Internationally respected pianist and recording artist Robert Hamilton has had the unusual distinction of being enthusiastically reviewed by two chief music critics for The New York Times. Harold C. Schonberg (who also authored The Great Pianists) wrote: “He is a very fine artist. All of Hamilton’s playing has color and sensitivity…one of the best of the million or so around.” And Donal J. Henahan reported: “It was an enthralling listening experience. We must hear this major talent again, and soon!”
Mr. Hamilton’s performance career beginnings were comparatively modest, but varied. Fluent as a high school student on three instruments – piano, clarinet and bassoon – he performed five standard concerti representing his three solo areas. He studied at Indiana University with the first winner of the coveted Levintritt award, Sidney Foster, and graduated summa cum laude. A move to New York City brought studies with Dora Zaslavsky of the Manhattan School, additional coaching from legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, and a host of monetary awards from the Rockefeller Fund and U.S. State Department, launching a strong career here and abroad. Five prizes in major international competitions added more concerts and opportunities.
Hamilton has made countless concert tours of four continents, appearing in the major halls of most music capitals. His orchestral engagements have included the Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Grant Park Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony and S.O.D.R.E. An appearance at the great hall of the Moscow Conservatory brought a ten-minute standing ovation, and he made an appearance in St. Petersburg that was televised across Russia. Mr. Hamilton has been heard over numerous radio networks including NPR, ABC, BBC London, Voice of America, Armed Forces Network, DRS Zurich and Radio Warsaw. He has recorded for Phillips, Orion and Summit Records. A recent 2004 Summit release brought this comment from Audiophile Audition: “Hamilton has a blazingly brilliant approach to this repertory, delivering very powerful and often breathtaking interpretations. Exposure to these performances will make any future hearing of the works seem pallid.” The American Record Guide added this: “Hamilton’s playing is full of integrity, rare brilliance and grandeur. This is a pianist I would like to have studied with.”
Professor Hamilton’s students have also won many prizes and awards, appearing with orchestras around the world that include the Indianapolis Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, South Bend Symphony, London Westminster Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonie d’Avignon (France), Kammerorchester Dusseldorf (Germany), Pazardjik National Orchestra of Bulgaria, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Nagoya Gakuen Philharmonic (Japan), Korea Symphony Orchestra (Seoul), etc. Frequent solo appearances have occurred in major cities, such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Munich, Prague, London, Sofia, Tokyo, London and Glasgow. Many of Professor Hamilton’s students have found positions at important music schools in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Others have chosen related fields, such as music criticism with newspapers of the caliber of the Kansas City Star.
Hamilton currently has an exciting class of international students at ASU, and has given master classes throughout the world. Featured in the book The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the USA, Mr. Hamilton also served as Artistic Director of the London Piano Festival during the 1990s. Since the year 2000, he has joined with Vladimir Feltsman and a distinguished group of prominent international pianists each July for PianoSummer in New York. Robert Hamilton is an official Steinway Artist.