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Robert McDuffie

Violin

Robert McDuffie

Biography

Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie enjoys a dynamic and multi-faceted career. While appearing as soloist with the world’s foremost orchestras, he can also be found sharing the stage with Gregg Allman and Chuck Leavell in “Midnight Rider,” with actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith in Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, or playing Bach for Memphis Jook dancer Li’l Buck. Philip Glass dedicated his Second Violin Concerto, The American Four Seasons, to Mr. McDuffie. Mike Mills of the iconic band R.E.M. has composed a Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra for him. Robert McDuffie is the founder of both the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in his native city of Macon, Georgia.

Robert McDuffie has appeared as soloist with most of the major orchestras of the world. He gave the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 2 The American Four Seasons with the Toronto Symphony and completed a thirty-city U.S. tour with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, pairing the Glass Four Seasons with the Vivaldi Four Seasons. The Mills Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra was also premiered with the Toronto Symphony, followed by performances at the Rome Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and a three week tour of the U.S.

Robert McDuffie recorded The American Four Seasons with the London Philharmonic and Marin Alsop on Philip Glass’ Orange Mountain Music label. The Mike Mills Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra is also on the Orange Mountain Music label. His acclaimed Telarc and EMI recordings include the violin concertos of Mendelssohn, Bruch, Adams, Glass, Barber, Rózsa, Bernstein, William Schuman, and Viennese violin favorites. He has been profiled on NBC’s Today, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS’s Charlie Rose, A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts, and in the Wall Street Journal.

In 2017, he will tour the U.S. with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, alternating the Barber Violin Concerto with the Glass Violin Concerto No.1, as well as return to the Aspen Music Festival for his annual visit. Future plans include first appearances in Auckland, New Zealand, additional appearances with actor/playwright Anna Deavere Smith, and a return to Korea.

As founder of the Rome Chamber Music Festival, Robert McDuffie has been awarded the prestigious Premio Simpatia by the Mayor of Rome in recognition of his contribution to the city’s cultural life. Mr. McDuffie holds the Mansfield and Genelle Jennings Distinguished University Professor Chair aat Mercer University in his native city of Macon, Georgia. He plays a 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin, known as the “Ladenburg”. The instrument is owned by a limited partnership formed by Mr. McDuffie. He lives in New York City.


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