An internationally acclaimed concert pianist, Robert Blocker began his study of the instrument at age five, presenting his first public recital two years later. Today, he performs throughout the world. His engagements have included concerts in the United States, Europe, Mexico, China, South Korea, Thailand, and elsewhere. Recent orchestral engagements have included appearances with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, Houston Symphony, Monterey Philharmonic, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, and Daejeon (South Korea) Symphony Orchestra. His 2007 performance at the Great Mountains Music Festival with the Sejong Soloists was broadcast twice, throughout South Korea, on KBS.
Blocker has been described by the Los Angeles Times as an artist of “great skill and accomplishment” who performs with “a measurable virtuoso bent and considerable musical sensitivity.” The Korea Times has lauded the “great vigor” of his performances, and The Straits Times (Singapore) has recognized the “beauty and sincerity” of his playing. According to the Mexican newspaper La Provincia,
“He is a pianist of purified technique – one could say perfect … he has an enormous sensitivity, the ability to recognize the emotional message of the work and pour it out in the performance.”
Of the Naxos recording, Fanfare’s Michael Ullman wrote, “This is not the first recording of Mozart piano concertos I have heard that features a string quartet (arranged by Mozart himself) rather than a chamber orchestra, but it is among the most ingratiating. Mozart described these concertos as ‘very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, natural without being vapid.’ … Robert Blocker and this bright young quartet elegantly enact his description, playing naturally, brilliantly, and unaffectedly.”
Mr. Blocker earned his bachelor of arts degree in 1968 from Furman University and his master of music degree and doctor of musical arts degree in 1970 and 1972, respectively, at the University of North Texas, under the tutelage of the eminent American pianist Richard Cass. Mr. Blocker also studied with renowned concert artist Jorge Bolet.
In addition to recital, chamber music, and concerto appearances, Mr. Blocker presents master classes and coaches various ensembles in the United States and abroad. He has worked with such renowned groups as the Tokyo String Quartet, Artis Quartet, Brentano String Quartet, and Shanghai Quartet. At Yale University, where he is the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music, Mr. Blocker teaches and performs alongside students, alumni, and faculty colleagues.