Robyn Bollinger, violin
Already recognized for her musical creativity, rich tone, emotional depth, and technical mastery, American violinist Robyn Bollinger is a young artist on the rise. She is a recipient of a prestigious 2016 Fellowship from the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship Fund for her multimedia performance project entitled “CIACCONA: The Bass of Time,” which she began touring in 2018. Ms. Bollinger made her Philadelphia Orchestra début at age twelve, and has since performed with orchestras and at festivals nationwide, among them the Boston Pops, the Grand Tetons Music Festival Orchestra, and the music festivals of Aspen, Lake Champlain, Maui, Marlboro, and Rockport. Summer 2018 performances included appearances at the Halcyon Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, and Orcas Island Music Festival.
Robyn Bollinger’s 2018-19 season features a mix of solo and chamber music performances. Announced engagements include débuts with the symphony orchestras of Knoxville (Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto), Helena, Montana (Piazzolla, Four Seasons of Buenos Aires), Charleston, S.C. (Paganini, Violin Concerto No. 1), and California Symphony (world premiere by composer-in-residence Katherine Balch written specifically for her). She will make a six-city tour of the East Coast with the Musicians from Marlboro that includes concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall in New York City, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Series, the Smithsonian Museum’s Freer Gallery in D.C., Connecticut’s Greenwich Library Series, the Union College Concert Series in Schenectady, NY, and Boston’s Isabella Steward Gardner Museum’s Sunday Afternoon Series. Ms. Bollinger also performs in and around Boston with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble and the Grammy award-winning ensemble A Far Cry.
Highlights of Ms. Bollinger’s 2017-18 season included appearing as soloist with the Orchestra of Indian Hill (MA), Symphony in C (NJ), and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and as a guest in a special concert for the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Her tour of “CIACCONA: The Bass of Time,” a multimedia concert that tells the story of one of the oldest musical ideas, the repeating bass line, through solo violin music, was met with success at Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Emory University, National Sawdust (Brooklyn, NY), and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This program also served as her eponymous début solo CD and DVD. James Oestreich of The New York Times reviewed the album, and selected her performance of Berio’s Sequenza VIII as one of “8 Best Classical Music Moments of the Week on YouTube,” writing: “It was the concept that drew me to the new CD, CIACCONA: The Bass of Time, from Crier Records, but it was the young violinist Robyn Bollinger who held me captive.” The Boston Globe stated that “…she did more than just perform dauntingly difficult works by Biber, Bach, Bartók, and Berio. She melded them into an evening-length exploration of the ciaccona as such — a Baroque dance form that has morphed over the course of centuries…. Throughout the night, Bollinger’s technique proved equal to every challenge, with playing that was poised, precise, and musical.”
A sought-after chamber musician, Ms. Bollinger has performed in Midori’s Music Sharing International Community Engagement Program “ICEP” in Japan. She has served as a Young Artist Fellow for Music for Food, the national musician-led initiative for local hunger relief. A former member of the Newman String Quartet, which took the silver medal at the 2007 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, she has also served as a member of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival’s Young Trio in Residence (2015 – 2017). She has collaborated with the Jupiter Chamber Players at Lincoln Center, Mistral Music, and members of the Borromeo, Cleveland, Juilliard, Johannes, Lydian, Mendelssohn, and Pro Arte quartets, among others. She has appeared in recital in Japan’s Oji Hall (Tokyo), Tokyo National Arts Center, and Phoenix Hall (Osaka). A familiar figure on radio, Ms. Bollinger came to national attention through her 2014 residency on PRI’s “Performance Today” and several appearances on NPR’s “From the Top.”
Ms. Bollinger’s talent has been recognized with numerous awards, among them an Entrepreneurial Musicianship Grant from New England Conservatory for her groundbreaking “Project Paganini,” a performance project featuring all twenty-four Paganini Caprices. Ms. Bollinger has received top prizes at many international competitions, among them the International Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna, the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in France, and the Louis Spohr International Competition in Germany. She has been specially recognized with prizes for her performances of Bach and Beethoven works at several competitions.
Born in Philadelphia in 1991, Robyn Bollinger is a recipient of the Laurence Lesser Presidential Scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA, where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with honors. Ms. Bollinger’s teachers include Miriam Fried, Soovin Kim, and Paul Kantor. From July 2013 to May 2017, Ms. Bollinger played a 1778 Joseph and Antonio Gagliano violin on loan from the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute Instrument Bank. As of May 2017, she now performs on a 2017 violin made by the world-renowned luthier Samuel Zygmuntowicz, on loan from a private collection.