2010 Kresge Artist Fellow Rick Robinson joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as section bassist in September 1989. The product of a musical family in Highland Park, MI, Robinson began playing cello then double bass at Barber Middle School. After attending the Allstate program at Interlochen Center for the Arts for two summers, he credits three years at the Interlochen Arts Academy for his confidence to pursue a musical career. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Larry Angell. While in Cleveland, Robinson won principal bass positions of both the Canton and Akron Symphony Orchestras. He then went to Boston for graduate studies at the New England Conservatory where he studied with Larry Wolfe and served as principal bass of the Portland Maine Symphony Orchestra.

Robinson continued to program ambitious solo recitals after school and in 1986 Robinson won the Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony Solo Competition, performing Bottesini's Concerto in B minor with the orchestra. While a Boston freelancer he was a substitute with the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Seiji Ozawa and an assistant principal of the famous Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra with the legendary John Williams. On the 1989 European tour, DSO was financially pressured by two state legislators to immediately hire more African-American musicians. With Robinson on hand, the musicians voted overwhelmingly to offer him membership.

In addition to performing numerous concerts in the DSO, since 1995 Robinson manages, directs and arranges famous classic music for a premiere ensemble of eight DSO musicians called CutTime Players. Together they have performed over 100 family and student concerts and workshops at the highest level. He publishes most of his work through CutTime Productions.
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detroitsymphony - 15 Feb 2013
detroitsymphony - 6 Oct 2011