Sunday, September 13th, 2015
Beethoven Celebration at Coe Hall – Concert & Lecture
1:00pm concert, 2:00pm lecture, 3:00pm concert
FREE with $5 admission to Coe Hall ($8 parking fee)
A delightful concert of Beethoven performed by Jack Kohl, classically trained pianist who has performed Beethoven at the American Landmarks Festival and Gerald Robbins, prize winner from the Van Cliburn competition. Contact Jennifer Lavella (516) 922-8678 or
Pianist Gerald Robbins has distinguished himself internationally as a soloist having performed throughout the world in virtually every major music center including New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bonn, Munich, Athens, Frankfurt, Belgrade, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Tokyo. He has appeared with many major orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and its affiliates, London Mozart Players, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, and the New York Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra under such conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Edouard van Remoortel, Harry Blech, Okko Kamu, Jorge Mester, Lawrence Foster, Ezra Rachlin, Kenneth Klein, Louis Frémaux, Kypros Markou, Yaacov Bergman, and Zubin Mehta.
A champion of neglected romantic repertoire, Gerald Robbins has received critical praise for his solo recordings for the London-Decca, Orion, and Genesis labels. His world premiere recordings of concerti by Litolff and Reinecke, performed in collaboration with the Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra and conducted by Edouard van Remoortel, were successfully re-released on compact disc for Genesis Records. The critical acclaim for these recordings include statements, such as “Gerald Robbins”, who plays the poet of the piano so effectively in the Reinecke concertos, here takes on the demonic persona that Litolff requires, and burns up the keyboard with velocity and brachial power…when permitted to sing, he proves to have a keyboard voice of true eloquence” and “Gerald Robbins’ technical prowess is phenomenal” and Robbins does this with a strength and delicacy that enhances both the orchestra and piano lines” and “Robbins turns in a first-class, bravura performance.”
His other commercial CD recordings include an exemplary solo performance of Dvořák’s “Poetic Tone Pictures,” and Goetz’s Complete Chamber Music for Piano and Strings, all for the Genesis label. Mr. Robbins recorded with violinist Glenn Dicterow, the Leonard Bernstein and John Corigliano Sonatas together with the Erich Wolfgang Korngold Suite “Much Ado About Nothing” for Cala Records, and the Mendelssohn Complete Works for Cello and Piano with cellist James Kreger for the Koch Discover International label. His CD release on MSR Classics includes a critically acclaimed collaboration with the conductor Kenneth Klein and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra of the Schumann Piano Concerto that was recently used as part of the music soundtrack for the celebrated new film, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”, which traces and documents the African-American civil rights struggle from the 1950’s to the present. There is also a recent CD re-release on Genesis of piano works by Sjögren and Kjerulf as well as a highly esteemed recording of the Strauss and Turina Piano Quartets performed by the Lyric Piano Quartet on the Black Box Sanctuary Classics label.
In addition to his solo activities, Robbins has distinguished himself as a chamber musician. He was in close collaboration with such legendary artists as Nathan Milstein, Aaron Rosand, Pinchas Zukerman, Bronislav Gimpel, Zara Nelsova, Joseph Schuster, Ruggiero Ricci, Eudice Shapiro, Larry Adler, Stanley Drucker, and Kyung-Wha Chung. Among the countless other eminent artists with whom he has collaborated include Mayumi Fujikawa, Richard Markson, Mark Peskanov, Stephen Kates, Nathaniel Rosen, James Kreger, Haroutune Bedelian, and Glenn Dicterow. He has worked closely with New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, as part of the Lyric Piano Quartet, with fellow members, violist Karen Dreyfus and cellist Frederick Zlotkin. He has also appeared as a frequent guest artist with solo members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra as part of its subscription concert series at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, as well as performing with them at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Merkin Hall in New York City.
Mr. Robbins is also an accomplished conductor. He co-founded with Kenneth Klein the Westside Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles, presently called the Beverly Hills Symphony, and is a co-founder of the London Concertante, an ensemble that specializes in 18th and early 19th-century concerto repertoire.
Mr. Robbins has received important prizes in major international competitions such as the Van Cliburn and Tchaikovsky International Competitions. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Southern California where he assisted in the string master classes of Jascha Heifetz, William Primrose, and Gregor Piatigorsky. For two decades, he made his residence in London, where he had the privilege of the mentorship of the great violinist, Nathan Milstein. He performed frequently on the BBC and at all the major venues in London including the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, and Queen Elizabeth Hall. Throughout those two decades, he received considerable critical acclaim for concerts and recitals given throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
A native of California, Mr. Robbins now resides in New York, where he is Artist-in-Residence with the Lyric Piano Quartet at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY, and is also a member of its collaborative piano faculty. He developed a highly successful chamber music concert series, “Chamber Music Live” at Queens College that continues to serve the community. He is also affiliated with the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan, the Hoff-Barthelson School of Music in Westchester, and is a member of the chamber music faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
Jack Kohl is a pianist and music director working in the greater New York City area. He has accompanied countless Broadway-credited singers in concert and cabaret settings, served as music director and conductor for a host of musical theater productions over the decades, and is also fluent as a solo pianist in the classical tradition and in jazz of the American songbook.
He began studies as a child with Marie Babiak and at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, and later took his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance. He is the author of That Iron String (Pauktaug Press, 2015), a novel of pianists vs. Music (www.jacksonkohl.com).