“After 38 amazing years at what I can only describe as my dream job, I retired from my teaching position at Stetson University. Throughout those years, with my amazing wife and best friend Patrece, we have balanced my teaching in academia and my performances on the concert stage with a wonderfully fulfilling family life. As I look ahead, there are creative projects that I am working on and many more concerts to play. I am especially looking forward to enjoying more time with my family, grandchildren, and friends. I remain thankful for years of continued support and am grateful for the opportunities this next chapter will bring.”
With his relaxed presence on stage, Stephen Robinson is known for his melodic, gorgeous tone and his ability to move the listener with a single note. “Stephen revealed how a simple musical idea can blossom into an immense emotional message. His interpretation of the work was ethereal. Gradually, more and more festival participants confessed that they lost their composure during the piece. It proved to me that greatness and impact of a musical experience are not dependent upon the technical complexity of its composition.” Gangolf Hontheim, Germany
Stephen Robinson’s celebrated career includes extensive touring as a recitalist, collaborative artist, and orchestral soloist. He has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras and conducts master classes and adjudicates at leading musical institutions and festivals worldwide. He was commended by The New York Times for his “effortless virtuosity with intelligence and good taste” and by (Puerto Rico’s) El Nuevo Dia as a “magnificent North American guitarist, full of virtuosity, magnificent technical precision, and a masterfully delivered diverse range of sound.” Early in his career, Stephen worked closely with the great Andrés Segovia, who called him “a magnificent guitarist, one of the most brilliant guitarists of our times.”
Stephen’s eight recordings, recently re-released by Zigg Music, have received unanimous critical acclaim. Of his recording, Imagine, Soundboard Magazine noted that Robinson, “played with a spaciousness in which only a masterful musician can transport the listener to that nirvana-like level of pure being.” Of his disc, Stephen Robinson, Germany’s Fonoforum stated, “[a] guitarist of the first order . . . Robinson fills the melodic lines with a great individual emotion.” His solo CD, An American Record, features the debut recording of works that Robinson commissioned from Samuel Adler, Harold Blanchard and Harold Schiffman, which Soundboard called, “masterful and poetic.” Robinson’s release, Felicidade, is an eclectic mix of music. Soundboard’s Richard Long wrote, “Stephen is a guitarist who invariably reminds me of why I fell in love with the guitar many years ago; to put it simply, he plays beautiful music, and he plays it beautifully.” And Steve Marsh of the British journal Classical Guitar said, “[o]ccasionally a CD comes along in the review stack in which the featured performer immediately stands out from amongst the others for their sheer musicality, technical virtuosity and ‘listenability’ factor — and this new release from North American guitarist Stephen Robinson is such a CD.” Robinson’s CD, Découpage, is a collection of works spanning nearly three centuries, combining recent jewels with timeless standards. Steve Marsh of Classical Guitar noted, “[t]his CD has to be one of the most attractive ones I’ve listened to in quite a while. Robinson’s musicianship is of the highest calibre, his effortless technique allowing him the freedom to do with this music just about anything he wants and what he does do is exceptionally good from every angle. This is music making of high order.”
As a pioneer in his field, Stephen was the first recipient of Florida State University’s Doctor of Music in Guitar, founded the Stetson University Guitar Program and the Stetson International Guitar Workshop, and commissioned new works for solo guitar, chamber music with guitar, and guitar and orchestra. He garnered numerous international and national awards, fellowships and grants, including several from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was a Fulbright Fellow, and was honored by Stetson University’s Hand Award for Excellence in Research and Creativity for his unparalleled performances and recordings. Early in his career, Stephen was a top prize winner in five major international competitions, including the XXIII Concours International de Guitare in Paris and the VI Concurso Internacional de Guitarra in Venezuela. He is an alumnus of the distinguished Affiliate Artists Touring roster and the State of Florida Touring Program.
Stephen founded the Stetson University guitar program in 1983 and his graduates excelled in the finest graduate programs. Many now hold prominent positions in the professional world. Upon his retirement in 2021, Stetson University honored Stephen Robinson with the ranking of Professor Emeritus.
Stephen and his wife, Patrece, reside in New Smyrna Beach, Florida with their dog, Ziggy. They have raised four sons together and are now the proud grandparents of six adorable grandchildren. Stephen performs exclusively with D’Addario Strings and plays a 2013 Antonius Müller guitar.