Geoffrey Robson has emerged as a force of artistic leadership throughout the U.S. and the state of Arkansas. As Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, his dynamic leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in state-wide and national visibility for the organization. By overseeing an accelerated shift to virtual offerings of performances and educational content, Maestro Robson ensured continued success of the orchestra and continued employment of all musicians and staff. The orchestra’s online Bedtime with Bach series received nationwide acclaim and was featured by the Washington Post and the Kelly Clarkson Show. In 2017, he was awarded the Respighi Prize in Conducting by the Chamber Orchestra of New York, and led the group in performance at Carnegie Hall. He has worked with renowned artists such as Gil Shaham, Midori, Rachel Barton Pine, Zuill Bailey, Vadym Kholodenko, Alexander Markov, Mandy Gonzalez, the Beach Boys, and many others.
During his tenure in Arkansas, he has conducted critically acclaimed and sold-out masterworks, pops, chamber, and children’s concerts. He frequently collaborates with organizations such as Ballet Arkansas, Arkansas Children’s Theater, Opera in the Rock, the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, and
numerous choral groups. He also writes, records, and produces At the Symphony, a concert preview radio series on KLRE Classical 90.5 in Little Rock.
Robson also currently serves as Artistic Director of the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival. In this role, he curates a summer concert series and serves as director of the chamber music camp, which provides a unique, immersive experience to music students in the art of playing chamber music. He has served on the music faculty of Hendrix College, and was Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Central Arkansas, where he conducted the Conway Symphony Orchestra.
He has conducted numerous ballet and opera productions including The Nutcracker, La Bohème, and Madama Butterfly with the Plano Symphony (Texas) and Opera in the Rock (Little Rock). As a founding member of The Chelsea Symphony (New York), he conducted numerous sold-out performances and served as an artistic advisor, ensuring the growth and success of the organization.
A champion of new music, Robson collaborates with and explores the music of renowned living composers. In 2016, he conducted the San Juan (Colorado) Symphony in the world-premiere of James Stephenson’s Concerto for Hope with celebrated trumpeter Ryan Anthony. He served as arranger, conductor, and violinist for the world-premiere of Billy Blythe, a one-act opera based on the life of a young Bill Clinton, by Bonnie Montgomery. He conducted the premiere of Into the Beautiful North by Joe Brent, performed by the 9 Horses trio, as well as the premiere of Richard III, A Crown of Roses, A Crown of Thorns, an opera by Karen Griebling. In 2021 and 2022, he secured commissions of new works by Tania León and James Lee III, which were performed by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
As a violinist, Robson is an avid chamber musician and regularly collaborates with musicians across the country. He served as concertmaster of the
Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and as Assistant Concertmaster of the Waterbury Symphony (Connecticut). He is recognized for his skill and
versatility as a violinist and fiddle player, and has established himself as a highly sought-after studio musician. He creates and performs string and
orchestral arrangements for recording artists to assist them in achieving their musical goals in the studio.
Utilizing his extensive studio experience, Robson conducted and served as executive producer for the 2021 recording of Florence Price’s Concerto in One Movement, with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. He is also an orchestral pops arranger and his music has been featured in numerous ASO
Robson studied orchestral conducting at the Mannes College of Music in New York City under the tutelage of David Hayes and holds violin performance degrees from Yale University and the Michigan State University Honors College. Primary violin teachers include Erick Friedman, Dmitri Berlinsky, James Krehbiel, and I-fu Wang. He studied conducting at Yale University with Lawrence Leighton Smith, Edward Cumming, and Shinik Hahm. Other notable teachers include John Farrer, Neil Thomson, Joana Carneiro, Dirk Brossé, and Larry Rachleff.