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Twyla Robinson


Twyla Robinson


 Twyla Robinson’s incisive musicianship, ravishing vocal beauty, and dramatic delivery have taken her to the leading concert halls and opera stages of Europe and North America. She has been heard in performance with the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, The Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others. She has worked with conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, Franz Welser-Möst, Donald Runnicles, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Hans Graf and Michael Tilson Thomas.

In the 2015-16 season, Twyla Robinson performs as soloist in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 with I Musici de Montreal Chamber Orchestra, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with the Cincinnati Symphony, and Ein deutsches Requiem of Brahms with the Winston-Salem Symphony. Last season, Ms. Robinson’s concert engagements included Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Messiah with the Jacksonville Symphony, and a concert of Strauss lieder with the Indianapolis Symphony. On the operatic stage, she performed the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with New Orleans Opera, and created the role of Becky in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star with Cincinnati Opera.

Ms. Robinson began the 2013-14 season with Verdi’s Requiem, first in a return to the Indianapolis Symphony, and subsequently with the Seattle Symphony. Ms. Robinson also made her debut singing Dvorak’s Te Deum with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Jaap van Zweeden. During the 2012-13 season, performances included Mendelssohn’s

Lobegesang in her debut with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, a debut singing Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi with the Indianapolis Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Cincinnati Symphony, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Alabama Symphony. On the opera stage, Ms. Robinson sang the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with the Orlando Philharmonic and returned to Cincinnati Opera as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.

Additional recent performances for Ms. Robinson include her Opera Colorado debut as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Jiří Bělohlávek at the opening night of the BBC Proms, which was broadcast worldwide on BBC television. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony in performances of Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, and was heard in Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony first with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony, and also with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic.

Ms. Robinson made her debut with the New York Philharmonic in performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Alan Gilbert and was heard in performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony. She debuted with San Diego Opera as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, was heard with and at Carnegie Hall and returned to the National Symphony for performances of Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony with Christoph Eschenbach. Ms. Robinson opened the season with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and was heard in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony. In the summer of 2011, she was heard in performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Robert Spano at the Aspen Music Festival.

In high demand for concert performances, Ms. Robinson regularly performs with top orchestras in the United States and Europe. In the past season alone, she made appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. She made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which she has also sung with the San Francisco Symphony, Seattle

Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and the Barbican Centre in London. The performance in London was released on the LSO Live label.

A frequent soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra, her performances include Strauss’ Four Last Songs, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Verdi’s Requiem, and Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff. She debuted with the National Symphony in performances of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, and with the St. Louis Symphony in Rossini’s Stabat Mater. Further performances include Brahms’ Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, and Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount with Atlanta Symphony; Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s Das klagende Lied with Houston Symphony; and Brahms’ Requiem and the world premiere of Gil Shohat’s The Songs of Bathsheba with the Milwaukee Symphony.

As an opera singer, Ms. Robinson has won particular acclaim for her portrayal of Mozart heroines. She has sung Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for New York City Opera and Florida Grand Opera, and, during the 2006–2007 season, sang Donna Elvira for San Francisco Opera, which was later broadcast in movie theaters throughout the United States. She has also been heard at Florida Grand Opera as Arminda in La finta giardiniera and as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, a role she repeated at New Orleans Opera and in concert for San Francisco Opera. Other roles include Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and the title roles of Arabella and Susannah.

Equally active as a recitalist, Ms. Robinson sang Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn as part of San Francisco Opera’s Song Recital Series, followed by four solo recitals under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, including her New York recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall. Her Carnegie Hall debut was on February 1, 2004, when she joined Marilyn Horne and other world-renowned artists in a gala concert celebrating the venerable mezzo-soprano’s 70th birthday. Ms. Robinson has also sung recitals at the University of Denver’s Newman Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Theater Bremen and Spivey Hall in Atlanta.

Her recordings include Brahms’s Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Pierre Boulez and the Berlin Staatskappelle, Schubert’s Fierrabras with Franz Welser-Möst on DVD with EMI, and Strauss’ Elektra and Daphne with Semyon Bychkov and the West German Radio Orchestra on the Decca label.

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Todd Skitch