Robert Black’s interests range from traditional orchestral and chamber music to solo recitals, collaborations with actors, music with computers and MIDI, movement-based improvisations with dancers, and live action-painting performances with artists. He has commissioned, collaborated, or performed with musicians from John Cage to D.J. Spooky, Elliott Carter to Meredith Monk, Cecil Taylor to young emerging composers. His recital activities frequently take him to five continents. Black performs with the Bang On A Can All Stars. Additional chamber music activities include performances with the Ciompi and Miami String Quartets. He recently created and performed the music for Kathryn Walker and the Music Theater Group’s production of The Odyssey and Time On Our Hands with the Full Force Dance Company. Other collaborations include films by Rudy Burckhardt and live action-painting improvisations with the Brazilian painter Ige D’Aquino. He annually appears at the Monadnock Music Festival and the Moab Music Festival. Black maintains a full teaching schedule at The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho (Brazil), and the Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Music Program.
A recipient of numerous grants, he received a 1998 Bessie Award for his collaborative work with The School of Hard Knocks in NYC. His solo CDs are State of the Bass (O.O. Discs), The Complete Bass Music of Christian Wolff (Mode), and an up-coming 2-CD set of mid 20th Century American Bass Music. He has also recorded for Sony Classical, Point/ Polygram, Koch International, CRI, Neuma Records, Gasparo, Opus One, Artifact and Folkways. Additionally, Black serves on the Board of the International Society of Bassists, on the Advisory Board of the international radio series “Art of the States,” and is editor of the New Scores column for the journal Bass World.