From the lovely Fife town of St. Andrews, Robert’s greatest ambition is to lead a successful career as a professional solo violinist. Those who have heard Robert have no difficulty in believing that he will achieve his ambition.
At the tender age of 10, Robert won the gold medal of the under-18 final of the Indiana State Violin Competition. At 14, he won the Open String Solo competition, Festival Medal and Stringer Prize at the Edinburgh Musical Competition Festival. Two years’ later he was one of 13 competitors selected for the Yfrah Neaman International Violin Competition in Germany and in 2005 he won an Arts Trust of Scotland award to study with Professor Oistrakh in Brussels.
Robert’s tally of solo performances with orchestra is equally impressive. While he was still at school he performed the Saint-Saens’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso with the University of St Andrews’ Symphony Orchestra. The conductor for this performance describes him as a young man of personal and musical maturity, who was focused and a pleasure to work with.
In 2007 he performed Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy and Dvorak’s Romance with the Dundee Symphony Orchestra, receiving rave reviews. In the light of the success of this performance, he was invited back to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the orchestra. He was a member of the National Youth Orchestra for three years.
Currently studying psychology at York University, Robert also finds the time to pursue other interests which include skiing, Munro climbing and fly fishing.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Award will provide Robert with a new violin bow and financial assistance to study with the esteemed violin teacher Leland Chen.