Robert Buxton

(Group Piano, Piano Pedagogy)

Pianist Robert Buxton seeks to bring music from the past to life today as a performer and teacher.

He studied under Vladimir Viardo at the University of North Texas (M.M. and D.M.A. degrees) and with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music (B.M. degree).

As a soloist and chamber musician, he has performed in New York (Symphony Space, the YIVO institute, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Spanish Consulate, and Steinway Hall), Europe (Scuola di Musica in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy, the Maison Erard in Amsterdam) and in Japan, (Sakata, Kyoto, and Tokyo). His interviews and recordings have been featured on major classical radio stations in New York City and Kyoto. He presents numerous lecture-recitals, such as on Vienna, on Chopin, and on Liszt for Carolina Public Humanities (based at UNC Chapel Hill), an all-Russian program for the department of Germanic and Slavic Languages at Person Hall (UNC), and other programs at Cherry Hill (Inez, N.C), the Governors Club, Carol Woods, and the Siena Hotel (Chapel Hill, N.C.) Robert is passionate about less well-known repertoire of all eras and new music, particularly U.S. composers William Grant Still, Charles Ives, Florence Price, and Roy Harris.

Robert is deeply dedicated to teaching students of all ages. At East Carolina, he performs music by and with faculty colleagues, and organizes weekly outreach concerts where he and students perform and speak at local retirement homes, public schools, and children’s homes. His teaching philosophy is to guide each student in finding their own musical voice, a process that heavily involves improvisation, connections to art and literature, and humor. Previously, he taught piano at UNC Chapel Hill.

Robert’s doctoral dissertation elucidates the role of memory in Rachmaninoff’s piano writing through the philosophy of Henri Bergson. He is developing articles on musicology and piano pedagogy. Also a composer and arranger, he frequently performs his own transcriptions of Mahalia Jackson’s gospel recordings, an elegiac piano sonata, “Freedom Summer—Mississippi 1964,” short pieces based on Jack Kerouac’s Haikus, free arrangements of medieval chants, and big-band arrangements (Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller especially). Robert often includes southern gospel improvisations at concerts.