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Robin Bier (Contralto)

Born: Kalispell, Montana, USA

The American contralto, Robin Terrill Bier, attended as an undergraduate the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she studied singing with Dr. Gerald Crawford, piano with Dr. Angela Cheng, and graduated in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Music in voice performance. During her time at Oberlin she sang with the Collegium Musicum Oberliniense and the Oberlin College Choir, and appeared as a soloist with the Oberlin Symphony Orchestra, the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Oberlin Opera Theater, the Oberlin Gilbert and Sullivan Players, the Cleveland Heights Chamber Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Pierre Boulez. After training as a mezzo-soprano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Robin came to the UK to pursue a growing passion for early music. Through the course of an MA in Ensemble Singing with Dr. John Potter and Peter Seymour at the University of York, she discovered a deeper side to her voice and is now far more at home as an alto soloist and consort singer. She obtained her MA degree with distinction in January 2010, and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of York, researching the history of self accompanied song Music (anticipated September 2012). Among her coaches and master-classes were: Robert Hollingworth, John Potter, Peter Seymour, Sally Bruce-Payne, Evelyn Tubb, Phillip Highfill, Richard Jackson, Barbara Schlick, Black Hair, Marilyn Horne, Jennifer Larmore, Mikael Eliasen. She also received private vocal instruction with Yvonne Seymour, and Gerald Crawford.

Robin Bier has worked with conductors and directors such as Peter Seymour, John Potter, John Hancorn, Joseph Caulkins, Daniel Moe, Leif Bjaland, Pierre Boulez, Jeannette Sorrell, Hugh Floyd, Timothy Weiss, Victoria Vaughan, Stephen Smith, and Jonathan Field. Recent solo appearances in the UK include J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Baroque Collective and East Sussex Bach Choir; with Peter Seymour sje performed J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) at the York Early Music Festival, Alessandro Scarlatti’s La Giuditta at the National Centre for Early Music, and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244); and the role of Humility in Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum. She created the role of Damon in the modern premiere of the anonymous Jesuit pastorale Daphnis and is committed to contemporary vocal music, collaborating regularly with living composers. She co-directs the vocal chamber ensembles Bright Cecilia and Les Canards Chantants. She also sings regularly with York-based ensembles Yorkshire Bach Choir, Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and the Ebor Singers, as well as with Ergodos Voices, YORVOX and Viriditas Opera..

In addition to her studies and performance engagements, Robin Bier teaches singing and tries to live up to her other bachelor's degree (environmental studies, from Oberlin College). She keeps her sanity by occasionally escaping to the Yorkshire Dales or the North York Moors with her husband Graham, reading George R.R. Martin, and anticipating the day when she has the time, space and means to raise chickens.

Robin Bier has recorded J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) (Signum Classics) with the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, and Striggio Missa Ecco si beato giorno (world première recording, Decca) with I Fagiolini.

More Photos

Source: Liner notes to the album “J.S. Bach: St John Passion” conducted by Peter Seymour (Signum Classics, 2010); Bright Cecilia Website; Photo 03: Bill Coughlin; Photo 05: Becky Oehlers Photography; Photo 18: Morag Galloway; Photo 24: Morag Galloway; Photo 31: © 2011 Fiona Bianchi
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2011)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Matthew Glandorf


Video (2014): BWV 248/1-6

Peter Seymour


BWV 245

Links to other Sites

Robin Bier (Bright Cecilia)

Robin Bier on Facebook

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 02:17