Daryl Robinson has earned critical acclaim as a solo and collaborative artist, described by London-based Choir and Organ Magazine as a performer with “…a driving muscular poetry underpinned by nimble technique and nuanced sense of style…” Winner of both First Prize and Audience Prize in the 2012 American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Performance, Mr. Robinson maintains an active career as a teacher, collaborative artist, church musician, and recitalist under the auspices of Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.
Notable recital venues include the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia, PA), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), the Shanghai Oriental Art Center (Shanghai, China), Cathédrale Saint-Pierre (Poitiers, France), Baylor University (Waco, TX), Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA), and the 2013 and 2016 Spreckels International Summer Organ Festival (San Diego, CA). Mr. Robinson has also been a featured artist for recent national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, including Boston (2014), St. Louis (2015), and Houston (2016), where his performances were praised by The American Organist Magazine as demonstrating “...flawless technique and rhythmic verve…” His collaborative career has included performances with the Houston Symphony and Chorus, Mercury Baroque, the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival®, and serving as Collaborative Keyboard Artist for Houston’s two internationally-acclaimed choral ensembles: the Houston Chamber Choir and the University of Houston Moores School of Music Concert Chorale. In the summer of 2016, he served as Organist-in-Residence for the Choral Institute at the University of Oxford in England.
Multiple critically acclaimed commercial discs featuring Mr. Robinson are available, including his debut solo album, Sempre Organo (ProOrgano Records), which was released in 2013 and quickly garnered rave reviews internationally. Selections from the disc have been heard on nationally syndicated radio programs, including Pipedreams® and With Heart and Voice. Collaborative recordings include: Carolae - Music for Christmas (Naxos Records), recorded with the GRAMMY®-nominated Williamson Voices of Westminster Choir College and conductor James Jordan, and As you set out for Ithaka (Albany Records), featuring music of David Ashley White performed by the Moores School Concert Chorale under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber. Committed to routinely commissioning new solo and collaborative works featuring the organ, recent works include: Fantasy on a Theme of Gustav Holst, 2016 (Aaron David Miller), Two Scherzos, 2016 (Jason Roberts), Rumba for Organ, Percussion and Dancers, 2015 (George Baker), Great is Thy Faithfulness for Organ and Tenor, 2015 (Tom Trenney), Concert Variations on ‘Nicaea’, 2014 (David Briggs), and Come, Pure Hearts: Introduction, Theme, and Variations, 2012 (David Ashley White).
In 2017, Mr. Robinson was appointed Assistant Professor and Director of Organ Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music and joined the ministry staff of Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) as Cathedral Organist. He holds degrees from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University; his major teachers include Robert Bates, Ken Cowan, and David Higgs. Previous positions have included Organist & Artist-in-Residence for South Main Baptist Church in Houston, TX and Assistant Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ.
(American Guild of Organists 2016 National Convention, Rice University)
"Dance-inspired works were the focus of Daryl Robinson’s pre-convention recital on the visually and sonically imposing C.B. Fisk-Rosales organ at Rice University. Winner of both first and audience prizes at the 2012 AGO National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP), Robinson demonstrated his flawless technique and rhythmic verve in a program that opened with Heiller’s Tanz Toccata and concluded with a newly commissioned Rumba for organ, percussion, and dancers by George Baker. Robinson coordinated his playing perfectly with the recorded sound in Robert Bates’s audio-visual creation, Arizona Visions (1992). He performed Reger’s arrangement of Bach’s D-major Prelude and Fugue, BWV 874, with great expressivity, including rapid pedal runs that were astoundingly fluid. A highlight of the program was Franck’s Choral II, which Robinson adapted perfectly to the timbres of the Fisk organ, building in intensity to a riveting culmination of the passacaglia theme."
(The Catholic Church of St. Monica)
“The new four-manual organ, by the Little Rock firm Nichols & Simpson…was vividly displayed Friday night in a recital by Daryl Robinson. On Robinson’s program the organ was most at home in the first movement of Elgar’s Organ Sonata and the atmospheric impressionism of Siegfrid Karg-Elert’s Harmonies du soir and a Lullaby from Calvin Hampton’s Suite No. 2. In the Elgar, Robinson cycled through a kaleidoscope of registration changes worthy of Elgar’s brilliantly orchestrated symphonies. If you’ll pardon a mixed metaphor, rich steak-and-kidney-pie sonories alternated with an amazing variety of piquancies. The Karg-Elert brought forth purring strings, warm flutes and an English horn stop. Pierre Cochereau’s Scherzo symphonique, transcribed by Jeremy Filsell from a recorded 1974 improvisation, was a showpiece of skipping iambs, great and small, dispatched with no hint of effort. If anyone still doubted Robinson’s first-class virtuosity, he dispelled any questions in a demonically brilliant account of “Tierces,” from British organist David Briggs’ 2005 Four Concert Etudes.”
Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News, April 17, 2015
(American Guild of Organists 2014 National Convention, Arlington Street Church)
“Daryl Robinson, winner of both first and audience prizes in the 2012 AGO National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, presented another of the week's more enterprising programs. He captured the playful jazziness of Gaston Litaize's Variations sur un noël angevin and dispatched two of David Briggs's Four Concert Etudes ("Sarabande avec double-pédale" and "Tierces")
with dazzling virtuosity.”
The American Organist Magazine, September 2014
(St. Luke's Episcopal Church)
Friday, February 21 was another typical winter night in Chicago. However, for those of us in attendance at the AGO North Shore Chapter’s recital at St. Luke’s Episcopal in Evanston, it was a warm night for our ears and hearts as we were treated to a wonderful concert by prizewinning organist Daryl Robinson. Daryl was the recipient of the First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2012 American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. Known for his imaginative registrations, we were not disappointed as the Lullaby from Suite No. 2 by Calvin Hampton seemed to float into the nave of the church, causing me to look in every corner certain that I would see angel wings fluttering. From his personable commentary between the pieces, his choices of music which showed off the E. M. Skinner organ beautifully, to his impeccable technique everyone went home with a smile and with gratitude that we had forced ourselves out on a cold winter night.
Eileen Baumgarten, North Shore AGO newsletter “Overtones”, March 2014
(Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist)
“Robinson used the resources of theorgan effectively … His playing [of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in F Major, BWV 540] was precise and secure and the long pedal solos were spectacular … [His] performance [of Liszt’s Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H] caught the improvisatory nature of the piece, with its striking registrational changes and adventurous harmonies … Robinson easily conquered all of Liszt’s pianistic technical demands … [For his] encore, Paul Halley’s Outer Hebrides, … Robinson made good use of the antiphonal possibilities of the cathedral’s organ … He is already a very proficient and talented young artist; he has a bright career ahead.”
Timothy Robson, ClevelandClassical.com, October 2012
(Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist)
“Daryl Robinson, recent winner ofthe AGO national competition, gave a program at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist,Milwaukee, and did a wonderful, musical, and virtuosic job of managing a wonderful two-organinstallation in our magnificent Cathedral … Daryl’s musicianship and virtuosity are amazing - not just a fast-fingered young guy that can pull off the Dupré B major, Heiller’s Tanz-Toccata,and the Liszt B-A-C-H, he made incredible warm music and sound with the Franck B MinorChorale! What a wonderful range … He was certainly the best performer in recent memory inhis wonderful sense of ingenious and tasteful use of the resources of both instruments … a memorable event, with venue, instruments, and performer working together very nicely.”
John Sebolt, Milwaukee AGO newsletter “Pipe-Notes”, October 2012
(Cleveland Museum of Art)
“Daryl Robinson … played a very stylish Böhm prelude and fugue, with well-considered ornamentation and a tempo that sparkled, but was not so fast that the counterpoint was muddy. His performance of the Bach chorale prelude Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 676, was a model of musical playing, brisk tempo and an excellent sense of pulse. His version of Heiller’s Tanz-Toccata enabled clarity in hearing the many meter changes and repeated notes. His was top-notch, mature playing.”
Timothy Robson,ClevelandClassical.com, May 2012
(ProOrgano CD 7261)
"Here's a fine solo debut on disc by the young American Daryl Robinson, a double-prize winner at the 2012 American Guild of Organists' National Young Artists Competition. His playing is characterised by a driving muscular poetry underpinned by nimble technique and nuanced sense of style. There's a marvelously controlled flamboyance to Liszt's combustible BACH Prelude & Fugue, while Cochereau's chiaroscuro Scherzo symphonique is realised with painterly detail. Dandrieu's gorgeous Offertoire pour le jour de Pâques: O filii et filiae glows with filigreed finesse; Karg-Elert's Harmonies du soir is suitably twilit and mysterious. Add in secure readings of Franck, Bach, Heiller, and David Ashley White, and Daryl Robinson set his stall out with winning aplomb."
Michael Quinn, Choir and Organ Magazine, March/April 2014
(ProOrgano CD 7261)
"Instructions on how to play this CD: 1) Close all your windows and doors. 2) Check your house for structural issues. 3) Alert local seismologists about your plans. 4) Crank up the volume and gasp in amazement at organist Daryl Robinson's flawless technique and solid musicianship, and bask in this magnificent instrument's power. 5) Go around your house and check all the windows for cracks. 6) Look outside to see if your neighbours have moved away.The disc opens with the impressive Scherzo symphonique by Pierre Cochereau, one of those rare pieces that imposes severe demands on the performer's technique and stamina, whilst maintaining an extremely musical momentum and dénouement. It also brings out a pipe organ's character by alternating between full stops to only one or two. It's easy to understand why Daryl Robinson won first prize in the 2012 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance when you hear his thrilling reading of this work of gargantuan proportions. And at the other end of the sonic spectrum lies Sigfrid Karg-Elert's Harmonies du soir which highlights this versatile instrument's gentler side. I've heard thousands of recordings in my life, and very rarely have I heard anything as beautiful as the quality of sound this pipe organ produces on the soft, goosebump inducing, final chord of this work. The Tanz-Toccata again allows you to marvel at Robinson's agilities, while the piece by Jean-François Dandrieu brings out his attention to style and period performance. And if you thought that you had heard this organ's full force in the Cochereau, wait 'til you hear the "monster" exposed during the Prelude and Fugue on BACH by Franz Liszt. The final chords alone will make you glad to be alive. The recording engineers at Pro Organo have very well captured this organ's power as well as the space it occupies. With impressive stops including a 32' Contre Bombarde, this instrument moves great volumes of air. Enjoy! Hope you're on good terms with your neighbours."
Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel, February 2014