“Robert Henry’s lyricism hits the mark. Cogent shaping, dynamism, and power…inner voices decisively sing and project in his Chopin…bass lines reinforce this music’s often ignored backbone…rapturous and texturally refined playing…absolutely enchanting.” Gramophone Magazine (Feb. 2011)
Hailed as a “consummate artist -- brilliant, formidable, effortless, and the epitome of control and poise,” Robert Henry is an internationally distinguished pianist, winning universal acclaim as orchestral soloist, recitalist, accompanist, and chamber musician. Possessing the rare combination of insight, inspiration, and a dazzling technique, he continues to touch and electrify audiences around the world.
Career highlights include 2002 solo debut recitals at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, with critics praising his “flawless technique, smooth and limpid phrasing, exciting programming.” He performed the opening concert for the 2004 MTNA National Convention, and has presented concerts under the auspices of the American Pianists Association, Chopin Foundation of America, Phillips Collection, Strathmore Hall, Kitzingen Piano Festival (Germany), and the Ibla-Ragusa Piano Festival (Italy). He has presented concert tours of the United States, England, Nova Scotia, and Italy. This year, Mr. Henry will present his London debut in prestigious Wigmore Hall.
A renowned collaborator and chamber musician, he has appeared with such notable conductors as Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, and Stefan Sanderling. Following his recent major orchestral debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Journal Constitution claimed Robert as “an accomplished musician, versatile and elegant…he elevated the concerto to a poignant statement.” Mr. Henry has presented recitals with the Pacifica Quartet, cellist Shauna Rolston, soprano Mary Ann Hart, and tenor Sergio Blasquez. He has toured internationally with the Grammy-winning Atlanta Boy Choir, directed by of Fletcher Wolfe, and has accompanied the masterclasses of eminent artists Jerry Hadley, Frederica von Stade, and Håkan Hagegård.
Robert Henry has enjoyed phenomenal success in important piano competitions, ultimately winning the Gold Medal in four International Piano Competitions in the 2001¬-2002 season alone (New Orleans International Piano Competition, Washington International Piano Competition, Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, Alfredo Barilli International Piano Competition). These prizes stand alongside fourteen additional first place awards received throughout his career, including the Clara Wells National Competition. On three occasions, juries have spontaneously created special prizes to honor his performances, including Best Performance of a 20th-Century Work and Best Performance of a Commissioned Work. He is a laureate of the 2003 Seiler International Piano Competition (Germany).
A recently named Steinway Artist, Mr. Henry has earned a reputation for giving stunning performances of the most demanding repertoire and for presenting overlooked masterpieces to the public, from Bach to Babajanian. One New York critic wrote, “Robert Henry’s Chopin-Godowsky Etudes were beautiful beyond description. His sound brings to mind the great pianists of the past, for whom beauty of tone was integral to the structure of the phrase.”
In response to Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Henry coordinated and performed in the 2006 “Pianists for New Orleans” tour of the United States, raising over $100,000 for the city. For these efforts, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans.
In 2010, Robert Henry released his debut CD, Twelve Nocturnes and a Waltz, to rave reviews. Gramophone Magazine declared, “Robert Henry’s lyricism hits the mark. Absolutely enchanting.” The recording is a collection of some of the world’s best-loved melodies, featuring Nocturnes of Chopin, Fauré, Grieg, Liszt, and many others, including the world premiere of Alexei Stanchinsky’s forgotten Nocturne from 1907. Also featured is Mr. Henry’s own published transcription of “Waltz for the Lonely”, originally by guitarist Chet Atkins. Mr. Henry was also winner of two 2010 Telly Awards for the documentary about his recording experience, “The Making of Twelve Nocturnes and a Waltz.” This unique CD recording has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR).
Mr. Henry earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, with additional studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Glinka Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was awarded the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award. He has studied closely with pianists Larissa Dedova, Sergei Dzevanovsky, Anne Koscielny, David Watkins, Sergei Babayan, and André Watts.
As an educator and pedagogue, Robert Henry presents lectures, masterclasses, residencies, youth concerts, and has been featured in American Music Teacher. He has served as clinician and juror for state, regional, and national MTNA conventions and competitions. He operates an exclusive private studio in Atlanta, GA. Currently, he is Artistic Director of the Great Performances Concert Series in Highlands, NC, and proudly serves as Artist-in-Residence at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA.
Robert and his wife, Meryl, make their home in historic Marietta, GA. He maintains his web-presence at www.roberthenry.org.