses in conducting and music. Prior academic positions include the University of Wisconsin-Superior (Director of Choral Activities) and the University of Houston (director of Concert Women’s Chorus and University Men’s Chorus).

Photo Credit: David DeHoyos
Photo by David DeHoyos

Robbins is a sought-after clinician, adjudicator, and director for choral festivals and honor choirs across the United States, having conducted in cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, and New York City. He is also a published scholar, with his editions of Italian sacred music of the early Baroque available internationally. In addition, his research has been published in the Choral Journal, and he has been invited to present on a range of topics for music education and conducting organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association and the International Federation of Choral Musicians. He has conducted and lectured internationally at Warsaw’s Chopin Conservatory of Music, the John Paul II Liturgical Institute, and at Krakow’s Academy of Music.

As a conductor, Robbins has extensive experience in preparing choral-orchestral repertoire and currently serves as chorus master of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He has prepared choruses for major conductors such as Ermanno Florio, Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, Joan Glover, Stephen Cleobury, Robert Franz, and Dirk Meyer. Robbins’ choral collaborations include work with the Houston Ballet, ARENA DANCES, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, and for over 50 performances with the Houston Symphony. His performances have been featured on television and on nationally-syndicated radio programs, including American Public Media’s “Pipedreams.”

“Chorus master Richard Robbins had his biggest impact on the evening…. The way the chorus sang…was surprisingly powerful, giving the familiar words new vitality.”

– Duluth News Tribune

Photo by Marcus White

Choral groups under Robbins’ direction have performed at conferences and earned awards at numerous festivals, and he has collaborated with a wide range of classical and pop artists. He also taught choral music in the Texas public schools for several years, including Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where he was named teacher of the year. Robbins continues his work with youth choirs as a festival conductor for the American Federation Pueri Cantores, a chapter of the Vatican’s student choral organization.

Robbins is a member of several choral organizations, including ACDA (previously serving on the executive boards of Minnesota ACDA and the Southwestern Division), Chorus America, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization.