“Virtuosic playing and a perfect sense of timing,” raves Guitar Extra of ROBERT PHILLIPS debut recording, Guitarre Nouveau. Will Crutchfield in the New York Times noted his “aptitude for putting across character.” His eclectic programming has excited audiences as he brings his brilliant interpretations to a diverse range of venues – from traditional concert halls to jazz nightclubs.
“I believe that all music has the potential to be a valid expression in hands of a real artist. It’s all about communicating something about the music and yourself that the audience will find compelling,” says Robert.
Indeed, while Phillips makes a point of including in his concerts the standard classical guitar pieces that audiences never grow tired of, he is also passionate about exposing as many people as possible to new experiences, exciting new pieces that will move them in unexpected ways. Robert is as comfortable improvising on a Bossa Nova as he is performing a Bach fugue. His concerts are a journey of discovery, uncovering unexpected music, and presenting new repertoire often newly composed for him. And his expansive approach to programming is also reflected in his choices of venue.
“I’ll play anywhere that I can find an appreciative audience. I’ve even brought classical guitar to venues generally associated with rap or heavy metal. It’s all valid, and people are the same everywhere – they just want to be moved."
Phillips’ most recent project is a set of commissions of 6 new pieces by 6 different composers. The pieces are all in dance rhythms, and he performs them as a set (which includes a prelude that he composed) that he calls The Orange Blossom Dances. Phillips also performs in central Florida with a Latin jazz combo, Terra Lago.
Robert Phillips holds a doctorate in music from the University of Miami. A recipient of a Japan Fulbright, Dr. Phillips is respected internationally as a scholar, and educator, as well as a performer. He is former student of Rey de la Torre, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and David Starobin.
After completing a successful instructional series for Group W Cable TV entitled “Classic Guitar Made Easy”, Dr. Phillips was invited by Group W to produce and host a musically oriented talk show, “Long Island Sounds”. Robert was formerly on the editorial staff of “Guitar Review” magazine, and has contributed a number of articles to “Soundboard”, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, and to "American String Teacher", the journal of the American String Teachers' Association. He spent three years as the classical guitar columnist for “Guitar for the Practicing Musician”, and its sister publication, “Guitar Extra” before becoming a contributing writer for “Guitar Player”. Many of his transcriptions and editions of works for classical guitar have been published in these magazines and by Cherry Lane Music Co., Inc. His anthology, “Great Themes and Variations for Classic Guitar” was published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc., which also released his 2 CD recording of the same title.
Dr. Phillips is considered one of the leading authorities on the music of Miguel Llobet, and in 2000, while researching his dissertation, he rediscovered the missing Llobet archive in Barcelona. He has recorded the complete published solo guitar works of Llobet which is available on Centaur Records.
Dr. Phillips teaches classical guitar, and music theory at the Lois Cowles Harrison School for the Visual and Performing Arts, and is an adjunct professor of music at Southeastern University.
"Robert Phillips ...was the high point of the symphonic soiree... (The) virtuosic usage of the solo instrument offered a dynamic listening experience. Phillips tastefully performed the Concerto, with obvious attention to both rhythmic and melodic nuances of the composition. The performer... seemed to resonate intimately with the composition's spirit." - The Ledger
“…a dynamic performer who breathes life into the music he approaches…Phillips exploits the music’s physical vigor with virtuosic playing and a perfect sense of timing.” -Guitar Extra
“Guitarist Robert Phillips is an extraordinary artist whose central involvement and dedication to new music goes well beyond the ‘Mission Impossible’ approach of less imaginative players. When Phillips plays my ‘Pipe Dream Sonata’ I feel he brings with him an entirely new dimension to the curious world of the guitar – its technique and its expressive image!"
“…listeners were transported to a sunny street in Spain, and they never looked back.” - The Ledger
Robert's guitar is made by
Robert's videos may be seen on
Robert's music can be heard on
Robert latest recordings are on
Copyright 2011 Robert Phillips, Classical Guitarist. All rights reserved.